Activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Chimpanzee trekking is the most popular activity in Nyungwe Forest National Park, where visitors explore the forest in search of chimpanzees. The trek starts from three reception centers: Uwinka, Gisakura, and Kitabi, with a briefing at 5:00 am. Park rangers guide the trek, which can take 2 to 6 hours, depending on the chimpanzees’ location. Visitors spend one hour observing the chimpanzees in their natural habitat, learning about their behaviors, habits, and capturing memorable moments.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to over 300 monkey species, making monkey trekking a captivating activity. The playful and lively monkeys entertain visitors as they jump from tree to tree. Monkey species in the park include blue monkeys, black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys, and more.
Known as a birders paradise, Nyungwe Forest National Park hosts over 300 bird species, with 29 endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley. Bird watching is best in the morning with trained guides spotting species like dusky crimson, handsome francolin, Ruwenzori apalis, black and white casqued hornbill, and others.
Nature Walks/Hiking Trails
Nyungwe Forest National Park offers various hiking trails:
- Bigugu Trail: A challenging 7-kilometer trail leading to Bigugu peak, the highest point in the park. It takes 6 hours and offers views of different bird species and wildflowers.
- Isumo Waterfall Trail: A 10.6-kilometer trail passing through tea plantations, Nyungwe forest, and taking about 4 hours to complete. Hikers can spot monkeys, tree species, and various birds.
- Ngabwe Trail: A 4.7-kilometer short trail through different vegetation zones, providing views of colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, and l’hoest monkeys.
- Karamba Trail: A 4-kilometer easy trail passing through flat and open areas, ideal for birding with sightings of different bird species, tree ferns, orchids, and monkeys.
The canopy walkway, the largest in East Africa, is a thrilling adventure at Nyungwe Forest. It is a 50-meter high steel bridge on treetops, divided into three sections, offering scenic views of the forest, primates, and birds. The walkway takes about 2 hours, starting from the Visitors Centre in Uwinka. Nyungwe’s canopy walkway has become a highlight, making Rwanda a top tourism destination in Africa.