Nyungwe forest is found in Nyungwe forest national park in the south western part of Rwanda. The canopy walk was established in 2010 by Green Hart NGO group supported by USAID. The canopy walk covers a distance of 2.1 kilometers of the treacherous rainforest; the walkway can be accessed at the Uwinka visitor’s center of Nyungwe national park. The Nyungwe canopy walkway is one of the greatest places you can take a nature walk from Rwanda, the walkway commands spectacular views of the untouched natural forest and the striking lake Kivu.
The Nyungwe canopy walk has got various trails like igishigishi trail, Mbaraga trail and Mbuyove trail. The naming if this trails was according to the tree species found on a specific trail. The igishigishi trail refers to the many tree ferns found along this trail, the Umuvoye trails stands for the Mahogany tree species along this trail. Children taking nature guided walks at Nyungwe canopy walk must be of at least 6 years and above and must be escorted by adults.
Visitors planning to visit the canopy walkway and do this activity must carry good boots, rain coats and hiking sticks or can also rent at Uwinka visitors center at an affordable price. The canopy walkway is divided into three sections of a 160 meter stretch, the longest is the second of a 90 meter stretch, the first is a 45 meter stretch and the third which is the shortest is 25 meters,the highest point of the 90 meter stretch is 70 meters from the ground. The panoramic Nyungwe national park doesn’t only stop at the canopy walk, it’s endowed with over 400 habituated Ruwenzori black and white colobus monkeys, over 75 mammal species, about 300 species of birds, chimpanzees and over 10 primate species.
There are also various cultural activities that can be enjoyed within the Nyungwe forest like entertainment from the local traditional dancers. The forest floor also contains ten mud trails you can take adventurous walks from. There are other various primates to be seen like the L’ Hoest monkey, blue monkey including numerous butterfly species. The walkway activity takes about 2 hours of exploring the Afro montane rain-forest. Nyungwe forest is the largest protected mountain forest in Africa covering about 1600-2000 square kilometers; some of the trees in this pristine forest are over 100 years old.
Some of the canopy walkways are about 60 meters from the forest floor. Visiting the Nyungwe national park is one of the most exciting decisions you can take as it contains the only canopy walk in East Africa and the third in the African continent. This is some very unique experience you might never come across else where in Rwanda and neighboring countries. One of the attractions at Nyungwe forest is the magnificent Ishuno waterfalls, the waterfalls provide stunning views and the cool breeze of Africa’s fresh air amidst the chattering birds. Nyungwe national park can be accessed southwest of Kigali in a distance of 225 kilometers road. The canopy walk is about 2 hours from the Uwinka visitors center, the park has got two entries that are the western gisakura entrance and the eastern kitabi entrance. Tourists can find accommodation at Nyungwe national park. The price for canopy walk is $60 per person though the prices are subjected to change at anytime. Apart from visiting Nyungwe national park, tourists can also go for gorilla trekking experience in one of the volcanoes ranges and explore the rare endangered mountain gorillas that can only be found in three countries in the world.