Nyungwe National Park is located in the South West of Rwanda, around 5-6 hours’ drive from Kigali or 1.5 hour drive from Kamembe airport. It is one of Africa’s most ancient forests with rainforest, bamboo, grassland, swamps and bogs all contributing to its important eco-system. It has exceptionally high levels of biodiversity and numerous endemic species, harbouring around 85 mammal species, approximately 40 reptile species and nearly 300 bird species. Nyungwe Forest provides refuge for an amazing 13 different primate species, including L’hoest monkey, Grey-cheeked mangabey and Dent’s Mona monkey. But the largest and most sought-after primate is the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). These primates are our closest relatives, sharing 98% of our DNA and displaying extremely human like features.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE CANOPY WALK
You will start by checking in at the Uwinka visitors centre in the Nyungwe forest. After a short briefing by your guide, you will begin the 2.1km trek, we recommend making use of the walking sticks on offer. Make sure to watch your footing as you descend into the forest, particularly if it has been raining recently as the pathway can be very slippery. This first part of the trek underneath the trees tops lasts for about 200m.
Next you will greet East Africa’s only canopy walkway and begin your trip into the skyline. The canopy walkway’s construction was supported by U.S. AID and built by the NGO Green Heart in 2010 and can be split into 3 sections. An initial 45 metres of metal walkway lead you onto one of the impressive support legs, which joins onto the next and longest stretch of 90 metres of bridge. This gravity challenging section is suspended 60m above the forest floor and a great place to get some perspective of the scale of this magnificent rainforest. Offering breath-taking views over the misty forest below you and into the tree canopies surrounding you where you might see blue monkeys and a variety of butterflies. The final section is a shorter distance of only 25 metres, bringing the total length of this walkway to 160 metres.
PREPARING FOR THE CANOPY WALK
- The Canopy Walk can be enjoyed all year round
- The trek including time on the canopy takes around 2 hours
- The hiking difficulty is considered easy to moderate
- Minimum age is 6 years, all children must be accompanied by an adult
- Uwinka reception centre is 45 minutes drive from your accommodation
- Hiking Boots and rain coat can be rented from reception centre
- Walking sticks are provided free of charge
- Uwinka has a small coffee shop selling drinks and snacks
- Uwinka has a small education display with information about Nyungwe NP
- Set departures each day run between 08:00am -17:00pm.
- We suggest arriving at least 15 minutes before your chosen set departure time
- If you have not pre-arranged your permit you must bring your passport with you to complete the registration procedure.