hiking and nature walks in nyungwe forest national park-rwanda
Nyungwe forest national park is Rwanda’s top outdoor adventure paradise and Africa’s largest afro montane forest, Nyungwe forest national protects over 13 primate species, bird species, butterflies, the orchids in some seasons, all the hiking trails run within Nyungwe forest. Although most tourists come to Rwanda to view mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National park and then miss out on the magnificent Nyungwe Forest national park offering a variety of primate species, plant species, bird species, and tropical tree species.
Hiking Trails in Nyungwe forest national park
The hiking trails last from 4 hours to 3 days depending on the travelers. Nyungwe forest national park also offers 130 kilometers of hiking trails that are located within Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda. Nyungwe forest national hiking trails include the following trails below.
Ngabwe trail covers approximately 4.7 kilometers, exploring Ngabwe trail lasts from 3 hours to be completely done and is moderately regarded as the most difficult level. Ngabwe trail takes travelers through the thick vegetation zones although it’s a short trail in Nyungwe forest. Ngabwe trail can be extended to 8 hours long which includes also the Kitabi tea plantation. Visitors are free to carry their own packed lunch and eat at the picnic site which offers panoramic views of the Nyungwe forest. And the long trail gives you an opportunity to spot primate species such as colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, L’Hoest silver monkeys, and Mangabey.
Bigugu trail is a difficult trail that takes about 6 hours to be completely done. Bigugu trail covers about 7km long, Bigugu trail is too steep and slippery in the rainy seasons. Bigugu trail goes up to the highest peak of the park which is Bigugu peak and Bigugu peak stands at about 2950m above sea level. Travelers interested in Bigugu trail hiking must be fit for them to complete hiking this trail. This trail is an excellent trail for bird watching, it offers bird species such as the red collared mountain babbler, you can also see fantastic wildflowers like the orchids and the giant lobelias.
Igishigishigi trail is the most famous trail from within the Uwinka reception area of Nyungwe forest national park, Igishigishigi trail also includes the canopy forest walkway in Nyungwe. Igishigishigi trail is a top featured attraction in Nyungwe forest National park and is categorized under a must-do for most guests to the park. Igishigishigi trail covers about 2.4 km and its completion takes around 5 hours including the canopy walk. You discover this trail goes up to the treetops while viewing primate species such as chimpanzees, birds, and butterfly species in their habitat. This is an amazing encounter.
Kamiranzovu Marsh Trail
Kamiranzovu Marsh trail takes travelers inside the caldera-like depression shape with a large swamp that forms a vital watershed within Nyungwe forest national park. The Kamiranzovu trail is moderately difficult, Kamiranzovu trail covers about 6 km long and it takes 3 hours to be fully completed. Kamiranzovu trail offers lots of orchids during the rainy season and the rainy season lasts from October to November and from April to May yearly. Kamiranzovu trail offers rich botanical viewing and is good for swamp-associated bird species such as the Grauer’s Rush Warbler.
Isumo Waterfall Trail
Isumo waterfall trail is also another famous trail covering about10.6km long and moderately difficult, Isumo waterfall trail discoveries take approximately 4 hours to be completed. it first takes you through the tea plantation, then later via the patches of Nyungwe forest where you will spot many monkey species. And as you head to the waterfall, you will pass through the tree ferns that may require an imposing eye and often offers to watch the Ruwenzori Turaco bird. Isumo waterfall trail is considered among the most exciting trails in Nyungwe Forest.
The Source of The Nile Trail.
Travelers can also participate in an easy hike to Rwanda’s source of the River Nile. Hiking to the source of the Nile takes between 1-2 hours to be done. Guests can always add this hiking trail to their 3 days Nyungwe primate safari since it involves less effort to hike this trail. Discover the source of the Nile in three different countries namely Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. here we are talking about the source of the Nile in Rwanda that was first explored in 2006 by the rise to the Nile adventure where they described the headwaters of the Rukarara River as the source of the Nile situated in Nyungwe Forest.
Karamba Birding Trail
Karamba birding trail occupies over 4 kilometers, Karamba birding trail takes guests to a hike, and walks come within Nyungwe Forest but much of this hike takes to the flat and open part of Nyungwe forest. Karamba birding trail takes place to the area where gold mining used to take place that later became a quarry for road building material as well as the army camp. Karamba birding trail is among the least muddy trails in Nyungwe Forest, Karamba birding trail is among the places where you can spot the Orchids, giant tree ferns, and Dent’s Monkey species in Nyungwe Forest Park.
Muzimu trail covers 5.2 km, although situated in the remote part of Nyungwe forest. Hiking within the Muzimu trail takes between3.5 hours to be completely done. Muzimu trail passes via an open heath kind of shrubs and vegetation zones. The Muzimu trail offers wildflowers, non-forest birds along the way as well as the 360 degrees view of Nyungwe national park, Lake Kivu from a far distance, and Virunga-chained Volcanoes towering over Rwanda.
Imbaraga trail hike lasts from the Uwinka reception center, Imbaraga trail is among the difficult trails to hike. Imbaraga trail covers a 10km area, hiking through the Imbaraga trail takes between 5- 6 hours to be completed depending on the traveler’s physical fitness. The word Imbaraga is derived from the local Kinyarwanda word which means strength which indicates how difficult the Imbaraga trail is. Imbaraga trail also offers four different waterfalls and also a chance to view chimpanzee families. Imaraga trail is a difficult trail but so rewarding in nature.
Irebero trail got its name from the local Kinyarwanda word Irebero which means the viewpoint, it covers over 3.4 km but offers endless good scenic views. Irebero trail is not so difficult, hiking to Irebero trial lasts for only 3 hours. Irebero trail views are worth your hike. Irebero trail was designed to showcase the beautiful views from within the high altitude, so that guests may be able to penetrate onto Rwanda’s borders as well as Lake Kivu. Irebero trail is a loop of the two highest summits all situated in Nyungwe forest.
Umugote trail got its name after the Syzygium tree that was commonly seen along this trail. Umugote trail covers 3.6 km long and can be trekked on foot within 3 hours only. Umugote trail hike rises up from the side of the mountain, Umugote trail also offers great views of the pristine area of Nyungwe forest as well as via the valley to monitor the forest’s rich biodiversity.
Rukuzi trail is not a difficult trail to hike, Rukuzi trail takes guests to the chimpanzee haven of Nyungwe Forest national park and Chimpanzee tracking experience is often the main reason why most travelers visit Nyungwe forest. Besides chimpanzee trekking, the Rukuzi trail showcases the stunning vistas for many hikers along the way. Rukuzi trail lasts for at least 5 hours to be completed fully and it covers over 9 km in length.
Umuyove trail is also among the most famous hiking trails within Nyungwe forest national park that is relatively short but filled with fantastic views of waterfalls and the orchids alongside many other wildflowers for travelers to enjoy their hike. The Umuyove is a local Kinyarwanda word meaning Mahogany and many other tree species on this trail making it a more enjoyable hike. On the Umuyove trail hike, you will spot man bird species and primate species. Umuyove trail covers only5.5 km and it can be explored in 3.5 hours only.
The Congo Nile Divide Trail
The Congo Nile divided trail covers over 42 km, hiking to the Congo Nile divided trail takes 3- 4 days to be completed along the ridge within Nyungwe forest separating the river basins flowing into the Nile and on the side of the ridge into the Congo river basin. The Congo Nile divided trail is for experienced hikers due to the fact that it involves camping in the thick forest as you try to cover the 42km trek via the ridge of the forest. Hiking to the Congo Nile divided trail takes multiple days but the most memorable of all the trails in Nyungwe forest national and it should not be confused with the known Congo Nile Trail that cuts across Lake Kivu in western Uganda. The Congo Nile divided trail is the longest hiking trail in Nyungwe Forest national park.