Canopy walk experience in Rwanda

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The Canopy walk experience in Rwanda can be had in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The canopy walk way is a well-established metallic bridge adjourned between huge trees across a ravine in Nyungwe Forest National Park. It is 160 meters long and raised 60 meters from the ground. This well-built hanging platform offers an opportunity to explore the park and all the beauty therein. Sightseeing enthusiasts can’t imagine viewing the entire scenery of Nyungwe Forest Park as well as its tree tops and wildlife at a close range atop this suspension bridge! It’s the only of its kind in East Africa and one of the only 3 in the whole of Africa. Book a Tour with a canopy walk experience in Nyungwe National Park for an excellent view and full immersion into the incredible beauty of this largest and oldest montane rain forest in Africa. Besides this walk is another opportunity for a glimpse at some of the park’s wildlife – monkeys, butterflies and birds more so if you are to miss other activities that the park has to offer like Chimpanzee trekking, bird watching, nature/forest walks and others.

Nyungwe Forest National Park at a glance
Nyungwe Forest National Park is located in the South Western parts of Rwanda. The park is commonly known for Chimpanzee tracking and the canopy walk experience. In Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest Park comes second after Volcanoes, the most visited National Park. Whereas Volcanoes National Park is mostly known for Mountain Gorilla trekking, Nyungwe National Park is for Chimpanzee trekking and the canopy walk among other activities. The park covers an area of 1,060SqKm and above sea level, it is elevated up to between 1600-2950 meters. Nyungwe National Park is one place of great bio-diversity and spectacular scenery. Over 300 bird species including 29 Albertine Rift endemics are recorded here, 85 mammal species including 13 primate species (but not the Gorillas) and over 1,000 floral species all thrive in Nyungwe. From a suspension bridge/canopy walk way, one is well positioned for an excellent view of Nyungwe Forest’s natural beauty.

The canopy walk way was launched by Rwanda Development Board in 2010. Its establishment was part of the initiative to diversify tourism activities as well as enhancing Nyungwe Forest Park’s full potential for tourism in the least destructive means possible. It has since paid off as it has boosted tourism in the park and Rwanda at large. Applying the length parameter, the whole 160m canopy walk way is categorised/clustered into 3 sections. The 25 metres as the shortest followed by the 45 metre walk and the longest is 90 metres. On your Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk tour, you are free to choose any of the 3 above if you find the 160m too long for you.

The canopy walk is less scary and highly recommended to be included in your Tour to Nyungwe Forest National Park. It is well an exciting adventure but it presents with abit of testing one’s adrenaline especially when it comes to walking on aluminium bars and ropes way high up. To those with any fear for heights, you will be cautioned against looking down regardless you can hardly see all the way to the bottom. Even when you sign up for the canopy walk above other activities offered by Nyungwe Forest Park such as Chimpanzee tracking, bird watching, and nature/forest walks, there still remains an opportunity of viewing different monkey species and birds as you walk on this metallic bridge.
The canopy walk is preceded with a briefing at Uwinka visitor’s centre and a walk up to the actual starting point through the Igishigishigi trail. This walk is more of a hike given the terrain of the park and please be aware that the trails are in most cases slippery with a lot of mud so good hiking shoes are recommended for foot wear. Although chances of viewing some of the park’s wildlife are there during this short walk and while on the canopy walk way itself, Chimpanzee sightings are very rare so be advised to sign up for the actual (Chimpanzee tracking) activity if interested in viewing them.

Fees/cost structure for the canopy walk experience in Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest Park
The canopy walk fees are payable in cash at the park offices. US $60 is the charge/fee per each Foreign Non-Resident for the canopy walk at Nyungwe Forest Park. Foreign Residents in Rwanda are considered at $50 and this applies to only those with valid residence permits or I. Ds for Rwanda. To the Rwanda citizens, it is 5,000 Rwandan Francs. The respective costs include the canopy walk permit, park entry fees and the park guide/ranger. Fee excludes other expenses like transportation, accommodation and other tours with in the park such as Chimpanzee tracking, nature walks or hiking tours, serious bird watching and monkey tracking. Get in touch with our reservations team for the Nyungwe canopy walk tour package.

Age limit for the canopy walk experience in Nyungwe National Park
Any individual of 6 years and above is eligible for the canopy walk although children of below 15 years have to be accompanied by the adult(s). It should be noted that the fear of height cuts across all ages so there is need for some mental preparedness before or as one signs up for the canopy walk regardless.

Time/Sessions/Shifts for the canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest Park
The canopy walk is in 2 sessions of morning and afternoon each of which lasts for 2 hours. Each of these sessions is further scheduled into 2 shifts. The morning starts at 8.00AM and 10.00AM while the afternoon one is at 1.00PM and 3.00PM. The starting and ending point for the canopy walk is at Uwinka park headquarters.

Best time to visit Nyungwe National Park for the canopy walk
The canopy walk tour can be done any time of the year although the dry period is most desired and recommended. March – May and October – November are the known rainy months. However note that the lush tropical forest is itself a rainfall stimulator, let alone the mountainous terrain in which it’s located. With such conditions therefore, it can rain any time regardless of the season. All preparations should factor in some rain gear.

What to pack for the Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk tour in Rwanda
In order to enjoy your canopy walk tour at Nyungwe Forest Park, prepare to come with some, if not, all the below items:

  • A camera with enough batteries to capture each moment. A phone camera too can do.
  • Some rain gear for the much anticipated rain.
  • Insect repellent to protect your skin against insect bites
  • Sun screen
  • Enough drinking water
  • Sun glasses
  • A round hat or a cap
  • Good hiking shoes/boots for especially the first part of the hike that leads you to the starting point. The trail is always slippery and tedious.
  • A simple and light back pack to help you carry some of the above items during the walk. It should ideally be waterproof.

Other things/activities to do in Nyungwe National Park alongside the canopy walk
On top of the canopy walk experience, Nyungwe Forest National Park has a lot to offer to visitors. There is Chimpanzee trekking, Birding, nature walks, Colobus Monkey tracking, cultural experiences from the communities near the park, Gisakura tea plantation tour, among others. A few meters from the park is Lake Kivu on which is a relaxing boat ride and scenic viewing.
Away from Nyungwe Forest National Park, your canopy walk experience can be accompanied by a Gorilla trekking and Golden monkey tracking tour in Volcanoes National Park or a Big5 wildlife tour in Akagera National Park. All these national parks are with in Rwanda.

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