East Africa’s only Canopy Walk
In October 2010, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) launched canopy walk tourism in Nyungwe National Park as part of a strategy to diversify tourism attractions. Canopy tourism is also aimed at encouraging tourists to spend a longer time in Rwanda.
The Canopy Walk is the first of its kind in East Africa and the third of its kind in Africa .
This is the first ever hanging platform that allows tourists to view different animal species in Nyungwe Forest. The dizzying platform is above a steep and deep valley stretching across the massive forest.
John Gara, CEO of the RDB, said the platform is 50 meters above ground level and 90 meters long. It allows tourists to view butterflies, birds and blue monkeys that dwell in the upper levels of the forest. The forest has 13 rare primate species, the world’s largest ever recorded arboreal troop of black/white colobus monkeys, and nearly 300 species of birds and 154 types of orchids.
Visiting the Canopy Walk
One of the most interesting and popular attractions in Nyungwe Forest is the Nyungwe canopy walk. The canopy walkway gives visitors a unique perspective of the tree canopy of Nyungwe Forest. The view from the suspended bridge also enables visitors to get above the tree canopies in order to get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding forest. The canopy walkway was created in 2010 by the Rwanda Development Board as a of improving access to the unique habitat of Nyungwe forest to a broader audience.
In 2019, Nyungwe’s canopy walkway was named the Best Canopy Walkway in the world by Lonely Planet. This is not a small feat as there were many other great and unique walkways in the world such as Singapore’s OCBC Skyway and Montverde Sky Walk in Costa Rica. The Lonely Planet motivates the true rainforest with its 13 primate species and the endless number of birds and butterflies as part of the motivation to the number one spot.
The 160m long and 70m high suspension bridge is accessible as part of the Igishigishigi hiking trail . The canopy walkway is located close to Uwinka Visitor Center in the center of the forest. This is where the camping and headquarters of Nyungwe Forest is located. Just like all other activities in the park you need to be accompanied by a guide. Guides and entrance fee can be organized and paid at Uwinka on arrival, but ideally you should contact the headquarters ahead of time in order to make sure that guides are available upon arrival.
The canopy walkway is best enjoyed during an early morning walk when the weather is generally better and risk of rain lower. Many birds and other animals are also active during this time. The trails that lead to the canopy walkway can also be combined with hikes to other interesting places such as Kamiranzovu swamp. For more information ask your guide or contact Nyungwe Headquarters.
Arrange your visit to the Canopy Walk at the Uwinka Visitor Center!
FACTS ABOUT CANOPY WALK IN NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA
- This walkway is constructed on the Igishigishigi trail and leaves 1 km from Uwinka. It leads to a 200m trail, suspended between giant trees. It offers a magnificent view of the upper canopy and is also a very good bird- watching area.
- The Canopy walk way is among the new tourist attractions launched in Nyungwe Forest national Park. It was introduced to enable tourists view a wide range of attractions found in Nyungwe Forest.
- Currently, Nyungwe canopy walk way is the only one of that kind in East Africa. That is why many tourists endure to go to Rwanda to Visit Nyungwe Forest National park, no matter the long distance from Kigali city to the park. It is estimated to be 8-9hours drive from Kigali to Nyungwe Forest National Park.
- The canopy walkway is suspended above the tree canopy to enable tourists view birds, tree species, primates, butter flies and so on.
- Currently, canopy walk cost US$ 75 per person and the activity is conducted every day, all year round depending on the availability.
- Canopy walk is scheduled in the morning and afternoon basing on the availability of clients wishing to enjoy the experience.
- Canopy walking experience is among the top enjoyed activity in Nyungwe Forest National park. It is believed to be the second liked after primate trekking.
- Canopy walk is safe due to the fact that it was installed by experts.