Top Hiking Trails in Nyungwe National Park
Top Hiking Trails in Nyungwe National Park are the most visited trails in the park located in Rwanda and are used to get to the amazing park attractions. Nyungwe National Park is famously known for the great Nyungwe forest, the endangered chimpanzees, the canopy walk and its refreshing hiking trails that challenge your physical fitness but also give you an opportunity to enjoy the fresh breeze of the forest, sight numerous primates, birds, flowers, trees, waters falls and different spots of the East African region especially when you’re at top points of hiking trails.
The top Hiking trails in Nyungwe National Park go through the primitive nyungwe forest, which is believed to be among the oldest forests in Africa. This evergreen forest stands at a height of 1600 meters with a variety of tree species, assorted vegetation and bird noises that team up to form an exquisite atmosphere for your hiking experience.
The great Nyungwe forest is home to about 13 primates, 300 bird species, a couple of butterfly species, some reptiles and amphibians and you get to see all these on your hiking experience in Nyungwe National Park.
The park currently boasts over about 150 or more kilometers of hiking trail networks that can be hiked in over 10 hiking trails at a cost of between 50 to 60USD and the most hiked trails in the park are:-
- IGISHIGISHIGI TRAIL: Igishigishi trail is the most sought after trail in the Nyungwe National Park as many travellers are excited and enthusiastic about taking this trail because it is also part of the popular canopy walk that is one of the main attractions in the park. This trail is also among the easy ones to take in the park; normally first-timers can also take part in it. It’s a 4-hour hiking experience of a combined distance of about 2.4 km with the canopy. The canopy walk gives you a top of the forest experience that is incredible; you will see numerous birds, primates, butterflies, scenic views across the region, not to mention the adrenaline rush you will have at the top. Taking this hike is more than worth it and you will be delighted you took it.
- NGABWE TRAIL: Ngabwe trail is a 4.7-kilometer trail that takes you the forest vegetation sections and sometimes through the Kitabi tea plantations. On your trail experience, you will sight l’hoest monkeys, colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, checked mangabey and other primates. You will also enjoy the fresh breeze of the bamboo vegetation and of course be amazed at the different shrubs you will see. This trail can be as short as three hours, however, if you decide to go through up to the Kitabi tea plantations it will take the whole day about seven to eight hours. If you opt for the whole day option, even the 3-hour options carry something to eat and water enough to take you through the entire hiking experience.
- KAMIRANZOVU MARSH TRAIL: Kamiranzovu Marsh trail is deep inside the Caldera depression. The Caldera depression is a big swamp-like depression in the Nyungwe National Park and this Caldera depression is a very important watershed in the park. The kamiranzovu marsh trail is 6 kilometers long and since it goes through the caldera depression, it’s automatically a difficult one; hence first-timers are not encouraged to take this trail, however, if they are up for the challenge, some can handle it. For experienced hikers the trail takes about 3 to 4 hours, for first-timers, the time is not certain but definitely more than 4 hours. You expect to see water birds, especially the swamp endemic birds like the Grauer’s Rush warber and the swampy vegetation. During the rainy season, the trail can also have a wide array of flowers that smell really good and are delightful to look at. The rainy seasons in Rwanda are October to November and April to May. kind note if, you are taking a hike in the rainy season, the rain may get you on the hiking experience so take a raincoat with you and wear waterproof boots.
- ISUMO WATERFALL TRAIL: This like the Igishigishi trail is also highly sought after by travellers visiting the park. The tail is long and hard to hike; recording about 10.6 km. it takes a hiker about 4 to 5 hours to complete this trail that takes you the nyungwe forest and tea plantations to the isumo waterfall. The waterfall is the biggest highlight of this hiking experience.
- BIGUGU TRAIL: The Bigugu trail is a 7 km trail that goes up to Bigugu peak which is the highest point in Nyungwe. The trail is one of the steepest trails in the park; in the rainy seasons, it gets quite slippery. A hike on this trail takes up to 6 hours and it’s a hectic hike so first-time hikers are not advised to take this trail. The highlights of this trail are the bigugu peak and the range of flowers you see along the trail.
- UMUYOVE TRAIL: This is one of the shortest hikes in Nyungwe, its 5.5 kilometers and takes you about 2-3 hours to complete. The trail offers amazing sights of the waterfall, mahogany trees and an array of flowers.