Hitting the Hiking Trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Hit the Nyungwe Forest National Park – Hiking Trails from 4 hours to 3 Days
There are over 130 kilometers of Hiking Trails found in Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda. If you are an avid hike you can easily spend a week here hiking through the ancient Afro-montane Forest. Hiking Trails that take a few hours to three-day. There is the only canopy forest trail, the Rwandan source of the Nile and more – all found in Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda.
Nyungwe Forest for the Outdoor Adventurer is simply Paradise and a Paradise it is, the largest Afro-Montane Forest in Africa, 13 species of primates, birds, butterflies, orchids in season, all things that a hiker will encounter as he partakes in the Nyungwe Forest National Park – Hiking Trails that run in and through Nyungwe Forest. Many come to Rwanda, see the Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and miss the magnificent Nyungwe Forest with its abundance of primates, birds, tropical trees and plants.
Nyungwe Forest National Park – Hiking Trails cannot be done without a guide.
Below you will find various Hiking Trails in Nyungwe Forest
This is 4.7-kilometer trail that takes about 3 hours to complete and is moderate in regards to the difficulty level. You will find the trail taking you through a variety of vegetation zones even though it is a relatively short trail. It can, however, be extended to be 8 hours long and would include the Kitabi Tea Plantation.
You can take a packed lunch with you and eat at the picnic site which offers some great views of the forest.
Along the trail, you will most often see L’Hoest, Silver and Colobus Monkeys – at times you just might see Mangabey Monkeys and even Chimpanzees.
The Bigugu trail can be difficult for some and it takes about 6 hours to complete. This trail is about 7 kilometers long and the trail tends to be steep and slippery at times.
The trail goes up to the highest point in the park which is Bigugu Peak and is 2,950 meter in elevation. One has to be quite fit to complete this trail but it is well worth the effort. It is also an excellent trail for birders where one can spot the red-collared mountain babbler.
You will see some beautiful wildflowers including orchids – also giant lobelias.
Igishigishigi Trail – Canopy Forest Walk:
This is the most popular trail from the Uwinka Reception area of the park since it includes the Canopy Forest walkway. That is a featured attraction within Nyungwe Forest National Park and it simply is a must do for visitors to the park.
The trail is about 2.4 kilometers and takes about 1.5 hours to complete including the canopy walk.
Here you will be up in the tree-tops and see primates, birds, and butterflies up in their habitat.
Simply an amazing short hike that is not to be missed.
Kamiranzovu Marsh Trail:
The Kamiranzovu Marsh is inside of caldera like depression and it a large swamp that forms an important watershed in the park.
The trail is moderate in difficulty and is six kilometers long and takes about 3 hours to complete – along the trail you will find countless of Orchids, especially during the rainy seasons of the year.
Rainy season in Rwanda is October to November and then again April and May each year.
It is a trail rich with botanical finds also great for swamp associated birds such the Grauer’s Rush Warbler.
Isumo Waterfall Trail:
This popular trail is 10.6 kilometers long and is moderate in difficulty – it takes about 4 hours plus to complete.
At first, you pass through a tea plantation and through patches of forest where you can often spot various species of monkeys.
On the way to the waterfall that is quite pretty, you move through tree ferns that are quite impressive to look at and often you can spot the the Ruwenzori Turaco bird.
Another one of Nyungwe Forest’s many exciting trails.
Source of the River Nile Trail:
You can take the relatively easy hike to the Rwandan Source of the River Nile. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to complete. There is not much effort to this hike.
Rwanda – Uganda and even Burundi to have the source of the Nile – this is the Rwandan source of the Nile which was discovered by the Ascend the Nile Expedition in 2006 where they ascertained that the headwaters of the Rukarara River was the source of the Nile in Nyungwe Forest.
A lot of Ugandans still do not agree about the source of the Nile.
Karamba Birding Trail:
This 4-kilometer long trail is easy when it comes to walks and hikes in Nyungwe Forest and much of it is a flat and relative open area of the forest.
This was an area where much gold-mining was done – later it became a quarry for road building material and even an army camp.
It is also one of the least muddy trails in Nyungwe Forest and you will spot some orchids, giant tree ferns and often Dent’s Monkeys which are a rare find.
This is one of the easiest Trails in Nyungwe Forest Park.
This 5.2-kilometer trail – is quite remote and takes about 3.5 hours to complete and is moderate in difficulty.
The trail passes through open – heath-like vegetation and shrubs.
The trail has a lot of wildflowers along it and there are non-forest birds- on the way you will have 360 degrees view of the park and even see Lake Kivu in the distance.
On a clear day, you can even also see the majestic Virunga Volcanoes that seem to tower over Rwanda.
The Imbaraga Trail Hike is taken out of the Uwinka Reception Center and is one that is quite difficult. It is almost 10 kilometers in length and takes about 6 hours to complete.
The word Imbaraga means strength and it is an indication as to how difficult the trail is.
The trail takes in four different waterfalls, there is also the chance that you might some Chimpanzees.
The Imbaraga Trail might be difficult but it is rewarding.
The word Irebero means viewpoint and along this 3.6-kilometer trail you will some magnificent scenic views.
The trail is of moderate difficulty and takes about 3 hours to complete. The views are worth the hike.
The trail is designed to show you a stunning view from a high altitude, so you will be able to gaze onto Rwanda’s borders and view Lake Kivu.
The Irebero Trail takes you on a loop around the two highest peaks found in Nyungwe Forest
The Umugote Trail is named after a Syzygium Tree which is commonly found on this trail.
This is 3.6-kilometer long trail and takes about 3 hours to complete. The difficulty of this trail is moderate in nature.
The hike climbs up the side of a mountain and you have great views of the pristine part of the forest – as you pass through the valley you will see the forest’s rich biodiversity.
If you have a clear day you can see the mountains of Burundi.
This is a fairly difficult trail to hike – however, it also takes in the Chimpanzees of Nyungwe Forest and chimpanzees are often the reason that visitors take in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Besides Chimpanzees, the trail takes in some stunning vistas for a hiker to see along the way.
The trail will take about 5 hours to complete and is over 9 kilometers in length.
Even if you do not spot chimpanzees – the scenery along the hike makes it worth undertaking.
One of the most popular hikes in the park, this trail is relatively short but filled with beautiful views of waterfalls and orchids along with many other wildflowers for you to enjoy as you hike there.
Umuyove means Mahogany–many of these trees line the trail making it a most enjoyable hike.
Normally on this hike you often encounter primates and birds, the primates add another extra touch to this hike.
The trail is 5.5 kilometers in length and takes about 3.5 hours to complete – the trail is moderate in difficulty.
The Congo-Nile Divide Trail:
This 42 kilometer 3 to a 4-day trail is along the ridge in the forest that separates the river basins that flow into the Nile and on the other side of the ridge into the river basin of the Congo.
This is for the experienced hiker and involves camping in the forest as you make your 42-kilometer trek through the ridge of the forest.
This is an amazing multi-day hike that will be most memorable and is not to be confused with the popular Congo – Nile Trail that runs alongside Lake Kivu in Western Rwanda.
This is the longest Hiking Trail in Nyungwe Forest.
If you are interested in the Nyungwe Forest National Park – Hiking Trails and want to add them to your Safari Itinerary with us – please Contact us.