Canopy walkways also called canopy walks, treetop walks or treetop walkways – provide pedestrian access to a forest canopy. Early walkways consisted of bridges between trees in the canopy of a forest; mostly linked up with platforms inside or around the trees.
Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walk
The visitors interested in taking walks in Nyungwe forest have two alternatives a canopy or low ground forest walk. Nyungwe National Park is special because it is the only national park where nature lovers can go for a true canopy walk. The canopy walk in Nyungwe forest is the best in East Africa.The Canopy was erected by USAID in 2010 through the Green Heart NGO group. Nyungwe forest national park canopy walkway is suspended about 70 meters above the forest floor and provides an amazing view of East Africa’s largest and oldest Afro-Montane forest. Its 200 meter walk way is also adjourned over a steep and deep valley that is covered with a dense forest. This walk provides you with exceptional views of the foggy forest and access to a number of wildlife that inhabit the canopy. It lasts for about two hours with its beginning and end points being Nyungwe forest national park headquarters at Uwinka tourist reception center. The first 200 meters along the forest floor under the dense canopies are a great time to look at the different sights on the ground before taking the canopy walk to get a view of the top canopy. There are high chances of you getting sight of birds, white and black colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, blue monkeys and the red tailed monkeys. The restricted age for this walk is six years and children should be accompanied by their parents or a guardian. Each person interested in taking a canopy walk must pay $60 at the reception center. Nyungwe forest receives a lot of rainfall all year long you are encouraged to carry a rain coat. It is also important for you to carry hiking boots however if you do not have a pair, you can hire them from the reception center. The walking sticks are provided to everyone for free. The hike is not difficult to undertake and has duration of just two hours.
There is no doubt that the canopy walk is amazing and adventurous, but it can be scary for those with a fear of heights. Those who fear heights should instead go for the Forest walks. There are several hiking trails which go up to the forest interior. The trails are painted in different colors allowing visitors to spot the forest animals and birds in the interior. Some of the trails require 6 hours to complete. The Igishigishigi Trail is the shortest while the BiguAgu Trail leading up to the mountain is the most difficult trail taking at least 5 hours to complete. The water fall trail is designed to lead visitors to the beautiful waterfalls of the forest. Nature lovers with time to spare usually take time to complete each trail at a time. By the end of their time in the forest, they would have discovered and explored everything there and known about this old forest including the primates.
What to carry for the canopy walk?
- Camera with a strap to secure it and don’t forget to bring some extra batteries
- Strong hiking boots with ankle support
- Enough bottled drinking water
- The walking stick
- Rain jacket
- Small back pack bag
- Wear sunscreen
- Some cash to tip your guides
When do a canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park?
There are two shifts for the Canopy walk in Nyungwe forest that is morning hours and afternoon hours. Morning shifts start at 8:00 am and 10:00 am. While the afternoon walks start at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm all lasting about 2 hours to make a complete walk.