RWANDAIR HELPS TO BRING THE ‘ENCHANTED FOREST AKA NYUNGWE’ NEARER TO YOU
(Posted 04th December 2013)
Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park remains one of the country’s hidden gems and still much underutilized natural resources, even though visitors’ numbers continue to increase in double digits year after year.
The launch three years ago of East Africa’s only tropical rainforest canopy walk brought the spotlight on to Nyungwe and since then have as many as 8 short and long hiking trails been established by the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department.
Still, according to sources close to RDB and from across the tourism fraternity there is consensus that Nyungwe, a nearly 1.000 square kilometre large montane rain forest, can and should receive more tourists. The hikes into and across the park bring visitors, who are seeking an active adventure trip, close to as many as 13 primate species, 275 species of birds including a number of endemic species, almost 1.100 species of trees, shrubs and plants, over 80 mammal species and about 70 amphibian and reptile species, making this park a biodiversity hotspot of the highest order.
(A map of Nyungwe Forest National Park, Eastern and Central Africa’s largest montane rainforest)
The park headquarter at the Uwinka viewing point, where the hike into the forest to the canopy walk starts, offers a range of information for visitors as well as permits for a spectacular vista across the park’s interior and of Mt. Bigugu which rises to nearly 3.000 meters elevation, in itself also a hiking destination with a trail described by those who managed it as ‘very challenging’. Hikes range from ‘easy’ for the uninitiated, lasting just a few hours to see the Colobus monkey colonies near the Nyungwe Forest Lodge, to the more difficult half day and full day long hikes for more regular outdoor fans to the top end of multi day hikes across the park or up Mt. Bigugu.
RwandAir has now once again, as done before, launched a special package for visitors, available to East African residents as well as foreign nonresident visitors, to fly from Kigali on their domestic service to the airport of Kamembe / Cyangugu as part of a 2 night / 3 day package, including transport, meals, accommodation at the award winning 5 star Nyungwe Forest Lodge and of course a hike to the canopy walk, where visitors literally can look into and across the forest’s ‘rooftop’.