In recent years, it’s very rare to go to a certain tourism destination and find a natural and less disturbed ecosystem however when it comes to Nyungwe forest in Rwanda, the story changes. Rwanda is a small country located in east Africa and a place where one can fully explore one of the less disturbed tropical rain forest. With a number of tree species including some of the oldest trees in east and central Africa, Nyungwe forest is located in south western Rwanda which is about a 6 to 7 hours drive from Kigali Rwanda’s capital city. The forest covers a number of hills and it can take roughly an hour to drive through the forest only. The road leading to Nyungwe forest is well tarmacked and it meanders over a number of hills. Nyungwe forest is a stop center for eco tourists and nature lovers and it’s a place that travelers should visit mainly because of the following reasons.
Being of a vast size, Nyungwe forest is a home to a number of primate species including the chimpanzees’ man’s closest wild relatives. Nyungwe forest has a well-developed network of hiking trails including the canopy walkway that enables the tourist to easily track the primates. The forest is the only place in Rwanda where tourists can enjoy remarkable chimpanzee tracking and it’s among the major tourist activities held in the forest. The major primates in the forest include different kinds of monkeys (vervet monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, blue monkeys, colobus monkeys), baboons and so much more. Tracking primates in Nyungwe forest enable tourists to understand the typical primates characteristics in their natural habitants especially ways of communicating, feeding and usual ways of life. Tracking the primates of Nyungwe starts very early in the morning and all the guides have enough information and are the ones who lead tourists through the major trails in search for the incredible animals.
The Canopy Walkway
Nyungwe forest is the only place with a canopy walkway that stands several meters above the forest. A walk along the this walk way provides great aerial views of Nyungwe forest major tree species, birds and great scenic views of the major hills that are covered by the thick forest.
The canopy walk way is very secure and strong aluminum ropes and poles support it meaning that one cannot easily fall off. All those interested in this exclusive experience can go for guided canopy expeditions and discover the true beauty of the land o f a thousand hills.
The experience along the walkway is very exciting and among the adventurous activities that can be held in Rwanda.
The Honey and Local Herbs Experiences
The local people around Nyungwe forest are experts when it comes to honey harvesting and making traditional herbs from the different tree and vegetation species in the forest.
Nyungwe forest having a variety of trees, some of them are used for medicinal purposes to heal diseases like cough, fever while other plants that act as cleansers are eaten to clean the stomach. There are local medicine men around Nyungwe forest that have for years been making a number of traditional medicines that some local people use without even having to go to hospitals. Interacting with the local medicine men around Nyungwe forest introduces you to the traditions and cultural practices of the Rwandese forest dwellers.
The honey on the other hand is yet another product one must not miss while visiting Nyungwe forest. Today, there are a number of people who are involved in bee farming and are organized in honey cooperatives which enables them to collectively harvest honey that they sell and earn incomes they use to sustain their families.
While in Nyungwe forest, do not leave before tasting locally harvested honey.