Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Beauty of Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park

With over 280 bird and 13 primate species and spreading over 1000 square kilometres, Nyungwe National Park is one of the most acclaimed biodiversity rainforests in Africa. The park also boasts a diverse ecosystem from rainforest, bamboo, grassland, swamps, rivers, butterflies, moths and insects.
This park will offer you a thrilling adventure, walking down the hills and crossing valleys trekking for monkeys and chimpanzees and visiting other wildlife attractions. A variety of hiking and walking trails crisscross the Park, leading to its varied attractions. "Nyungwe is a hotspot for biodiversity," Louis Rugerinyange, the Chief Park Warden at Nyungwe who led our party along the forests trails, says. You will take a long tracking adventure as you look for the white and black colobus monkeys-one of the many primate species in Nyungwe Park. You will walk on a sloppy ground for about one hour through the jungle. The park has about 600 white and black colobus monkeys in Nyungwe Park, which live together in groups.
These colobus monkeys are one of the many species of primates found in Nyungwe. Watching their gymnastic and flexible movements within the jungle, can make one feel relaxed from the pain of the long walk to reach this place.
Canopy walkway
Nyungwe's magnet does not end on chimpanzees and monkeys as the Park offers a wide variety of other attractions. The Kamiranzovu waterfalls is located deep in the forest, in the middle of two elevated hills and is reached after approximately one and half hours foot walk. And the park's various trails give an opportunity to explore the different spectacular aspects of the jungle, observing birds, mammals, trees, orchids and other wildlife plant species, among other exciting attractions. The forest walks are excellent and last from one to eight hours and a one to three days overnight hike, according to officials.
Notwithstanding the various attractions in the park, the Canopy Walkway remains one of the best places to experience as it offers a magnificent view of the canopy and it gives a great site for bird-watching. The walkway is constructed on the Igishigishigi trail and is reached after about a one hour stride from the Uwinka visitor centre. The Canopy walk is suspended at a height of about 60m above the ground and goes over giant trees. The director of Tourism in Nyungwe Park, says the 150 meters walkway is the first in East Africa and the third in Africa. "While on the walkway, tourists have a good view of the park." The silver Canopy Walkway is narrow and shaky as a result of its altitude and as tourists move on it, one hears things cracking. Its shaky nature makes many tourists fear for their safety, though officials here affirm it is very safe. The canopy can carry a total of four tonnes at a time, according to Rugerinyange. "It is safe, no one can fall," assures Juarez, a Brazilian who is part of the team who set up the pathway. While the beauty of Nyungwe National Park remains unknown to many, efforts are being made to attract many tourists.
For Dr James Seyler, the Chief of Party of Nyungwe Nziza Project, which seeks to strengthen ecotourism in Nyungwe Park, there is a reason to visit the Park. "The place (Nyungwe) is beautiful and there are a lot of things to see and a lot of things to do," he says. What you need is just to be in Nyungwe and witness the beauty of Rwanda.

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