A Guide to Hiking Imbaraga Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park

A Guide to Hiking Imbaraga Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park: Imbaraga trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the park’s most thrilling yet challenging hiking trails. This road was one of the first to be established in the Nyungwe forest, covering 10 kilometers round trip and taking up to 6 hours to complete.

Imbaraga literally translates to ‘strength’ in the local Kinyarwanda dialect, and the trail has often been described as difficult, with its highest point being about 2,470 meters above sea level, but hiking through it is worthwhile because it transverses four magnificent waterfalls, verdant valleys, rivers, and offers views of several outstanding tree species as well as chimps (if you’re lucky) that are not found on other trails.

The Imbaraga Trail in the Nyungwe forest national park is an amazing experience that requires hikers to be physically fit and experienced. It goes through a variety of environments, including the concealed thickets on top of the Uwinka hill and the verdant riverine woodlands 500 meters below. The breathtaking Bururi Valley, massive trees, and, as previously said, the four beautiful waterfalls are remarkable elements to look out for while hiking the Imbaraga Trail in Nyungwe forest.

When you get to the Uwinka viewpoint, keep going until you get to the Buhoro-Imbaraga crossroads, then turn right to go to the famous Igishigishigi trail. If you continue on the Igishigishigi path that branches off from the main trail, you may enjoy the canopy walk experience, but you can escape it by walking to the next crossroads before turning left.

The pathway is separated into four benches, the fourth of which is the first waterfall’s base. Around 3 kilometers down the route, you’ll bridge a river below the second waterfall (which is several meters taller than the first) and continue down on a gradual slope that dips rapidly to the right, where underbrush will be prominent. Continue on until you reach the third and most spectacular waterfall.

Take photos, then cross the Bururi River and climb the wall of a steep and deep ravine to the top of Uwinka Ridge to see the fourth stunning waterfall. There are six benches on the ascent that you must utilize.

Other Hiking and Nature Trails to explore in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Bigugu Trail

The Mount Bigugu nature trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park offers guests an exciting stroll through the forest’s vegetation as well. The trek to the peak of Mount Bigugu takes 6 hours and covers 6.6 kilometers. During the dry season, three flame flowers may be found to light your way up: huge, conical orange owers of the orchid, Disa Robusta, red-orange owers of Red-hot Poker, and scarlet owers of the rare Nyungwe jewelweed bird. Nyabishwati is the beginning point for treks on this trail.

Kamiranzovu Swamp Trail.

The Kamiranzovu wetland route in Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest has the park’s largest wetland, Kamiranzovu Swamp. Hikers on this trail may come across several stunning waterfalls along the route. It is around 5.9 kilometers long and takes about 3½ hours to travel. Hiking expeditions along this path begin at 9 a.m. every day. The path is named after the Kamiranzovu wetland, the final resting place of the woodland elephant.

Ngabwe Trail

The Ngabwe trail in the Nyungwe forest national park is ideal for individuals who want to camp in the middle of nature. There are also beautiful picnic places with views of the forest canopy on this hiking trail. This walk is roughly 4.6 kilometers long and takes 3-4 hours to complete. This trail is perfect for birdwatching, and tourists begin their adventure every morning at 9 a.m. from the Kitabi reception area.

Umuyove Trail

Visitors to this nature trail, also known as the Mahogany route, may relax by a waterfall, walk beneath some of the park’s tallest trees, and smell the aromatic leaves. The 5.5-kilometer-long Umuyove Trail provides access to different side pathways used for chimpanzee watching. This trail’s hiking journey takes around 3½ hours to complete.

Congo Nile Trail

The Congo-Nile Hiking Trail, which runs alongside Lake Kivu and passes through rainforests, bracken fields, and bamboo woods, is popular with both bikers and walkers.

The trekking path takes 10 days to complete on foot, with several brief boat journeys in between. It is feasible to trek in segments. The route, which mostly follows local people’s footpaths, is a fantastic opportunity to take up daily life in traditional communities while staying close to nature and seeing Rwanda up close.

The Congo-Nile hiking trail offers some of the best hiking in east and central Africa, with interesting community-based tourism activities, coffee-washing stations, tea plantations, big towns, dozens of villages, and innumerable beaches, coves, waterfalls, valleys, and vistas.

This hiker’s fantasy winds its way along the lake’s rim via the summits of Rwanda’s lush highlands, and it’s as difficult as it is wonderful. It’s also a rigorous exercise, with a peak elevation of 2,630m. For those seeking a little more comfort, there are campgrounds along the road and guesthouses in the towns. There are little stores along the route that sell refreshments. Active travelers may explore the coastline waters on kayaking trips and boat rides, as well as see Lake Kivu’s many islands. The route is accessible from both north and south. Hikers are usually recommended to arrange their accommodations ahead of time.

Isumo Trail.

The Isumo trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 10.6-kilometer track that leads hikers past beautiful tea farms, steep rainforest ravines, and the park’s largest waterfall. A four-hour trip along this path begins at the Gisakura office and ends at the Gisakura office.

Muzimu Trail

Hiking trips along the Muzimu Trail in Nyungwe Forest are reasonably moderate climbs in Rwanda’s remote northeastern region, taking hikers through pine and eucalyptus trees for 5.2 kilometers. On a clear day, one may see the Lake Kivu and Virunga Volcanoes from this walk, as well as various bird species. This trek begins at the Gisovu Ranger Station and takes 3½ hours to complete.

Irebero Trail.

The Irebero nature trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 3.4-kilometer loop that circles two of the park’s highest peaks and offers views of Lake Kivu in Rwanda. Hiking trips on this path last roughly 3 hours.

A Guide to Hiking Imbaraga Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Irebero Trail

What to pack/carry on a hike along the Imbaraga Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park?

It is necessary to bring a raincoat or jacket for a guided expedition into the Nyungwe forest along the Imbaraga trail, as it may rain at any time. Binoculars, a decent pair of hiking boots, long-sleeved clothes, a helmet, sunscreen lotion and insect repellent cream, garden gloves, bottled water, energy drinks, and snacks, and a walking stick are also recommended.

While planning a guided walk to the Imbaraga trail or a chimpanzee trekking safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park, including Volcanoes National Park in your itinerary for one of the most unforgettable experiences, including mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, visiting the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, and visiting Dian Fossey’s gravesite.

Accommodation in and around Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Visitors to Nyungwe Forest National Park can stay at any of the following lodges: Gisakura Visitor Centre, Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel, Gisakura Guesthouse, and One and Only Nyungwe House.

How to get to Nyungwe Forest National Park?

Drive south from Kigali to Nyungwe National Park through Lake Kivu. The drive from Kigali to Nyungwe National Park is roughly 225 km long and will take around 6 hours.

For those who wish to bypass the long traveling hours, flying to Nyungwe Forest National Park is a possibility. RwandAir connects Kigali International Airport with Kamembe International Airport. You will travel 32 kilometers to the park after arriving in Kamembe

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