Hiking Ngabwe Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Hiking Ngabwe Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park: Ngabwe is the eastern boundary of Nyungwe National Park. The mountain is a popular hiking and picnic spot for inhabitants and visitors in the Huye district. This is a perfect site for people new to Nyungwe to test their lung capacity before carelessly down those fantastic ravine or mountain paths further in the park.

Hiking Ngabwe Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

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.

You may still climb Ngabwe trail on your way out of the park at the end of your tour to Nyungwe forest and be in Kigali well before dinner. Hikers with previous experience in Nyungwe will enjoy the two unique benefits this path provides: the return journey is primarily downhill rather than upwards, and the traction is superb owing to the sandier soil.

Other benefits include a remarkable diversity of plant groups (considering the small distances walked) and a wonderfully located camping and picnic area with a bathroom at the peak. There are two main paths going to the peak, and hikers are advised to utilize one to ascend and the other to return for a diversity of sight. By going counter-clockwise, you will reach the sharpest stretch of the fall.

The route begins 200 meters down a short side road around 3 kilometers from the park’s entrance on the Kitabi side. On the right, you’ll notice a water tank that feeds water to the Kitabi tea industry; the side road continues short to the left; and the route climbs a ridge between them.

The forest is heterogeneous, containing mature and secondary forest species. There are also strangler figs, including one with a particularly well-developed host or ‘mother tree’, a waterberry tree. While there are some lovely, gnarled ancient trees here, there aren’t many with the same tall, straight trunks as those at Uwinka.

In general, the eastern half of the park is less ecologically diverse than the western side, yet both are stunning in their own way. The route winds through many shrub zones on thin soil and exposed bedrock.

The top is visible on an open shoulder to one side of the ridge. The deeper green forest flora abruptly ends here, and the heath community begins – the heath community is lighter green, finer textured, and shorter. If you like flowers, don’t forget to look up in the trees – the shorter trees make it easier to observe “air plants,” birds, and primates.

Mountain, blue, and Angolan black and white colobus monkeys are among the species tracked, with the latter being habituated by a team. Mangabeys and chimps may also be seen. Higher up, black-fronted duikers, a tiny animal related to antelope, browse on the grasslands.

There are two benches facing opposite directions and a tent at the peak. The first seat, to the left, offers a panoramic view of the park, through the buffer zone of eucalyptus, pine, and tea, to settlements and their patchwork agriculture plots. One minute farther down the walk, the second seat views down over rainforest on the slope to an area of regenerated woodland that resembles savanna.

It is recuperating after the 1997 dry season’s large fire, which may have been started by honey collectors. Burundi is obscured by a big distant hill. Red-rumped swallows, which are commonly linked with rocky outcrops, swoop by between the visitor and the surroundings.

There are some tiny holes in the woods along the eastern path back that provide vistas to the south and east. Halfway down the mountain, you’ll come to a trail intersection where you may either continue on an 8-hour trek to the Kitabi tea estate or begin on same path but split off to reach park headquarters instead.

There is also a route to the left at the intersection that leads up the mountain to Butare, the peak of Mount Ngabwe, and back down through colobus territory, finishing in Uwasenkoko. Before reaching the trail’s finish, eucalyptus seedlings with medicinally scented leaves start to grow, mixed in with weeds and regenerated indigenous plants.

The route soon crosses a creek and climbs the other side of a small, open valley. There is a growing quantity of invasive eucalyptus seedlings, as well as pioneer umbrella tree saplings.

A sand quarry will soon be visible ahead. It is on the opposite side of the road from the trail’s terminus and 1.2 kilometers closer to the main gate than where the trek began. The quarry is an ideal location to meet a pick-up vehicle.

Best Time to hike Umuyove Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Trekking the Umuyove Trail in Nyungwe national park is possible all year; however, the months of January, February, June, July, August, September, and December are preferred since the trekking paths are less muddy and treacherous. Rains cause hikes to be delayed and roads to become muddy and rough, lessening the experience; nonetheless, this time of year is ideal for birding in the Nyungwe forest.

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

Congo Nile Divide Trail.

The Congo Nile Divide Trail runs for 227 kilometers through Lake Kivu. The Congo Nile path begins on the northern shore of Lake Kivu in Gisenyi and runs all the way down to the Rusizi area, which is located between the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Kahuzi Biega national park and Rwanda’s Nyungwe forest national park.

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.

What to pack/carry on a hike along the Buhoro 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 Buhoro 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 Buhoro 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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