Trails in Nyungwe Forest (Between Kitabi & Uwinka Reception Center)
Trails in Nyungwe Forest are used by travelers to get to different destinations with different activities, for example, some trails lead to the Canoy walk, some to Isumo Water Falls and many others.
These trails are situated between Kitabi Eco-Center and Uwinka reception center:
Ngabwe trail: Ngabwe trail is one of the most fascinating trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park while on a hiking/ nature walk expedition leading to mountain Ngabwe a fascinating picnic and camping site. This trail is 4.7 kilometers of distance taking approximately 3 hours of walk, according to ratings from tourists it is a moderate trail to climb along offering the best views of the park and as you walk through this trail you spot many bird species meaning it is good for birding. Ngabwe trail takes you through a variety of vegetation zones where you get to spot forest creatures that is L’Hoests, Silver and Colobus Monkeys, Mangabey Monkeys and Chimpanzees. This trail is a short trail of 3 hours but can be extended to 8 hours to include Kitabi tea plantations.
Bigugu trail: Bigugu trail is one of the most difficult trails to hike in Nyungwe forest national park lieing at the altitude of 2367 meters above the sea level, bigugu trail is a distance of 13.2 kilometers taking approximately 6 hours to trek. This trail was named after mount bigugu which is the highest mountain in Nyungwe forest national park standing at the altitude of 2950 meters above the sea level, this trail offers excellent bird watching experience as you spot birds like red collared mountain babbler, Chestnut Owlet, Olive and Elliot’s Woodpeckers, Great Blue and Ruwenzori Turacos, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Stripe-breasted Tit, the remarkable Red-collared Babbler, Archer’s Robin-Chat, White-bellied Robin-Chat and many more. Bigugu trail also offers remarkable views of the Democratic republic of Congo, Lake Kivu, and numerous islands.
Igishigishigi trail: Igishigishigi trail is currently the most popular hiking trail in nyungwe forest national park, this trail is an easy trail to use while on hiking and nature walks. It is of a distance 2.1 kilometers lieing at a low elevation of 2295 meters and a high elevation of 2450 meters above the sea level, depending on one’s physical and energetic level it takes between 2 to 3 hours to complete the trail. Igishigishigi trail is named after the giant tree ferns which are dotted along the trail and while on this trail you get to spot monkeys, birds, treetops and beautiful wildflowers.
Kamiranzovu Marsh Trail: Kamiranzovu Trail is a moderate trail to hike and climb on leading waterfalls, wetlands and swamps, this trail is 6 kilometers long and takes a hiker approximately 3 hours to complete. Kamiranzovu mash trail is an exciting trail to trek on as you encounter countless orchids most especially in wet rainy seasons which take place in month periods of October to November and April to May. Also on this trail, many birds are encountered such as the Grauer’s warbler.
Karamba trail: Karamba trail is the best birding trail in Nyungwe forest national park and easy to climb, this trail is of 4 kilometers taking about 3 hours to complete while trekking. This trail lies at an elevation range of 1935 meters at a lower point and 2030 meters at the highest point, the trail is characterized by open-air which makes it easy for sporting various bird species. Karamba trail is situated in an area which were gold mining was done and later become a quarry for road building materials and an army camp, this trail is ranked to be one of the less muddy trails in the park and while on it you get to spot colorful orchids, giant trees, and the exciting and rare Dent’s monkey.
Umugote trail: Umugote trail is a 3.6-kilometer trail named after a Syzygium tree which is present on this trail, this trail’s mode of difficulty when climbing is moderate taking approximately 3 hours to complete. Umugote trail is a great primate and bird viewing trail which takes you through the upside of a mountain where you get magnificent views of the pristine part of the forest and as you pass through the valley you spot forest creatures. On a very clear you can see Burundi Mountains from Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Umuyove trail: Umuyove trail is a famous hiking trail in nyungwe forest national park best for bird and primate watching, this trail is a distance of 5.5 kilometers taking 3-4 hours to complete depending on your physical fitness and speed. Umuyove trail names from a Kinyarwanda local word meaning mahogany after many mahogany trees which are encounter along this trail, hiking on this trail leads you to waterfall amidst tallest trees in the forest.
Congo-Nile divide trail: Congo-Nile divide trail is the longest trail in Nyungwe forest national park of 42 kilometers running along the ridges of the forest that separates the river basins which flow into the Nile on the side of the ridge into the Congo River basin. Hiking on this trail is not an easy task as it takes 3-4 days to complete which consists of camping in the forests.
Uwinka trail: Uwinka trail is a 17.8 kilometers trail which takes 8 hours to complete, according to tourists this trail is difficult to trek starting from the Irebero trailhead to Kamiranzovu marsh trailhead.
Irebero trail: Irebero trail is a fantastic trail to the trek of 3.4 kilometers taking 3 hours to be completed, this trail’s difficulty level of walking is moderate and while trekking on it offers you magnificent of Rwanda’s borders, Lake kivu and the highest peaks of nyungwe forest national park.
Isumo waterfall trail: Isumo waterfall trail is a 10.6 kilometer trail taking 4 hours to trek, this trail lies at the altitude of 1770 meters at the lowest point and 1940 meters at the highest point. Isumo waterfalls trail was named from Isumo waterfall which is the biggest tropical waterfall with the park and hiking on it will lead you to this magnificent waterfall. On your way to the waterfall, you will encounter ferns along the trail and also encounter a variety of bird species such as Ruwenzori turaco bird and monkeys I the patches of the forest along the way.
Imbaraga trail: Imbaraga trail is a difficult trail to trek as it is of a distance of 10 kilometers and takes 6 hours to be completed, this trail is named from a local Kinyarwanda word meaning strength and this is evidenced in the difficulty to trek it. Imbaraga trail begins from Uwinka reception centre and while on it you get to encounter 4 different waters and you also spot chimpanzees.
Muzimu Trail: Muzimu trail is a 5.2-kilometer trail taking approximately 3.5 hours to complete, the level of difficulty in hiking this trail is moderate. Hiking on this trail takes you through a beautiful vegetation cover that is filled with eucalyptus, pine forests, open heaths like shrubs and wildflowers. Also on this, you encounter many bird species and also get perfect views of Lake Kivu and Virunga volcanoes on a clear day.
Rukuzi Trail: Rukuzi trail is a 9 kilometers trail taking 5 hours to be completed, this trail is a fairly difficult trail to climb but very rewarding as you get to spot a large population of chimpanzees and scenic view of the park’s forests.