Uwinka Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park: The Uwinka Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda is one of the park’s most popular hiking paths. The Uwinka walk is approximately 17.8 km long, and hikers can begin at the Uwinka Visitor Centre or one of the nearby trailheads along Huye-Rusizi Road.
The majority of Nyungwe Forest trekking begins at Irebero Trailhead 2, which is 0.8 kilometers from Uwinka Reception and a substantially longer distance through the Imbaraga Trail branch. This substandard Uwinka route in Nyungwe forest is routinely avoided in favor of a half-dozen other trails closer to the Uwinka Visitor Centre.
The hike is long but not particularly tough. The trek provides some of the most stunning views in Nyungwe Forest, particularly from high vantage points overlooking Kamiranzovu Marsh. There are beautiful trees, broad walkways, and a little, delightful, quiet waterfall. Mangabeys and blue monkeys are common sightings, and a large group of colobus monkeys has been seen crossing the forest.
At one point, the Uwinka nature trail in Nyungwe forest affords a clear view over the park to Burundi. Hikers turn left onto the Imbaraga route after traversing the hill and reaching the intersection of the Umogote trail, returning to the Uwinka path after one kilometer. A bench with a view of the forest and a little section of the road where the hike began may be located here.
A bench with a view of Cyurugeyo Ridge is not far down the path. The name is derived from a sheep that was said to have stared there at one time. The ‘Inka’ in Uwinka alludes to the cattle that used to migrate here in search of salt. The path quickly links Uwinka Ridge with Cyurugeyo. Hikers will be on the Kamiranzovu side of the mountain for the first time.
Over the next km, the forest is left closed, with little vistas, but this is when you will truly feel like you are in the jungle. The path follows the boundaries of various smaller ridges, passing between little prominences on occasion but otherwise remaining in the forest. In the woods of Uwinka, there are some stunning examples of massive trees bending alarmingly over the hillsides. It’s astonishing that they have a root system capable of withstanding such weight tests.
As you proceed along the Uwinka road through Nyungwe forest, you will be struck by the majesty of the rainforest, with early sightings of Kamiranzovu Marsh to the left and tantalizing peeks of it here and there before the bigger panoramas arrive. The rest of the path is lovely all the way down to the road, and hikers should be proud of themselves for selecting the Uwinka trail as their first option.
On the right, not far past this last bench, a dead Carapa grandiflora tree looks to have been clawed or bitten at the root. Angolan black and white Colobus monkeys and blue monkeys utilize it as medicine. This tree may offer healing effects, according to a study. This trail displays the beauty of Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forests National Park, a virgin forest famous for chimpanzee treks.
Best Time to hike the Uwinka Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Hiking tours along the Uwinka route in the Nyungwe Forest National area can be taken at any time of year; however, the ideal time to visit the area is from late May to early September and from December to February.
Cost the Uwinka Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Hikes in Nyungwe Forest National Park cost $15 per person for half a day and $25 per person for full days. These hiking expenses include park guide fees but do not include the 100 USD per person per day park entry fees.
How long does it take to hike the Uwinka Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park?
Hiking along the Uwinka trail in Nyungwe Forest national park takes around 8 hours and covers a distance of 17.8 km.
What time do hikes begin to the Uwinka Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park?
Hikes along the Uwinka trail in Nyungwe forest national park begin at 9 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. daily.
Other Hiking and Nature Trails to explore in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Uwinka 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 Uwinka 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 Uwinka 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.