View on canopy walkway Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda

Look for birds, chimps and more on a thrilling canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest

Nov 15, 2023
Reading time: 3 minutes

Those who walk the narrow walkway above the canopy of Nyungwe Forest in southwest Rwanda are in for a thrilling wildlife experience! From this vantage point you can look for various primates and countless birds while also enjoying truly spectacular views.

How high and long is the canopy walkway?

The canopy walkway in Nyungwe Forest National Park is a narrow suspension bridge that climbs around 50 m (164 ft) above the forest floor at its highest point. And it's roughly 160 m (525 ft) long.

Ours. Treetop canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda (1)

A distant view of the walkway emerging between the treetops

Small boy walking along Nyungwe Forest National Park canopy walkway

The walkway is very secure

What primates live in Nyungwe Forest?

Nyungwe Forest has a stellar cast of primates, clocking in at 13 species!

Ours. A L'Hoest's Monkey (Cercopithecus lhoesti) appears from the hillside. Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda safari and wildlife

A L'Hoest's monkey on a hillside in Nyungwe Forest NP

Chimpanzee Resting on Tree

Chimps are one of the star attractions at Nyungwe Forest

When walking the forest floor or along the canopy walkway, be sure to keep your eyes open for the following stunners, among others:

  • Chimpanzees
  • Angola colobuses
  • Black-and-white colobuses
  • L'Hoest's monkeys
  • Olive baboons
  • Golden monkeys
  • Grey-cheeked mangabeys
Close up of an Angola monkey, seated and facing camera

There's no mistaking an Angola monkey!

Nyungwe Forest is one of the best places in East Africa for spotting a variety of distinctive and fascinating Old World primates.

Colobus monkeys in tree in Rwanda

Visitors to Nyungwe Forest often see black-and-white colobus monkeys

What birds can I find in Nyungwe Forest?

Nyungwe Forest was made for birdwatching!

Birders from around the world flock to Nyungwe Forest (pun intended) to look for the over 300 species that have been recorded here.

Archer's ground robin (Dessonornis archeri) or Archer's robin-chat, Nyungwe Forest, Rwanda

An archer's ground robin spotted in Nyungwe Forest

The park's diverse birds include many forest-dwelling birds, waterbirds and migratory species. Of especial note are the following birds which are endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley:

  • Grauer's rush warblers
  • Albertine owlets
  • Rwenzori turacos
  • Handsome francolins
Black-and-white casques hornbill bird

A black-and-white casques hornbill

Other exciting and notable birds to look for during your canopy walk or when on the ground are:

  • Grauer's broadbills
  • Kungwe apalises
  • Shoebills
  • Ruwenzori batises
  • White-headed wood hoopoes
  • Yellow-eyed black flycatchers
  • Purple-breasted sunbirds
  • Dusky twinspots
  • Crowned eagles

Here's a small gallery of some other bird beauties that have been captured on film in Nyungwe Forest National Park ...

Lanner falcon (Falco biarmicus) in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

A lanner falcon

An Ayres's hawk-eagle in flight as seen from below in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

An Ayre's eagle

Regal sunbird perched on a thin branch in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

A regal sunbird

White-eyed slaty flycatcher perched on a thin branch in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

A white-eyed slaty flycatcher

White-headed Wood Hoopoe Phoeniculus bollei perched in a tree in Bwindi

A white-headed wood hoopoe

Pied crows on road in Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda

Pied crows (always an easy spot within Nyungwe Forest NP

What other wildlife lives in the forest?

Nyungwe Forest isn't just biologically rich in terms of primates and birds โ€“ it's also home to many other exciting wildlife species, both large and small, predator and prey.

Mother and calf African forest elephants

African forest elephants

Some of the mammals to look for when visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park, whether on the canopy walkway or on a hike or safari drive, are:

  • Forest elephants
  • African buffaloes
  • Leopards
  • African golden cats
  • Servals
  • Bush pigs
  • African civets and palm civets
  • Side-striped jackals
  • Duikers
  • Forest hogs
Red forest duiker standing in open field in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

A red forest duiker spotted in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Where in Rwanda is Nyungwe Forest?

Nyungwe Forest National Park sits in the southwestern portion of Rwanda, about a five-hour drive from the international airport in the capital of Kigali.

The park is near the border with Burundi to the south and Lake Kivu to the west. It covers a significant portion of the Nyungwe Rainforest, thereby helping to protect the latter's rich biodiversity.

Dusky crimsonwing perched on a thin, bare branch in forest canopy of Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

A dusky crimsonwing spotted in the park

What's the scenery like?

In a word: sublime.

View from canopy walkway of rainforest of Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

A view of Nyungwe Forest's thick and beautiful canopy

Nyungwe Forest National Park consists of gorgeous tropical rainforest (as well as grasslands and swamps) that's sometimes bathed in sunshine, at other times covered in mist or rain.

Misty morning view over canopy walkway of Nyungwe Forest, Rwanda

A misty morning view of the canopy

The canopy walkway is naturally one of the very best ways to appreciate the beauty of the park's rainforest, as it lets you climb above the treetops for incredible, panoramic views. So let us know if you'd like any help arranging to visit this utterly beautiful corner of Rwanda!