Africa is a vast continent with many astonishing landscapes to explore; however, if you truly want a trip to remember, it is time to go off-road. The secluded paradise of Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park is a six-hour journey from the capital, Kigali.
A park to remember
Here you will find a majestic landscape full of verdant forest and sloping hills. Nyungwe was declared a national park in 2005 by the government of Rwanda and within this vast landscape live numerous primate species, such as chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys and colobus monkeys. Nyungwe is the only forest in Rwanda where you are able to get close to these rare creatures on a gorilla trekking holiday through the forest pathways. These trips begin early in the morning to ensure the best chance of finding chimpanzees, which are man’s closest relative. You will be able to observe their families and see how they eat, communicate and socialise. This is a unique opportunity to see the origin of humanity.
Nyungwe Forest is home to hundreds of local tribespeople, whose knowledge of indigenous herbs and honey is legendary. As you travel through the forest, you will have the opportunity to interact with local medicine men who collect herbs from the ancient forest to cure ailments ranging from coughs to stomach ache. As reported by the Guardian, local cooperatives have been revitalised by eco-tourism. Honey cooperatives are active throughout the forest, producing one of this area’s most famous products − delicious and fresh honey, completely organic and pesticide free. You will be able to sample this delicacy and take some with you.
A canopy with a view
A visit to Nyungwe Forest is never complete without making use of the rainforest canopy, which is the only of its kind in the entire country. Standing high above the trees in safety, you can watch rare breeds of bird hunt and interact. Guided trips across the canopy are available from companies such as steppestravel.co.uk, during which your guide will identify rare tree species. Some of these are the oldest in east Africa.
A visit to Nyungwe National Park is an ideal way to explore a majestic African landscape in all its splendour, with your trip creating memories that will last for years to come.