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NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

In the southwest corner of Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is a vast untouched tropical rain forest with a high, dense canopy. Nyungwe became a National Park in 2004 as Rwanda sought to increase its tourism beyond the country’s mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, and is certainly worthy of its status because of its spectacular biodiversity.

The heart of Nyungwe Forest is like a scene from a fairy tale. Tall oldmahoganies, ebonies and giant tree ferns tower above you, whilst orchids andother epiphytes cling to every branch. Brightly coloredbirds flit around, butterflies are everywhere, and walking quietly you may evenencounter larger forest residents, including a variety of primates for whichNyungwe National Park is renowned.

To get a real sense of the scale of Nyungwe, try East Africa’s highest canopy walk with a metal bridge suspended 50 meters above the forest. It’s not for the vertiginous but the views of Nyungwe sprawled out below are unforgettable.