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Isumo Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park

The Isumo route in Nyungwe Forest National Park culminates with the stunning Isumo waterfalls, a gigantic 25-meter-high cascade. To spice up the experience of trekking along the waterfall route, you may snap photographs and explore numerous tourist attractions such as primates such as colobus monkeys, black and white and blue monkeys, birds, and caverns in the overhanging cliffs.

Isumo Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the most hiked trails in Nyungwe Forest. This route gets its name from the Kinyarwanda term ‘Isumo,’ which means ‘waterfall.’ It is the largest waterfall in the Nyungwe forest, crashing down to create spectacular plumes of mist above the Rocky River and surrounded by ferns. The hike to Isumo waterfalls begins early in the morning among open-air tea fields, with butterflies observing sun-loving wildflowers and affording views of Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A day trip to the beautiful Isumo waterfall on the Isumo route in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The journey to the Isumo waterfall path costs $15 per person and is one of the best things to do in Nyungwe aside from chimp trekking and canopy walks. Hike to the Isumo waterfalls, which start from the Gisakura side of the park and take three to five hours to accomplish depending on your fitness level. The path goes up and down steep hillsides through the primeval-looking jungle, with trees entangled with vines and mosses and the air thick and moist.

After 2.3 kilometers, the route falls into one of Nyungwe’s most densely wooded and steepest rainforest ravines. Cold, wet air rises from below, mingling with the sounds of birds, tree frogs, and insects. In the high humidity, ferns, mosses, lichens, and flowers are numerous. Surprisingly, three consecutive seats are entirely encircled by a beautiful display of wildflowers, each from a separate species. The first bench is surrounded by deep pink jewelweed and offers a great view of the ravine, the second by sweetly fragrant white begonias, and the third by white flowers with heart-shaped leaves.

The Isumo route in Nyungwe Forest National Park culminates with the stunning Isumo waterfalls, a gigantic 25-meter-high cascade. To spice up the experience of trekking along the waterfall route, you may snap photographs and explore numerous tourist attractions such as primates such as colobus monkeys, black and white and blue monkeys, birds, and caverns in the overhanging cliffs.

How long does it take to Hike the Isumo Trail in Nyungwe Forest?

The Isumo trail in Nyungwe forest is somewhat of a challenging hike, taking about 4 hours to complete and hence calling for hikers to be physically fit to an extent.

What time do hikes start on Isumo Trail in Nyungwe Forest?

Hiking tours along the Isumo trail in Nyungwe Forest national park commence at 9 am every morning and 1 pm every evening. The trail crosses large tea plantations giving hikers a chance to embark on a tea tour if they wish.

Other Waterfall trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Other than the Isumo trail that leads you to Isumo waterfalls, Nyungwe Forest national park is blessed with a number of others including;

Isumo Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Rukuzi Trail

This exhilarating hike along the Rukuzi trail is characterized by continuous open vistas on one side of the trail, and the opportunity to spot chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Lake Kivu ad the islands of the  Democratic Republic of Congo are visible early on, and as you descend the peak, listen out for the sounds of children playing as their voices carry up the mountainside from the neighboring Banda village.

Uwinka Trail

The Uwinka trail can be considered a challenging hike, but it is also considered one of the most beautiful. Views over Kamiranzovu Marsh are spectacular, and along the trail, you will encounter towering trees, glossy yellow flowered begonia, and a small remote waterfall. Mangabeys, blue monkeys and colobus can often be seen here, along with the red flashes of passing Turaco birds which you can also hear singing in the morning.

Kamiranzovu Trail

The Kamiranzovu trail leads you to the largest wetland in Nyungwe forest national park which is Kamiranzovu Swamp. This swamp is an impressive geological formation with a circular rim of lush, forest-covered mountains, resembling a giant caldera. Along the trail, you will discover waterfalls, colorful begonia and species that thrive in the humid swamp, from ferns and lichens to Grauer’s Swamp Warblers and frogs.

Imbaraga Trail

Geared towards more experienced hikers, the Imbaraga trail in Nyungwe forest is a challenging trail that rewards hikers with the sight of not one, but four scenic waterfalls and spectacular views across the Bururi valley. Covering approximately 9.8 kilometers of ascent and descent, hikers can listen to a variety of bird calls, along with tree frogs, crickets, cicadas, and sometimes monkeys. A fully equipped backpack will be provided, including binoculars to help you master the trail itself.

Isumo Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Rukuzi Trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Bigugu Trail

Surrounding the highest peak in the park, the Mount Bigugu trail is known for its incredible array of colorful flora and the stunning views of Lake Kivu as well as the hills of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Covering approximately 6.6 kilometers of ascent and descent, birders will be treated with chance to see the Red-Collared Mountain Babbler among other attractive species.

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