A couple of weeks ago, I had an opportunity to visit canopy walk, also known as ‘treetop walk’ or ‘sky walk’, in Nyungwe National Park, one of the national parks in Rwanda. It was one of my most fantastic adventures in wildlife-related areas.
Naturally, I’m motivated to go sightseeing, especially in wildlife-related areas, because it is one of my hobbies. Rwandan national parks, without doubt, have recently made the country one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
In particular, once a visitor enjoys canopy walk it certainly becomes a nostalgic memory. Likewise, it has become one to me. It is not only a place for adventure and insight into Rwanda’s unique beauty but also for relaxation, refreshment, and enjoyment of clean air—free from polluted atmosphere and traffic congestion.
The skywalk is a lovely view. For those who are yet to visit it, you cannot understand what you’re missing. I think this is one of the loveliestman-made touristy features anyone can admire.
Canopy walk provides tourists access to the forest canopy. A visitor can be able to view trees in the canopy of a forest; mostly linked up with platforms inside or around the trees.
Apart from being an adventurous trip, when visitors visit the place it equally fits in the sense of ecotourism, contributing to conservation of the environment of natural areas as well as contributing to the well-being of the local people.
Additionally, the visits enable visitors to educate others who might have a similar interest, or who unknowledgeable, of exciting touristy souvenirs in the park, for example canopy walk. Consequently, such visits generate revenues used for ecological conservation, economic development and political empowerment of local communities, or to foster respect for different cultures and for human rights.
A canopy walk attracts people to travel from around the world to immerse themselves in the green world high above the ground. Canopy walks give people the opportunity to view trees and forests from a different perspective, helping them to connect with and learn about the role of forests in maintaining air quality, regulating precipitation and mitigating climate change.
They have thus proved to be a useful tool in teaching the importance of environmental conservation.
Besides the Canopy Walk, the park offers a range of trails in to different parts of the forests for avid hikers and occasional walkers.
All the guided walks depart from the central Uwinka reception centre, the western Gisakura entrance and the eastern Kitabi entrance.
Furthermore, ecotourism focuses on socially responsible travel, personal growth, and environmental sustainability. More arguably, it involves traveling to destinations where flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. In this view, ecotourism offers tourists an insight into the impact of human beings on the environment, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of our natural habitats.
Nyungwe forest is a place of various tall and small tree species—thick and evergreen forest, of course, worthviewing. The road to Nyungwe national park has lots of twists and turns that makes it an incredible expedition. Indeed, the place has beautiful scenery and impressive landscape en route to the main attraction.
Today, in Africa, canopy walks are found in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and Kakum National Park, Ghana.
Interestingly, Nyungwe National Park lies in southwest Rwanda, partly abutting the Burundi border. It’s a vast area of mountain rainforest, home to many species of chimpanzees, plus owl-faced and colobus monkeys. The Canopy walkway, part of the Igishigishigi Trail, is a high suspension bridge with views over the valley and surrounding forests. A trail runs to the Kamiranzovu Marsh, with its birdlife, orchids and waterfall.
Aside from canopy walk being for adventure, on the whole, it promotes tourism sector, which is the biggest income-earner, as well as increased investment in tourism and community development.
The writer is an international law expert.