We had spent two days in Nyaruguru putting the final touches to an overdue project. When our mission was accomplished, someone in the team proposed a quick spin to Nyungwe National Park. We had no objection. Who would?
From our base in Kibeho Sector, we drove to Salus Polyclinic, in downtown Huye, for Covid tests. Then we proceeded to the forest through Nyamagabe. We were hoping to make it to Uwinka Visitor Center by 2:45 and indulge in the 3 p.m. canopy tour.
Kibeho is not far away from Nyungwe. Unfortunately, the scenic off-road trail connecting the two places is only useful when I am biking. Since we were driving a car not built for such a trail, we had to pursue the highway which is four times longer.
Slowed down by trucks, S-shaped stretches and the watchful eyes of a police camera namely Sofia, we arrived at 3:45 p.m. We missed the last tour of the day by a whole hour. Unfortunately, it was too late to partake our planned activity. Nevertheless, we found solace in coffee and birding.
If you haven’t been to Uwinka Overlook since the reopening of the park, expect to be awestruck by the newly unveiled wooden hangout joint during your next visit. The new forest-themed bar and restaurant will make you stay longer.
We sat on the wooden structure and drank home-grown coffee while listening to my favorite song. I am talking about soothing melodies from those birds I always write about. I felt bad about my friends who lost an opportunity to cross the canopy for the first time. However, our time in Africa’s best protected rainforest was quite memorable.
The author is an adventurer on a tour of all 30 districts of Rwanda. Follow hi awe-inspiring expeditions on Twitter @GeoExposure.