At the end of our long Nyungwe hike, our legs were begging for mercy. By breakfast the next morning, I wasn’t sure if I could conquer the staircase. With that in mind, for our second day in Nyungwe forest, we chose to hike the path described by our guide as “very popular for the old people.”
The Igishigishigi (say that ten times) trail includes the recently constructed canopy walkway, which gives you an aerial view of the canopy and valleys below. The foot-wide metal planks are secured together in segments to create a series of narrow suspension bridges anchored by the ground and two towers.
For this hike we joined a group of five others and a guide. From the tallest of the towers, we had a fantastic perspective of the vastness of the forest. We took our time on the walkway, keeping our eyes open for birds and monkeys (not open enough, I guess, as we didn’t see any), and taking advantage of the photo opportunities. The only person in any kind of hurry was the one woman who realized in the moment that she had a fear of heights.
Once off the Canopy Walk, we hiked a little longer through the unbelievably green vegetation before making it back to our starting point at the visitor center.
The hike ended, we avoided any additional monkey-thievery (although we did see some monkeys in the trees on our way out), and we hopped in the car for the ride back to Kigali. Again, we stopped mid-way in Butare, this time just to have a taste of what is purportedly the only ice cream shop in Rwanda, Nzozi Nziza. This is a frequently mentioned landmark among fellow ex-pats, so much so that locals must think we cannot survive without an occasional ice cream refueling. I have no evidence to argue otherwise.
I returned to work for a couple days, leaving Joe to fend for himself in Kigali until our next weekend adventure – gorillas!