Friday, 24 January 2014

Trekking in the Nyungwe Forest

We did at least take a little exercise while in Nyungwe, when we joined a guided trek to visit a waterfall deep in the forest.

Our guide had come down to the lodge from the park headquarters, and you are expected to chip in for his taxi fare which seems fair enough, even though the lodge had already charged us $50 each for the trek.

Claud our guide was at best a little un-enthusiastic, and got us off to a pretty crappy start by beginning to explain about the forest while having us stand on a fire ants nest. Whether this was deliberate or not we don't know, but we all got a few sharp bites for our troubles.

Things improved as we got deeper into the forest, as we headed down into a deep gorge the plant and birdlife got better and better.  Vast trees and ferns dominate the landscape, and Claud told us that every time a scientific expedition goes into the forest they find at least one new species of tree.  Over 550 identified to far - mostly endemic to this part of the world.

We saw a few primates, and at one point a snake was spotted though neither Karen nor I managed to get a sighting of it.

It was pretty hot in the forest, especially out of the shade of the trees.  It would be a great place to explore on your own, but all walking has to be with a guide - probably a good idea as it would be pretty easy to get lost.  The walk is definitely for the able bodied - going down (and then back up)  the steep sides of a gorge.  The waterfall at the end is pretty nice and the spray helps to cool us down.

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