Chimpanzee Tracking in Nyungwe Forest of Rwanda

Nyungwe National Park is largest in Rwanda with a variety of primates.  One of the oldest rain forests in Africa, Nyungwe is rich in biodiversity and spectacularly beautiful. The mountainous region is teaming with wildlife, including a small population of chimpanzees as well as 12 other species of primate, including the L’Hoest’s monkey endemic to the Albertine Rift.

Nyungwe National Park is known for protecting a variety of primates but Chimpanzees and Colobus monkeys are the only primates which are trekked officially. Nyungwe National Park is situated in South Western Rwanda (4-5hrs drive).  NYungwe National Park is known for protecting 12 primates include Blue Monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Owl- faced Monkeys, olden Monkeys, red- tailed Monkeys, Crowned Monkeys, Dent’s Mona Monkeys, Velvet Monkeys, Olive Baboon and Grey- cheeked Mangabeys and so on.

Chimpanzee trekking is the major tourist activities in Nyungwe National Park and a large number of people attend the activity everyday: The activity begins early morning with briefing and since chimpanzees in Nyungwe are semi habituated, trekkers wakeup early and starts walking in the forest to look for them.

Before going for chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe, the trekkers are equipped with the following rules and regulations governing the activity:

  1. Avoid flashing cameras during chimpanzee trekking. Flashing cameras scares chimpanzees and you can fail to enjoy it.
  2. A maximum of eight people is allowed to visit each habituated chimpanzee troop.
  3. Only an hour is given for trekkers to stay with chimpanzees.
  4. Always follow rules and regulations as guided by rangers
  5. Do not litter in the park
  6. Avoid looking direct in the eyes of the chimpanzees.
  7. Turn away from chimpanzees when sneezing or coughing
  8. Always keep a distance of 7 metres away from chimpanzees

The guests will then start the search for the chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park and along the way, expect to see other primates, birds, tree species, Rivers and so on.  Meet chimps, stay with them for a maximum of eight people and thereafter, return to the park headquarters to end the trek.

Reasons why you should Trek chimpanzees in Rwanda

Cheap chimpanzee permit- compared to Uganda, Rwanda offers relatively cheaper chimpanzee trekking at US$150 compared to Kibale National Park permit at US$200. Therefore you can consider going on a safari in Rwanda and get to see chimpanzees in the wild.

Other primates – Nyungwe National Park is the only home for chimpanzees in Rwanda. While trekking chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest, guests are thrilled with the view of other primates like Vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, Colobus monkeys and mona monkeys among others.

The Unique Canopy walk way – trekking chimpanzees in Rwanda’s Nyungwe National park highlights your chances of enjoying canopy walk. Canopy walk way enables guest do birding near the canopies (birding up close).

Convenience of Nyungwe National Park – the roads are clear and its 5 hours drive from Kigali Airport to the park. On the way, expect to have en route stopovers to see a variety of attractions like Nyanza King’s palace, Butare Museum, Murambi Genocide Memorial museum, Lake Kivu among others.

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