Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking

Trekking of chimpanzees in Nyungwe starts early in the morning

Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking

Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda is only done in Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati Makura national park. Nyungwe forest national park is the main place where chimpanzee trekking is done with the largest number of chimpanzees that’s over 400 individuals and other 12 primates which include the blue monkeys, olive baboons, Mona monkeys, l’hoest’s monkeys, silver monkeys, owl faced monkeys, black faced monkeys, dent’s monkeys, vervet monkeys, Rwenzori colobus, and black and white colobus monkeys

Nyungwe national park was gazette in 2004 to protect some of the wildlife species in Rwanda among which include chimpanzees. Later in 2010, the government of Rwanda launched the canopy walk first of its kind in Africa. the canopy walk in Nyungwe helps you have an aerial view of the park together with its birds and animals.

Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda is done in two areas of Uwinka and Cyamudongo. On the day of trekking, all trekkers will gather at the park headquarters and the ranger guides will brief them about the rules and regulations of the activity. After the briefing, the trekkers are grouped into 8 people and given a ranger guide who takes them through different trails of the park. The search for chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park can take like 2-3 hours and after allocating them you are given a maximum of 1 hour to be around them as you learn about their behaviors and also take different photographs.

During the chimpanzee trekking, you get an opportunity of meeting different plant species, wildlife such as silver monkey, owl-faced monkey, golden monkey, red tailed monkey, grey-checked mangabey, vervet monkeys, Angolan colobus monkeys, dent’s mona monkeys, olive baboons, and black faced monkeys. Birds such as great blue turacos, Rwenzori turacos, barred long tailed cuckoo, collared apalis, white-tailed blue-flycatcher, handsome francolin mountain masked, stripe-breasted tit, archer’s robin chat, black-faced, regal sun birds, and purple breasted birds among others.

What is the price of chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park?

To trek chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park you must have a valid chimpanzee trekking permit and this is only sold to children above 15 years of age. The trekking permits cost $90 foreign non-residents and foreign residents and $60 East Africa citizens. You are advised to book your chimpanzee trekking permits in advance of 3-4 months from trusted tour operators like us to avoid inconvenience.

What is the best time to trek chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park?

Rwanda can be visited at any time of the year for trekking but the best time to visit Rwanda for chimpanzee trekking is during the drier months of June to August and December to January. It’s during these months that the vegetation in the park is thin, the rainfall is little or no, the trekking trails are not muddy or slippery and lastly, the roads leading to the park are passable.

The rainy months of March to May and October to November are also good for trekking simply because there is plenty of food in the park which means that the apes stay near the starting points for, they do not go far to look for what to eat.

Activities to do in Nyungwe forest national park

Besides chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda, Nyungwe forest national park features a number of activities below;

The canopy Walk

Introduced in 2010, the canopy walk in Nyungwe forest national park is one of its kind in East Africa. the canopy walk is raised 60m above the ground and it’s the best way to have an aerial view of the forest, birds, and animals in the park.  The canopy walk starts at the park headquarters with the briefing after which the tourists walk about 200 meters which takes them 2 hours. The canopy walk is done by children that are below the age of 6 years.

Bird watching

Nyungwe forest is one of the places in Rwanda where you can go birding. The forest is home to over 300 different bird species. some of the birds you can see in Nyungwe include the red-colored babblers. Ngungwe forest is also a home of Handsome spur fowls, handsome francolin, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Mountain Illadopsis, Great Blue Turaco, Neumann’s Warbler, Purple Breasted Sunbirds, grauer’s warbler, Ruwenzori Batis, Regal sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Ruwenzori Blue-headed Sunbird, Striped-breasted Tit, swamp warbler, Rwenzori Nightjar, blued headed sunbird, Slender-billed Starling, Rwenzori Turaco, blue headed sunbird, albertine owlet, Thick-billed Seedeater, regal sunbird, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, and the Red collared babblers among others.

Nature walks and hikes

Nyungwe national park has different trails for forest hikes and these are Ngabwe trail, Bigugu trail, Congo Nile trail, canopy trail, Kamiranzovu marsh trail, Muzimu trail, Umogote trail, Isumo waterfall, Imbaraga trail, Karamba birding trail, Bigugu trail, Igishigishigi trail, Irebero trail, and Umuyove trail. The most used trails in Nyungwe are Igishigishi and Bigugu trails. During the nature walks you see different bird species, forest animals, butterflies, and different plant species

Visiting any of the waterfalls.

Nyungwe Forest National Park has got so many waterfalls but the most popular one is Isumo waterfall which is located next to Nyungwe house. Getting to Isumo trail is not that easy as you have to go through slippery and steep areas of the park and later descend at a dense part of the forest. as you visit these trails you have an opportunity of seeing some of the park animals, birds, insects, frogs, and different tree species. Where to stay on your chimpanzee trekking safari in Nyungwe forest national park?

There are several accommodation facilities in and out of Nyungwe forest national park where you can stay on your chimpanzee trekking safari and these range from budget to mid-range to high-end accommodation facilities. Where to stay depends on your travel budget or the number of days you are going to stay on your safari. Some of the accommodation facilities in Nyungwe forest national park include One & Only Nyungwe House, Gisakura Guesthouse, Nyungwe forest lodge, Nyungwe top view lodge, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Hotel Du Lac, and Nyungwe top view hill hotel.

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