Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest

Think about Rwanda safari and think beyond magical encounters with the rare mountain gorillas! A visit to this dubbed land of a thousand hills gets you a great opportunity to also take part in chimpanzee tracking in the lust rainforest of Nyungwe National Park. This beautiful national park is situated in southwestern Rwanda and being one of the most sought after primate adventures, about two groups have been habituated and readily set for visitor experiences. This park features the largest habituated group and comprises of 60 members while the smaller one is within Cyamudongo Forest.

Over 500 chimpanzees call this pristine park their home and nearly 100 of them have been habituated meaning they are used to human presence. Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park always kick starts early in the morning with briefing on dos and don’ts that must be followed at all times while you are in the jungle searching for these magnificent creatures. You will be assigned to a well-trained park guide who will take you through the entire experience. The set rules and regulations are designed mainly to safe guard the lives of these fascinating creatures and their habitat. These creatures share about 98.7 percent of their DNA with humans making them to be very susceptible to human infectious diseases. After briefing, you hit the jungles in search of chimpanzees and upon getting them; you explore more about their daily behaviors, body gestures and also for you to have a chance to take as many photos as possible. The interesting side of it is that while you are in the jungles, you also have a chance to catch a glimpse at other distinct species including the L’Hoest, vervet monkeys, baboons as well as bird species for instance giant hornbills, great blue turacos, red breasted sparrow hawks among others.

It is a unique experience from gorilla trekking the fact that chimpanzees in most cases do move and in high speed, jump from one tree to another while making noise. For mountain gorillas, they spend most of their time on ground. The treks normally start from any of the park’s receptions-Uwinka, Gisakura and Kitabi where you will meet with park rangers. You are however encouraged to be at the reception early enough.

Chimpanzee trekking permits

Like gorilla trekking or golden monkey trekking, in order for you to take part in chimpanzee trekking, you must have a permit at hand. You will need $100 for you to secure a permit in Rwanda if you are to take part in this thrilling primate experience. To avoid any inconveniences, you are advised to book your permit early enough.

Some tips for successful chimpanzee trek

  • To be part of this lovely adventure, you need to be above 15 year
  • You must be physically fit
  • Pack good hiking shoes, long sleeved shirt or t-shirt, water, energy giving snacks, rain jacket or poncho, insect repellent and others

Accommodation in Nyungwe Forest National Park

For your overnight stay while on Rwanda chimpanzee tracking tour in Nyungwe Forest National Park include Gisakura Guesthouse, Nyungwe Forest View Hill hotel, Nyungwe Forest lodge, Kitabi College of Conservation and Environment management.

Best time to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park lies between altitude 1600 and 2950 meters and its temperatures range from 0 to 30 degrees Celsius. It experiences rainfall amount of about 1800 to 2500 mm each year. There are 2 wet seasons that are experiences in this park with the first starting from March to May and this is the longest while the shortest begins from October to November. The dry season then starts from June to September and December to February. Usually, the dry season is considered as the perfect time for one to explore the natural wonders of this park as it is characterized by low rainfall amount.

What to wear for chimpanzee tracking

When packing for chimpanzee tracking safari, you need to pack appropriately starting with;

  • Water proof hiking shoes
  • Long trousers
  • A good camera with no flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Long sleeved shirts or t-shirts
  • Hat
  • Water proof day pack

Insect repellent and many other