What to expect during Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, situated in Rwanda, offers a unique and exciting opportunity to observe these incredible primates in their natural habitat here is what to expect during Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
You’ll need to obtain a permit in advance, which is usually required and should be booked in advance through the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) or a licensed tour operator Safari vacations and travel services. Permits may have limited availability, so it’s a good idea to book well in advance.
Trekking can be physically demanding, so participants are generally required to be at least 12 years old and in good physical health.
The groups are typically limited in size to minimize disturbance to the chimpanzees and their environment.
Before the trek, you’ll attend a briefing where guides will provide information on safety, rules, and guidelines for interacting with the chimpanzees.
Chimpanzee trekking usually begins early in the morning to increase your chances of finding the chimpanzee group while they are active.
You’ll be led by experienced guides and trackers who know the chimpanzee’s habits and locations within the forest. The trek can vary in duration and difficulty, ranging from a couple of hours to a full day.
While searching for chimpanzees, you may come across other wildlife such as other primates, birds, and forest flora. Guides often provide insights into the forest’s biodiversity.
Chimpanzee Observation: Once the chimpanzee group is located, you’ll have a limited time (usually around an hour) to observe and photograph them from a safe distance. Keep in mind that you must maintain a respectful and quiet demeanor to avoid disturbing the chimpanzees.
Nyungwe Forest is a lush and dense tropical rainforest, so expect to encounter uneven terrain, steep slopes, and potentially muddy conditions. It’s important to wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
Weather in Nyungwe can be unpredictable, so be prepared for rain and pack rain gear, especially during the wet season.
While photography is allowed, flash photography is typically prohibited to avoid startling the chimpanzees. It’s important to follow your guide’s instructions regarding photography etiquette.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is dedicated to the conservation of chimpanzees and their habitat. Always follow the rules and guidelines to minimize your impact on the environment and wildlife.
What to expect during Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest offers an incredible opportunity to connect with nature and observe these fascinating primates in their natural environment. The best area for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe is the Cyamdungo area, which is part of the larger Nyungwe Forest.
Chimpanzee trekking permits can be obtained, and guided treks are typically organized from the Uwinka Visitors’ Center, which is the main entry point to the park. The experienced guides will lead you through the forest, helping you locate and observe chimpanzees while also providing valuable information about their behavior and habitat.
It’s essential to note that chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park requires a permit, and it’s advisable to book your permit in advance since the number of permits issued each day is limited. Additionally, trekking can be physically demanding as the terrain can be steep and challenging, so be prepared for a strenuous but rewarding experience.
The Nyungwe Forest is located in southwestern Rwanda, on the border with Burundi, where it is contiguous with the Kibira National Park to the south, and Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The Nyungwe rainforest is probably the best-preserved montane rainforest in Central Africa. Nyungwe National Park has a biodiversity of more than 1050 plant species, 250 endemic Albertine rifts and 200 orchids, at least 120 butterfly species, 85 mammal species, 38 reptiles, and many more.
Nyungwe Forest National Park was established in 2004 and covers an area of approximately 970 km2 of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, swamps, and bogs. In October 2020, the Rwanda Development Board signed an agreement with African Parks to assume management of Nyungwe National Park for an initial 20 years, all tourism activities are now under the management of the Rwanda Development Board.
Chimpanzee trekking refers to visiting the chimps in their natural environment in the forest, chimps that are already used to people or habituated. In Rwanda it is done in Nyungwe forest National Park and starts in the morning and the activity is conducted in groups of a maximum of eight (8) people just as it is with gorilla trekking.
The Nyungwe forest national park receives a very large number of tourists annually who come to meet face to face and spend time with the chimpanzees, man’s closest living relative observing them as they play, feed and move. The park is also a good destination where you can add a chimpanzee trekking expedition to your gorilla trek within volcanoes national park without driving long distances. Chimpanzee trekking is a life time experience that you will enjoy in Africa’s oldest forest in Nyungwe National Park
What to expect during Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest starts off from three reception centers, that’s Uwinka, Kitabi and Gisakura where the tourists meet the park rangers and the tourists are also expected to be at the reception early morning, you drive to the starting point of the trek into the forest. Since the chimps’ nest each and every night, there are the trackers who go ahead of the trekking group of finding them and communicate with the ranger guides.
The tourists are allowed to spend only 1 hour with the chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest National Park, and get to observe them so closely going about their own lives and see the human like features and behavior that makes them our closest relatives with 98.7 % DNA. The chimps also communicate by way of deafening screams, the loud hoots and booming hitting of the tree barks and the buttress. You will have a good time with the most amazing primates in Rwanda.
Chimpanzee permit price is also an associated cost while visiting Nyungwe, there are 64 trekking permits available per day in Nyungwe forest, the Chimpanzee trekking permit cost USD90 per person per trek which is way cheaper than gorilla permit that costs USD1500. The chimpanzee permit fee includes park entrance, ranger and guide assigned to move with you and your group.
The permits are issued by Rwanda development board which is in charge of all tourism activities in Rwanda. You will be required to show your chimpanzee tracking permit at the park headquarters just before proceeding to the beginning point on the date of trekking. Bookings are made directly through the Rwanda Development Board and you can only book in advance, chimp permits get sold out so quickly and you can always contact us to check availability for your desired dates and book your permits for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest National Park in Rwanda.
The Nyungwe Forest National Park is surrounded by different accommodation facilities offering services at different costs which imply that there will certainly be a place to stay for every visitor to Nyungwe irrespective of one’s budget. Some of the recommended accommodations include the luxury One & Only Nyungwe House which is a luxury facility and ranges from USD750-2000 per person per night, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel which ranges from USD300 per person per night and the Nyungwe Forest Lodge and Gisakura guest house which ranges from USD200 per person per night. We do recommend at least 2 nights stay in Nyungwe or more for a great experience.