Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking

Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking

Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking | Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking cost and price | Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking itinerary | Nyungwe Forest National Park | Volcanoes National Park

Rwanda has progressively established itself as one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. Given that it is a small and landlocked country, this is excellent. The new administration prioritised infrastructure expansion and modernization across the economy, resulting in long-term economic growth. Aside from effective administration, additional causes for this growth were reducing corruption and fostering harmony among the country’s various cultural groupings. Rwanda’s government has gone to considerable pains to modernise and market its tourism spots.

Both in the city and in the countryside, modern highways and high-quality hotels have been constructed. Rwanda’s government has also taken steps to market the country worldwide and expand its tourism options. The country recently collaborated with Arsenal to sell herself the official shirt of the football club, resulting in a lot of press. New animal protection sites, such as the Gishwati-Mukura National Park, have been established, while activities such as hiking the Congo Nile Trail and chimp trekking in Rwanda have been introduced.

The majority of visitors to Rwanda come to view the mountain gorillas. Chimpanzee monitoring was deployed in Nyungwe National Park to boost variety and respond to the interests of guests interested in longer safaris. This allows tourists to go on a monkey safari, where they can see 13 different kinds of monkeys.

Nyungwe Forest Chimpanzees

Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of Rwanda’s most famous tourist sites, consisting of Cyamudongo woodland and Nyungwe forest (the park’s largest component). The park is home to 13 primates, 85 animals, over 1000 plant species, 275 documented bird species, butterflies, moths, and reptiles. Nyungwe forest is one of Africa’s oldest Afro-montane forests, stretching all the way to the Congo and Burundi borders.

Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking
Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking

The Nyungwe forest serves as a water catchment region for multiple rivers, notably the enormous Congo and those in the Nile basin. Despite the park’s abundant biodiversity, the chimpanzees remain the main draw, followed by forest canopy treks. Thousands of visitors visit the park each year to see these beautiful monkeys in their natural habitat. Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking

Chimpanzees, like gorillas, are the closest human cousins with comparable DNA. Except for humans, the brain of a chimp is more developed than that of any other species on the planet. Chimpanzees can utilise tools to help them with their everyday routines and can be compassionate to one another.

Nyungwe Forest National Park chimpanzee trekking

Training at the park headquarters before chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park To attend the briefing, all travellers must be at the park headquarters early in the morning. Park staff will provide information on chimpanzees and how to behave around them. Following the training, visitors will be allocated chimpanzee populations to follow in either Nyungwe Forest Main or Cyamudongo Forest. The Rangers will then take visitors into the jungle to look for the primates.

While tracking the chimps, there is a lot to observe in the jungle. As previously stated, the Nyungwe forest is home to 12 additional species of primates. Silver monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, olive baboons, dent’s monkeys, L’hoest monkeys, Angolan colobus monkeys, mona monkeys, Ruwenzori monkeys, vervet monkeys, golden monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and halmyn’s monkeys are among them. Aside from the smaller primates, there are butterflies, forest creatures, and waterfalls to observe.

Chimpanzees are among the most mobile primates. They seldom stay in one spot for an extended period of time. They spend more time on top of trees, which makes tracking more difficult. Before they settle down, one must be prepared to follow them for a longer period of time. A decent camera, binoculars, and patience are also required. Close encounters with chimps are not feasible, as they are with gorillas. Even when acclimated, they tend to retain their distance. Chimps are much more noisy, and it is possible to locate them from kilometres away even before seeing them in person. In contrast to gorilla families, which are normally serene and kind, chimpanzee groups are rather dramatic. Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking

How to Get Close to Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest

The distance between Kigali and Nyungwe Forest is approximately 218 km. This means you’d be on the road for around 6 hours.

The rainy season is the best time to go chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda. The rainy season presents unique obstacles for trackers since it is the time of year when monkeys congregate in one location because there is much to eat. Because there is little to eat during the dry season, the chimpanzees forage far into the forest in quest of food and fruit. This will involve tracking them deep into the forest, which might take up to 4 hours. During the dry season, a few unfortunate travellers may potentially miss them entirely.

As you have learned, the odds of encountering chimpanzees in the Nyungwe forest are not certain. This is because they prefer to wander deep into the huge forest in quest of food during specific months of the year. There’s no assurance you’ll see the primates every time. However, with technology and a team of advance trackers dispatched to locate them before daybreak, the odds of spotting them are roughly 90%. The odds of encountering them in Cyamudongo woodland are quite high—at least 90%. This is due to the fact that Cyamudongo woodland is detached from the main Nyungwe forest and is bordered by farmland and villages. The chimps tend to congregate on this woodland island.

In Rwanda, chimp permits cost $90. This figure includes park ranger and admission costs. Permission can be obtained directly from the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism Department or from your tour operator.

In Rwanda, the minimum age for chimpanzee tracking is 13 years. Trackers must come equipped for the deep alpine forest. Sturdy hiking boots, long-sleeved clothing, a hat or cap, bug repellents, a professional camera, beverages, dry food, a raincoat and a binocular are all essentials for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest. If you want to transfer big luggage or a camera, make sure you hire a porter to help you.

Other Activities in Nyungwe National Park

Meetings with other primates

The Nyungwe forest boasts Rwanda’s largest population of tiny primates. In addition to chimpanzees, the woodland is home to 12 other primates. Mona monkeys, silver monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, and Angola Colobus monkeys are among them. Expect to see a handful of the smaller primates when following the chimpanzees or on a nature walk.

Canopy stroll

Nyungwe National Park is the only national park in East Africa that offers canopy walks. Participants go through the deep forest on a rope track. They are rewarded with an overhead perspective of the forest, where they may see several types of birds, monkeys, and flora. If you have a fear of heights, the canopy route is 50 metres above the ground, and you must be psychologically prepared. The canopy forest adventure begins in Uwinka and lasts 2 hours.

Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking
Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking


Because the Nyungwe forest comprises highland trees, streams, and rivers, it is a good home for birds. There are more bird species in the woodland than anywhere else in Rwanda. Over 275 different species have been identified. The Kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori batis, Congo bay owlet, regal sunbird, Rwenzori nightjar, Olive and Elliot woodpecker are the most common bird species. The birds were maybe spotted while on a nature walk, canopy hike, or chimp tracking. When visiting Nyungwe National Park, don’t forget to bring your binoculars.

Going to one of the waterfalls

Nyungwe National Park features various streams and waterfalls that may be of interest to you as a water catchment region for the Congo and Nile basins. The most well-known is the Isumo waterfall, which is located near the Nyungwe House luxury retreat. Visitors must travel a long way to reach this waterfall. The waterfall is magnificent and ideal for bathing. Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking

Nature hikes

Nature hikes in the Nyungwe forest provide travellers with a rare opportunity to examine all of the varied animal and plant species. The treks may be started from any of the park’s major trails. The Canopy Trail, Congo Nile route, Isumo Waterfall Trail, Bigugu Trail, Karamba birding path, Ngabwe Trail, Rukuzi Trail, and Kamiranzovu Marsh Trail are the prominent trails. These nature hikes last between 2 and 4 hours and are led by park rangers. The park Rangers will guarantee that the entire activity is educational by assisting in the identification of various plant, bird, and animal species.

Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking
nature walks after
Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking

Tours of tea plantations

This tea plantation was built not just to give tea to the country but also to keep wild animals away from human settlements. They have become a tourist attraction in their own right over time. The tea was grown on a hillside with breathtaking views. Visitors who take a tour of the tea plantation learn a lot about tea cultivation and processing. Visitors are guided through the entire process, beginning with the preparation of the nursery beds, planting, weeding, and harvesting, and ending with the transformation of the leaves into drinkable tea.

Cultural and community interactions

You can arrange a tour of one of the rural settlements outside the park while visiting Nyungwe National Park. You can go to the Kitabi Cultural Village or the Banda Community Village. A visit to any of the two communities will expose you to the way of life of the average Rwandan peasant. Aside from learning about their social lives, you may be proactive and join them in brick-laying, beer production, preparing traditional cuisine, or caring for household animals. You might also visit numerous schools and community/women’s projects. At the end of these guided community walks, cultural entertainment such as music, dance, and theatre are planned.

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