Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park is a park activity of following trails that lead you to a point where you are near and close to the chimpanzees in their natural habitats. You have a chance to view their daily activities, such as when they wake up, where they sleep, how they sleep, what are their first activities after waking up and all their behaviors. You also get a chance to observe what plants species they feed on, how long they feed on a given single of plant species and also get a chance to observe how socially the chimpanzees are. You will be able to identify who leads group, how babies are cared for in the chimp world and how big the group is. As a researcher you will be able to view more that the eye can see by undertaking these chimpanzee trekking safaris in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Where chimpanzee trekking is done in Nyungwe National
Two groups of Chimpanzees are habituated in Nyungwe national park and one is found around Uwinka and other big group is found at Cyamudongo a fragmented forest. Chimpanzees trekking in Nyungwe’s Cyamudongo forest depends on how the group is behaving and the situation they are in. For example, if you go trekking chimpanzees and they are on the move, you will have to sweat running behind them and following them. But luckily enough you might find them when they are relaxing or eating. This is the chance of seeing them one by one and get to know more about their behaviors and what differentiates them from each other. The park elevation varies between 1600m-2950m above the sea level and fitness is needed. For the elderly people there is a way for them and they trek slowly until they finally get experience.
How to get there
The chimpanzee group found near Uwinka reception center can be visited and one needs a park guide, whom you must pick up at Gisakura reception center around 4:30 am. You then drive towards Uwinka reception center. The group is quite difficult to trek than the other group from Cyamudongo and they are over 40 individuals in the Group.
The same as the group of Cyamudongo, the fragmented forest from Nyungwe National Park. The group here is the most advisable group to trek as they are habituated. The Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe always starts at 4:30 and you take off from Gisakura reception center for an hour and some few minutes. The client is in charged for picking up the guide from this reception and bring him back at the end of the visit. To get to Cyamudongo forest, a 4×4 safaris car is must because the road is not tarmaced. It is full of stones and if you are in a small car great chance you have is getting stuck.
Good time for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe
Chimps are most easily seen in the early morning which means you wake up around 4:00 and 4:30AM you have to be at one of the three reception centers of Nyungwe depend on which side of park. By 5:00 am you head to the starting point of trek and no matter if you are going to trek Cyamudongo.
June, July to late August, fig trees are rich in fruits making this a blooming period. This is a particularly good time for Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe and it is also not a rainy season. No more than two groups of visitors are permitted to view a particular group of primates on a given day and then when you meet them you are allowed only one hour.
Other chimpanzee trekking destinations in Rwanda
Nyungwe national park is not the only home of chimpanzees but also the newest fourth national park of Rwanda is also home of Chimpanzees. Gishwati Mukura national park in the west of Rwanda is among the areas with a high population of chimpanzees. Most of these have been habituated and are available for tracking. In case Nyungwe is taken, one can opt for Chimpanzee trekking in Gishwati Mukura National Park.
What to carry for chimps trekking
Some of the essentials to carry when going chimpanzee trekking for one to have a successful trek include; binoculars, rain gear, hiking boots or gumboots, water, and snacks. You will be provided by walking sticks at the chimpanzee trekking centres.
Chimpanzee trekking fees
- Foreign Non-residents pay: $90
- Foreign Residents pay: $ 60
- Rwandans pay: 5,000 Rwf
- Nationals from the East Africa Community (EAC) pays: $10
- East Africa Community (EAC) Foreign Residents pay: $60
- Students who are Rwanda citizens pay: 2,500 Rwf
- East Africa Community (EAC) students pay: $5
- Students who are foreign residents pay: $30