Primate tracking in Rwanda
Primate tracking in Rwanda is one of the leading tour activities in the country. Tourism is Rwanda’s biggest foreign exchange earner. Rwanda has recently been named among the top tourist destinations in the world and earned itself the World Travel & Tourism Council’s first-ever global safety and hygiene stamp. Rwanda has been identified as the cleanest country in Africa for a while now and this is one of the reasons it qualified for this stamp.
Rwanda has a great number of primate species living in the forested parts of the country and these include the mighty mountain gorillas, the golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkey, Grey-cheeked mangabey, Vervet monkey, blue monkey, Hamlyn’s monkey, Olive baboon, Red tailed monkey, Angola colobus, Mantled guereza, Dent’s mona monkey, Rwenzori colobus monkeys and the silver monkeys. These different monkey species can be found in the all the 4 national parks of Rwanda that is the Volcanoes national park, Nyungwe forest national park, Akagera national park and the Gishwati Mukura national park.
All these primates can be trekked on your Rwanda safari with a team of skilled and experienced ranger guides leading your way through the forests. The most common of these primates are the mountain gorillas. Rwanda along with Uganda and the Democratic republic of Congo is a home to the mountain gorillas. There are slightly 1,000 above individuals in all the three countries and this is one of the endemic species of Rwanda.
The mountain gorillas of Rwanda can be trekked in the Volcanoes national park Rwanda. The mountain gorilla permit of Rwanda costs 1,500 USD per trek. Trekking mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes national park is a daily activity that starts with a morning pre trekking brief at 7 am by the park ranger guides, after set out into the forest behind a group of trackers who will lead you in the search of the mountain gorillas. Trekking in Volcanoes national park will take one about 2 to 3 hours before they meet their allocated mountain gorilla and once they are found, guests will be asked to enjoy one hour around the mountain gorillas watching how they go about their day, take non flash photography and after exit the forest to conclude their mountain gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda.
The Volcanoes national park is also a home to the golden monkeys whose permit for trekking costs 100 USD per trek. The golden monkeys are more playful than the mountain gorillas so once you enter the forest on your search for these primates, you will see them swing from one tree branch to another and this trek usually lasts 4 hours and you will make your way back to the park reception. These golden monkeys can also be trekked in the Gishwati forest in the Gishwati Mukura national park. While on your golden monkey trek in Volcanoes national park, you can visit any of the two golden monkey families.
One of the golden monkey groups of Volcanoes national park can be visited at the slopes of Mount Karisimbi and the other found in the bamboo forest on Mount Sabinyo. This is a daily activity that leaves the Kinigi reception after the 7 am morning briefing by the ranger guides. Be sure to be ready to pave your way through the bushes and tough terrain on this trail in the search of the golden monkeys. Volcanoes national park is the second park where “gold meets silver” being a home to both the silverback mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys.
The other primates of Rwanda can be found in the Nyungwe forest national park where the major primates that the visitors of the park are interested in are the Chimpanzees. The chimpanzees of the Nyungwe forest are a major selling point of the park and can be trekked any day of the week in groups led by a trained and knowledgeable ranger guide.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest is a full day activity where the trekkers will be expected to be at the Uwinka reception center or Gisakura reception center for the morning brief before you head into the forest guiding you on the code of conduct and expectations of this trek. The chimpanzees are loud and you will be able to hear them communicate from the moment you enter the Nyungwe forest until you encounter them. This is a thrilling experience you should surely not miss out on your Rwanda tour. The terrain in Nyungwe forest is a tricky one as it is muddy and steep so be sure to get the right foot wear for this trek. A chimpanzee trek permit in the Nyungwe forest costs 90 USD and can be booked through us. Get in touch.
There is also a group of chimpanzees in the Gishwati Mukura forest national park. These chimpanzees are very sociable and tend to live and move in larger groups. These primates build different nests to spend the night on a daily basis.
The other primates of Rwanda for Primate tracking in Rwanda can be visited or encountered on general guided nature walks in the parks. The Nyungwe forest national park is a home to a number of these like the colobus monkeys, the owl faced monkeys, dent’s monkeys, blue monkeys and vervets. The L’Hoest monkeys are one of the still existing endemic species of the Albertine Rift where the Nyungwe forest and the Gishwatu Mukura national parks lie. All these monkeys can be identified by their unique features that tell them apart from the other species.
The Akagera national park is also a home to the vervet monkeys and the olive baboons which you may be able to spot while on your game drive in Akagera. Book your Rwanda primate safari with us and let us take you to the primate you love.