Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe National Park

Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe National Park is one of the top-selling Rwanda National Parks activities that receive quite a number of visitors daily. Chimpanzee trekking is an interesting and adventurous activity in Nyungwe forest national park where visitors move into the rain forest in search of the habituated chimpanzee families. Chimpanzee trekking is the second most popular activity in Rwanda after gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park. Nyungwe forest national park is located in the south western part of Rwanda and is one of the oldest and largest montane rain forests in Africa. Nyungwe forest national park is famously known for chimpanzee trekking though it harbors other wildlife species like birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, mammals like duikers, serval cats, golden cats, African civet, side stripped jackal, vegetation zones like subalpine with species like ferns, orchids, other primates including grey-cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus monkey, vervet monkey, l’hoest monkey, silver monkey, golden monkey, olive baboons among others.

Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe

Chimpanzee trekking Experience

Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park is the most done activity and trekking starts early in the morning at around 5:00 am with a briefing, therefore, visitors should wake up earlier for breakfast and then transfer to the starting point.  Nyungwe forest national park harbors the highest number of chimpanzees in Rwanda which are equivalent to over 500 chimpanzees with about 60 habituated individuals in Nyungwe forest and 30 habituated individuals in Cyamudongo forest a small relict forest located in Nyungwe forest. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park starts from 3 visitor centers namely Uwinka which is also the park headquarters, Kitabi and Gisakura. 

When going for chimpanzee trekking activity in Nyungwe forest national park visitors are supposed to carry packed lunch and drinking water which will give you energy during trekking. After the briefing on the rules and expectations for chimpanzee trekking, the visitors are grouped into 8 people and then meet the park guides as they move into the forest for trekking. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park takes about 2 to 6 hours depending on the location of the chimpanzees because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. Once the chimpanzees have been found the visitors spend one hour with the chimpanzee families in their natural habitat recording the moments, taking photos, watching the chimpanzees playing with each other in the trees, watching them feed, females breastfeeding and nursing young ones among others. 

Chimpanzee trekking is an exciting activity in that the chimpanzees are joyful, lively noisy, mobile and playful compared to the mountain gorillas which are peaceful therefore on your chimpanzee trekking adventure you will view chimpanzees playing  and jumping up in the trees, moving long distances in search of food, fighting with each other and many others. During chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park you will be able to view other primates like l’hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, Rwenzori black and white colobus and different bird species including yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Rwenzori batis, rwenzori apalis, purple breasted sunbird among others which makes your chimpanzee trekking safari in Nyungwe forest national park enjoyable and rewarding. 

Cost of a chimpanzee trekking permit in Nyungwe forest national park

A chimpanzee trekking permit is a legal document that is issued to visitors allowing them to trek a chimpanzee habituated family in Nyungwe forest national park. A chimpanzee trekking permit in Nyungwe forest national park costs $90 for the foreign non-residents and $60 foreign residents. The chimpanzee trekking permit is valid for one day and allows you to spend one hour with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat. The chimpanzee trekking permit in Nyungwe forest national park includes the services of a park guide, park entrance fee among others.    

How to book a chimpanzee trekking permit in Nyungwe forest national park

A chimpanzee trekking permit in Nyungwe forest national park can either be booked directly through Rwanda Development Board (RDB) a tourism body in Rwanda by contacting them via email or telephone calls.  A chimpanzee trekking permit in Nyungwe forest national park can also be booked through contacting a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris to book the permit for you. Contacting us is the best option to use because we will save you all the hustle of booking a chimpanzee trekking permit. When using Achieve Global Safaris you will contact us with the dates, month and year when you want to trek the chimpanzees and we will check the availability of the permits and once they are available you will be asked to make a deposit on the chimpanzee trekking permit and send scanned passport details that will be used to acquire a permit. Once the payments have been made we shall purchase a chimpanzee trekking permit for you and send you scanned copies of the permit as confirmation. 

However, a chimpanzee trekking permit in Nyungwe forest national park should be acquired in advance before the trekking date to avoid disappointments because they are few and competitive hence they get sold out quickly.

Best time for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park can be done anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the wet/rainy season which is also known as the low season in the months of March to May and October to November. The wet season is the ideal time for chimpanzee trekking because there will be plenty of fruits and food for the chimpanzee which limits there movements, therefore, they will easily be located during trekking and the wet season is also an ideal time for bird watching in Nyungwe forest national park. During the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June to September and December to February, there will be less rainfall in the forest, therefore, the chimpanzees will move deep into the forest in search of food hence making trekking difficult. The dry season is, however, the best time for canopy walk and nature walks in Nyungwe forest national park.

What to pack and wear during chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park

When visitors are coming for a chimpanzee trekking safari in Nyungwe forest national park they are advised to pack necessary equipment’s for their chimpanzee trekking safari which includes

  • Chimpanzee trekking permit, this is the most essential item for chimpanzee trekking in that without a valid permit you will not be allowed to trek any habituated chimpanzee family in Nyungwe forest national park.
  • Hiking boots, the boots should be comfortable because you will be trekking for long hours in the forest and they should be able to protect you from mud especially during the rainy season which is also the best time for chimpanzee trekking.
  • Long sleeved shirt and trousers, the long sleeved clothes will protect your body from getting hurt since you will be trekking in the forest full of thorny trees and will also protect you from safari ant bites.
  • Long socks, the long socks will be tucked into the long trousers so as to prevent you from the safari ants which might enter your trousers during trekking.
  •  Garden gloves, the garden gloves will help you during trekking because you might touch a thorny tree without knowing. The garden gloves will also protect you from germs and they can be removed during one hour with the chimpanzees while taking photos.
  • Walking stick, when going for chimpanzee trekking you are given a walking stick which will give you support while trekking in the jungle especially during the rainy season when the forest is muddy and slippery.
  • Energy snacks, visitors going for a chimpanzee trekking safari should carry energy snacks such as packed lunch and drinking water because chimpanzee trekking is unpredictable in that it can take a few hours or even a whole day depending on their location, therefore, the energy snacks will give you the energy to continue trekking.
  • Insect repellent, the insect repellent will protect you from insects in the jungle such as tsetse flies, safari ants, mosquitos among others.
  • Warm sweater, the sweater will give you warmth especially during morning and evening hours due to the fact that the Nyungwe forest is a rainforest.
  • Waterproof rain jacket/poncho, the rain jacket will protect you from the rain in case it rains during chimpanzee trekking and also protect all your items.
  • Camera, the camera is so important for visitors going on a safari in that it will be used to take photos and also record the moments to show people when you go back home from your safari.
  • Backpack, the backpack will be used to keep all the items for your chimpanzee trekking activity for example camera, batteries, insect repellent, energy snacks among others.
  • Porter, porters in Nyungwe forest national park are always at the starting point and in case you need someone to carry your backpack or give you a pull and a push during chimpanzee trekking the porters will be available to hire. 
Nyungwe Chimpanzees
Nyungwe Chimpanzees | Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe forest national park offers other adventurous activities apart from chimpanzee trekking including canopy walk, nature walk, bird watching, cultural tour and has several accommodations where you can stay during your safari in the park such as Nyungwe forest lodge, Nyungwe top view hill hotel, Gisakura guest house among others which make your safari successful with lifetime experiences. 

Are you hungry for great and exciting experiences on your safari, Achieve Global Safari will arrange a chimpanzee trekking safari for you in Nyungwe forest national park which will offer you breathtaking and unforgettable memories.  

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