Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the popular Rwanda safari activities carried out in the area known as Cyamudongo within the park. Nyungwe Forest National Park is a high dense rainforest in southern Rwanda on the border with Burundi.
The park has been conserved as a national park since 2004 covering an area of approximately 970 sq. km of rainforest bamboo. It is probably the best-preserved montane rainforest in Central Africa.
Nyungwe forest has a wide diversity of animal species which makes it a priority for conservation in Africa.
The forest has about 500 chimpanzee individuals and two troops have been habituated for chimpanzee trekking.
One troop of the habituated chimpanzees is within the main Nyungwe forest and the other in Cyamudongo which is a small patch of the forest in the eastern part of Nyungwe National Park.
Nyungwe Chimpanzee trekking starts from mainly three reception centers and these are known as Kitabi, Uwinka, and Gisakura. All tourists that are going to go for chimpanzee trekking are expected to be at the park centers very early in the morning. Your driver-guide will pick you up at the hotel for transfer to the trek start point where you meet the guides for briefing.
Before you go for chimpanzee trekking, ranger guides go ahead of you to find out the chimpanzee’s whereabouts. You follow the instructions of the guides on the trek across the tropical dense forest. After trekking to see chimpanzees, trekkers are given a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the primates.
During this time, you spend time watching the chimpanzees go around with their life as well as interact with nature. Remember chimpanzees share about 98% DNA with humans and therefore don’t be surprised when they display their human-like character.
When choosing to trek chimpanzees in Nyungwe, the habituated chimpanzee group in the Nyungwe Forest has about 60 individuals but hard to see because of the rugged terrain.
The habituated group at Cyamudongo has a smaller number with about 30 individuals but with several successful sightings.
The cost of the chimpanzee trekking permit is USD 90 for nonresidents. For foreign residents in Rwanda and East African citizens require a permit at USD 60. Note that this is not the cost of the tour but the cost of the permit.
The minimum age for chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda is 16 years. Remember to pack hiking boots and clothes including a rain jacket.
Nyungwe Chimpanzee trekking is such an amazing activity and doesn’t miss out when the time to visit Rwanda comes. Other activities that can be included on a Rwanda tour include gorilla trekking Rwanda, birding, Kigali city tour, Rwanda wildlife safari, and Nyungwe canopy walk. It is also possible to tailor the trip with Uganda safari or combined East African safari to Kenya and Tanzania.
Here are some of the recommended itineraries that tourists can choose when going on the East Africa safari.