Are you planning to do Chimpanzee Trekking in Rwanda at Nyungwe forest national park? Rwanda has positioned Nyungwe forest national park as a tourism hot spot in East Africa making Rwanda a leading tourism destination through the use of extensive marketing and promotional campaigns to the outside world. His excellency as the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame has been at the forefront of all the efforts put in place where most diversified attractions like the Congo Nile Trail are emerging as favorites. Despite Rwanda’s diversification, Rwanda’s key attraction remains the primate species such as the Mountain Gorilla trekking experience is incomparable to any activity in Rwanda. Gorilla tracking permits in Rwanda can cost you $1500 per person per tracking which hasn’t stopped many tourists from flocking Rwanda to view primates. Although it has caused some tourists to seek other primate species alternatives like the chimpanzee trekking experience in Nyungwe.

I recommend 3 Day Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Tour

Chimpanzee trekking experirnce in Rwanda is be best done in Nyungwe national park. Nyungwe forest national park chimpanzee trekking stretches from a montane tropical rainforest which is the largest in Africa currently. Nyungwe forest is part of the wider Nyungwe national park that also includes the Cyamudongo forest. Nyungwe forest is a water catchment area in Rwanda boosting rains that feeds many Rivers like the Nile in Uganda and other Rivers in Congo. Nyungwe forest is a paradise for birds with over 310 bird species. Bird lovers can easily spot bird species such as paradise flycatchers, red-collared mountain babblers Chapin’s flycatcher, Rockefellers’ sunbird, purple-breasted sunbirds, and Ruwenzori turacos among many other bird species.

I recommend 3 Day Bwindi Gorilla Trekking tour through Kigali

Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest

Chimpanzees share most of the human traits which makes them the man’s closest relatives. Chimpanzees are arguably the most intelligent great Apes after human beings. Chimpanzees are known to live up to 60 years and above.  Rwanda offers a chimpanzee trekking experience in three different locations namely – Nyungwe Forest National Park (Nyungwe and Cyamudongo forests) as the main chimpanzee trekking destination and Gishwati Mukura National park. Nyungwe Forest National Park has the highest concentration of chimpanzees (over 400 individuals) and other 13 primates in total. Nyungwe forest national park protects two chimpanzee communities that are partially habituated. Most of the chimpanzees live in the Nyungwe forest with over 60 individuals while the rest can be located in Cyamudongo Forest with over 30 individuals. Nyungwe forest national park harbors other primate species such as blue monkeys, Silver monkeys, Dent’s monkey mona monkeys, baboons, owl-faced monkeys, Rwenzori colobus, grey-cheeked Mangabeys, black-faced vervet monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys.

I recommend 2 Day Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour

Chimpanzee trekking experience is another ball game from the mountain gorilla trekking experience from Volcanoes national park, Chimpanzees are stubborn, very noisy and mobile at times. Chimpanzees spend most of their time on top of the tree branches compared to mountain gorillas. Although Mountain gorillas are so gentle and peaceful. Mountain Gorillas eat quietly. Chimpanzee tracking requires travelers to be physically fit to move for long as you follow these primates since they move quickly on the ground and on top of tree branches before settling down.

I recommend 2 Day Bwindi Gorilla Trekking tour

The chimpanzee trekking experience starts with a morning briefing at 6:00 am. Chimpanzee tracking briefing takes place in three different places Uwinka, Gisakura, and Kitabi. Travelers are required to wake up so early in the morning like at 4:30 am so that you can make breakfast and prepare to start your activity. As already said, the Nyungwe forest is large. The only way to allocate these chimpanzees is to reach them before they go back for the day. The park ranger /Guide knows where chimpanzees can be found. These park rangers are so experienced and knowledgeable about the chimpanzee communities and where they are located.

Nyungwe forest national park Chimpanzee tracking can take between 2- 6 hours or longer than that depending on the location of the Chimpanzees. After chasing chimpanzees for a while, they can settle down and allow travelers to observe them closely or take pictures. While you are with the chimpanzees you will notice that chimpanzees behave just like human beings. You will observe chimpanzees groom each other, fight, mate, breastfeed, and play. Some members of the group are quiet while others are so talkative just like humans.

Nyungwe forest is a large forest that comes with challenges for travelers interested in chimpanzee tracking experience. Nyungwe forest chimpanzees tend to go deep into the thick tropical rain forest which reduces the chances of viewing them. But much easier to view the chimpanzees in Cyamudongo forest because the forest is smaller and easier to cover on foot within the shortest time possible.

Nyungwe forest national park other activities than the chimpanzee trekking experience

Nyungwe forest national park chimpanzee trekking is the most popular tourist activity in Nyungwe forest, travelers can also engage themselves in tracking smaller primate species, nature walks, canopy walks, bird watching, a visit to the tea plantations, and visiting one of the Nyungwe waterfalls.

Viewing other primates: Nyungwe Forest National Park is among Africa’s best places to view other primates besides chimpanzees. Nyungwe forest national park harbors over 13 primate species, which can be compared to the Kibale Forest National Park of Uganda. Nyungwe’s most sought out species after chimpanzees are the Rwenzori and Angola Colobus. The Angola Colobus Monkey is also extinct in Angola. Nyungwe forest national park protects over 400 Angola Colobus that are semi-habituated in the park. Nyungwe also accommodates Golden Monkeys but is not habituated.

Canopy Walks: The nyungwe forest canopy walk is simply the best way to discover this Africa’s thick and ancient forest. Nyungwe forest canopy bridge is standing 60-meter-high above sea levels with a strong steel bridge that was built on the treetops to give tourists the best aerial view of the primates, birds, and endless forest canopy views. Nyungwe bridge has the best viewing points/decks along the canopy walkway offering amazing sceneries and wildlife species. Nyungwe forest canopy walk starts from Uwinka the visitor center and takes approximately 2 hours. Nyungwe forest canopy walk tour costs 60 US Dollars per person.

Bird watching: Nyungwe National Park is recognized among the best places for bird watching in Rwanda. Nyungwe Forest national park protects over 300 bird species of which about 26 of the bird species are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Besides the above bird species already mentioned earlier, Nyungwe forest other bird species include Apalis argentea, Dusky Crimson Wing, Archer’s Robin-chat, Kungwe Apalis Grauer’s Warbler, Neumann’s Warbler and Sunbirds, Handsome Francolin, Large blue Turaco, Ruwenzori Apalis, Ruwenzori Batis, Ruwenzori Nightjar, and Shelley’s Crimson wing. Bird watching in Nyungwe forest national park begins from your hotel window and while tracking primates or taking part in the canopy walk.

Nyungwe forest national park Nature walks and Hikes:  Nature walks and hikes take place on different trails in Nyungwe national park. Travelers interested in completing all the trails may require walking a long-distance covering over 130 kilometers. To complete all the trails, travelers may need approximately one week. Nyungwe forest’s main trails include the Bigugu trial, canopy trail, Ngabwe trail, Kamiranzovu Marsh trail, Congo Nile trail, Igishigishigi trail, Irebero trail, Rukuzi trail Karamba Birding trail, Irebero trail, Umugote trail, Izumo waterfall Trail, Imbaraga trail, Muzimu trail, and Umuyove trail. Nyungwe forest’s most popular trails are the Bigugu trail and the Igishigishigi trail. Travelers should be physically fit to enjoy their nature walk because Nyungwe forest terrain is unpredictable. Nyungwe forest national park nature walks and hiking trails reward you completely with a chance of viewing most primate species, bird species, butterfly species, rivers, and insects.

Visit one of the waterfalls within Nyungwe forest: Visiting the waterfalls takes you to the most popular waterfall called Izumo waterfall which is situated next to the luxury Nyungwe House. To access the Izumo waterfall, you will take the Izumo Waterfall trail. Izumo waterfall trail is not very long but involves moving through the steep slopes and the most slippery areas of Nyungwe forest national park that will descend you to the dense part of this thick forest before seeing the waterfall. The Izumo waterfall treats travelers so well by offering you more opportunities of seeing insects, frogs, birds, and some primates within the forest.

Visit the Gisakura Tea Plantation: Gisakura tea plantation exploration can be done late in the evening or after getting done with other activities in Nyungwe forest national park. Giskaura tea plantation walk is suitable for tea enthusiasts and people who appreciate nature and natural beauties.  travelers can visit the tea plantation to observe closely the processes such as learning how tea is grown, weeding processes, harvested, and processed. Travelers are allowed to join those picking teas and putting them in the basket.

Climbing Mount Bigugu: Participate in climbing or hiking, Mount Bigugu is situated within Nyungwe forest national park. Mount Bigugu is standing 2950 meters above sea level. Mount Bigugu summit provides stunning views of the vast Nyungwe forest national park and from a distance, the Virunga chained mountains such as Muhabura mountain, Mount Bisoke, and Mount Karisimbi.

Nyungwe Cultural and Community Visit: Rwandan people offer a unique cultural experience as well as countless opportunities to experience traditional Rwanda customs. while on your safari to Nyungwe forest national park. The best places to visit places include the Kitabi cultural village and the Banda Community Village where you will be able to attend performances by the Cyamudongo cultural troupe or by the friends of Nyungwe. these groups present the rich culture of the people of Rwanda through music, dance, drama, and storytelling and greater opportunities for you to buy countless souvenirs ranging from the local crafts and art pieces.

Accommodation facilities while chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest national park

Travelers to Nyungwe Forest National Park have many lodging facilities to choose from depending on their budget. Nyungwe forest lodges come in form of budget lodges, mid-range lodges, luxury lodges, and super-luxury hotels. These Luxury hotels provide top- high-quality services that are not comparable to any in East Africa. Some of the hotels situated within Nyungwe forest national park include Gisakura guest house, Nyungwe forest lodge, One & Only Nyungwe, Inzozi beach hotel, Nyungwe top hill hotel, and Nyungwe House.