Chimpanzee Trekking in Rwanda.
Trekking Chimpanzees is a fascinating experience to take part in. In Rwanda, Chimpanzees can be seen from the Nyungwe Forest National Park which is a great habitat for these chimps. This forest contains close to 13 species of primates which is about 25 percent of the total of primates in Africa. There are said to be about 500 Chimps living this forest. Another fact about Nyungwe is that it is the oldest montane forest in Africa. Those interested in going for chimpanzee tracking in Rwanda, Nyungwe is the best place to do so. When here your track will begin from near a place called Cyamudongo which is only 4 hours and a half from Kigali if you are driving.
The only difficulty that comes with tracking these Chimpanzees is getting to where they are since they are not all habituated. These primates have a tendency of being inquisitive and keen when they sense the human presence despite the fact that they are shy creatures. Chimpanzees unlike Gorillas; move at a very high speed, make very loud noises and swing a lot in trees. This activity is very fast paced and all the more thrilling since one has to go through the dense forest and unknown paths that you yourself have to discover.
Permits in Rwanda can be got from the Rwandan Tourism Board and each Chimp tracking permit goes for $90 which is $1410 lesser than the Gorilla Tracking permits. The foreign residents living in any of the East African countries get to pay $60. However, bookings should be done way early since only 8 persons a day are allowed to go tracking and yet the activity is high on demand. When one opts for a Chimpanzee trek instead of the famous Gorilla tracking, one fact they should know is that there are no restrictions whatsoever when it comes to taking photographs. With the gorillas only an hour of both viewing and capturing great shots is given but with the Chimpanzees, you can take all the time you need.
The Nyungwe Forest National Park might posses a number of fascinating flora and fauna like the different bird species, plant life and primates nevertheless the Chimpanzees take the crown of being the most famous and sought after wildlife species existing in this park. There is a group of habituated chimpanzees in Nyungwe that has about 60 chimpanzees and another in the Cyamudongo Forest which has 30 chimpanzees. The latter is said to have much better and beautiful sightings of these primates since it is a small area that is needed to be covered when tracking these Chimpanzees.
There are 3 receptions where you can set off to go Chimpanzee trekking; Uwinka, which is the main center, Kitabi and Gisakura. Here the trekkers can get to meet the rangers at exactly 5am in time to begin tracking. These primates have a habit of changing nesting areas every night a reason why some trackers go ahead of the rest to find out their new nests and inform the rest.
Here are a few tips you need to know before deciding on whether or not to go on a Chimpanzee trekking experience.
- You have to be very fit and ready to trek even longer journeys.
- You have to be at least 16 years of age or more.
- You need to keep yourself hydrated and should carry at least 2 liters of water and snacks to boost you on your journey.
- Also make sure you are well equipped; with hiking boots, jackets, pants, long sleeved shirts and the rain jacket.
You can choose to stay at any of the places below should you happen to come here for Chimp tracking in Nyungwe.
- The Nyungwe Forest Lodge.
- The Inzozi Beach Hotel.
- The Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel.
- The Kitabi College of Conservation and Environment Management.
- The Gisakura Guesthouse.