Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda

August 26, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

What is chimpanzee trekking?

Well basically, chimpanzee trekking entails walking through the jungles of the tropical rainforests in search of endangered chimpanzees.  Chimpanzee tracking may last around three to five hours depending on the movement patterns of the trackers and also the location of the chimpanzee family since they have different movement patterns too.

 It’s easy for chimpanzees to be in a different area today and be in a different region the next day, so this explains the time that is put in.

Chimpanzee tracking is a very safe activity and this has been made possible by the habituation processes that are done by researchers and rangers in national parks in Rwanda such as Nyungwe.

How is chimpanzee tracking done?

 A visitor is accompanied by a group of certified experienced rangers and researchers who take them through the tropical rainforests as they look for these habituated primates. Once a family of chimpanzees is sighted, visitors are allowed to spend at least an hour that is uninterrupted for them to view and interact with the chimpanzees, learn good habits from them as they watch them groom their young ones and prepare them for adulthood.

Nyungwe National Park – Rwanda ‘s most popular chimpanzee trekking spot.

Nestled in the southwest of Rwanda Rusizi District in particular, Nyungwe National Park is part of Albertine Rift Valley and is also a home to the oldest tropical rainforest in Africa. This dominant rainforest prides itself for remaining green during the ancient ice age. The National Park is also a habitat to approximately 13 primate species and also doubles as a home to the largest percentage of monkeys in the whole world having approximately 25% of Africa’s primates such as golden monkeys, chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys name them.

Nyungwe National Park has more exhilarating facts for example it provides 70% of the water that is used all over Rwanda, the National Park was at first a forest reserve that was formed in 1933 but it was later on graduated into a National Park in 2006 by the Rwandan government. 

Nyungwe national park is a home to various species of birds and has since then been dubbed the birders haven with birds such as cinnamons, egrets, hammerkop, jacanas, lilac breasted roller, mousebird, hadada ibis, village weaver, old world orioles, painted snipe, pittas and cuckooshrike that bird enthusiasts find themselves engaged in watching.

A brief procedure on how to book a chimpanzee trekking permit in Rwanda.

Chimpanzee trekking permits can only be obtained through Rwanda Development Board. It is advisable for travelers to get their permits in advance as permits tend to be few since there's a limited number of permits that are given out per day and so favorable dates could be preoccupied in case one doesn’t book in advance. 

Price of chimpanzee tracking permits in Rwanda.

An aspiring chimpanzee tracker shouldn't worry about what amount to pay to have this overjoyed experience with chimpanzees in their natural habitat since its price is moderate. A chimpanzee tracking permit goes for $90 for the foreign nonresidents and $60 for the foreign residents. 

Best time to go for chimpanzee tracking in Rwanda.

Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda can be done all year long though rainy seasons of April up to May and in November are a bit hectic due to the slippery ground that makes movement in the tropical rainforests more challenging. The rain also becomes a disadvantage since it ruins the long-awaited exhilarating experience.

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