Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Rwanda

Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Rwanda are the second most sold primate activities after gorilla trekking. Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda is quite the unique activity and it gives visitors memorable lifetime experiences of your stay in the country.

Where are Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Rwanda Done?

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Rwanda are conducted in Nyungwe Forest National Park. It is the major activity conducted in the park. Most chimpanzee trekking safaris in Nyungwe national park are conducted in Cyamudongo forest, which happens to be the best place to do chimpanzee trekking. Chimpanzee trekking activities in Nyungwe national park start from three sectors which are; Uwinka, Kitabi and Gisakura.

How are Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Rwanda Conducted?

Chimpanzee trekking Safaris in Rwanda are conducted in small trekking groups that comprise of six to eight individuals per group. Each trekking group is assigned an experienced park ranger and guide who will help you easily locate the chimpanzees.

It is important for trekkers to know that chimpanzee trekking safaris in Rwanda always start early morning with trekkers expected to report to the park as early as 5am on the day of tracking.

Once you arrive at the park, you will be required to sign into the visitors’ book which will be followed by a briefing from the head ranger at the park. After your briefing, you will be placed in trekking groups and proceed with the actual tracking experience.

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 Safaris in Rwanda are very rewarding. It 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 your chimpanzee trekking safari in Rwanda, 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, and purple breasted sunbird among others which makes your chimpanzee trekking safari enjoyable and rewarding. 

How long do Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Rwanda Take?

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Rwanda can take between 2 to 6 hours or more depending on how long it takes for trekkers to locate a chimpanzee group. It also includes one hour that is given to trekkers once a chimpanzee group has been located. 

How much does a chimpanzee trekking permit in Rwanda Cost?

A chimpanzee trekking permit is a legal document that is issued to visitors allowing one to partake in chimpanzee trekking activities in Rwanda, specifically in Nyungwe Forest national park. A chimpanzee trekking permit in Rwanda costs USD 90 for the foreign non-residents and USD 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 Rwanda includes the services of a park guide, park entrance fee among others.

Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Rwanda
Chimpanzee Trekking safaris in Rwanda

How to book a chimpanzee trekking permit in Rwanda.

A Chimpanzee trekking permit in Rwanda 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 Rwanda can also be booked through contacting a trusted tour operator like Explore Rwanda Tours 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 Explore Rwanda Tours, 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 Rwanda 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 Safaris in Rwanda.

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Rwanda 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 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 national park combined with game drives in Akagera national park.

Other activities that you can do during your safari in Rwanda.

Besides chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda, visitors can also participate in other interesting tourist activities like; game drives and launch cruise in Akagera national park, sport fishing, gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park, golden monkey tracking, primate tracking, and community cultural tours among others.

What to pack for your chimpanzee trekking safari in Rwanda.

When visitors are coming for a chimpanzee trekking safari in Rwanda, they are advised to pack necessary equipment’s for their chimpanzee trekking safari which include;

  • 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 trouser; 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 the 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 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 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 Rwanda 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.
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