In Rwanda Chimpanzee trekking is conducted in southwestern part of Rwanda within Nyungwe Forest National Park as well as in the nearby Cyamudongo Forest. There is a big number of chimpanzees living within Nyungwe forest national park with an approximated total of 500 individuals. Of these the Rwanda wildlife conservation authorities have habituated two (2) troops for the tourism to enable tourists visit them during the exciting Chimpanzee trekking Safaris while in Rwanda. This activity can also be done in Cyamudongo – a tinny forested area just east of the Nyungwe forest.
This amazing activity begins at any these centers – Gisakura, Kitabi or at Uwinka (which is the main center) and there you will meet your park rangers who will guide you on this thrilling forest adventure. The activity begins very early in the morning so you should be at the respective starting points as early as possible. Because the chimpanzees make a new nest for each night, a group of trackers will set out into the forest ahead of the group that is trekking and these will communicate with the ranger-guides who will be leading you. You will trek through the forest looking for these chimpanzees, and after you have located them, you will observe them take photographs and spend one (1) hour in their midst. These amazing forest apes share 98% of their DNA with man, and they are said to be the only living relatives or cousins to man. Its very fascinating that as you observe them, you won’t fail to notice how much they share with people especially in behavior. This activity will leave you with lasting beautiful memories! Nyungwe forest has the bigger habituated group with about 60 chimpanzees however because of the nature of the terrain and size of the forest, there are fewer chances of seeing them compared to the habituated group in Cyamudongo forest which has about 30 chimpanzees which is smaller in size and has register successful views of the chimpanzees.
Is Chimpanzee Watching Similar to Gorilla Viewing? Unlike the gorilla trekking experience, when it comes to chimpanzee tracking, once you locate the chimps you will find the running about, jumping from one tree branch to another and playing with each other. Generally chimpanzee viewing is a rushed experience.
What is a Chimpanzee trekking Permit and how much does it cost? Well for anyone to take part in this amazing Chimpanzee trekking activity he/she must have a Chimpanzee trekking permit. Each of these costs USD 90 for foreign non-residents and then USD 60 for all Rwanda foreign residents as well as East African residents (Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya).
Tips When Going Chimpanzee Tracking In Rwanda: Trekkers should be 16 and more years of age