Chimpanzee Trekking Tour in Rwanda
Chimpanzee trekking tour in Rwanda- Chimpanzees are some of the animals with a DNA of 98% which makes them closest relatives to human beings. Tourists to Rwanda can encounter mountain gorillas in the jungle for 1 hour in only 2 places and these are Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati Mukura national park both in the southwestern part of the country. Chimpanzee trekking is the second most done activity in Rwanda after gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati Mukura national park can be done at any time of the year with all those having valid chimpanzee trekking permits issued out by Rwanda Development Board. Rwanda chimpanzee trekking permits do cost $90 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents while East African residents do pay $60. Trekking is done by everyone as long as they are 15 years and above.
Where to go chimpanzee trekking tour in Rwanda
2 national parks do offer chimpanzee trekking activities in Rwanda and these are Nyungwe forest national park which is located in the southwestern part of Rwanda and the newly gazetted Gishwati Mukura national park. Chimpanzee trekking is done at any time of the year in both national parks although most tourists do prefer trekking in the famous Nyungwe forest national park.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park is done between 2 fully habituated chimpanzee families and these include the group in Cyamudingo forest and the one near Uwinka. In Gishwati Mukura national park you can find a single-family to trek and to trek any of these families requires you to be age 15 and above and you must have a valid chimpanzee trekking permit which you can book at a fee with Africa Adventure Vacations Limited.
Chimpanzee trekking as a safari tour activity in Rwanda
On the day of chimpanzee trekking, tourists are expected to wake up early in the morning and have breakfast at their lodges and then later at 7 connect to the briefing points where they are to meet park rangers who will brief them about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity. After the briefing, grouping is done and the trekkers move to the starting points where they will meet the guides ready to take you through park trails.
At the starting point, you can pick a walking stick to help you balance in the jungle and as you are looking for these apes, you will be able to see other park animals such as silver monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabeys, Golden monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, Owl-faced monkeys, and different bird species. When the trekkers locate and meet the chimpanzees, they will be allowed 1 hour to be around these apes, and during this time they will be able to watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about their habits.
Ways of booking a chimpanzee trekking permit for Rwanda?
All tourists intending to trek chimpanzees in Rwanda must first acquire a trekking permit which we normally advise all clients to get 3-4 months before the final trekking activity simply to avoid inconveniences. Once you have set your travel dates and you want to travel to any of the 2 national parks in Rwanda to trek chimpanzees, you can send Africa Adventure an email containing the dates of travel and we shall use these days to check for availability of the permits with Rwanda development board.
Once the chimpanzee permits are available then we shall go-ahead to send you an email containing details of how you can send money and once we have received it, we shall go-ahead to secure a permit on your behalf and send you scanned copies. After securing the permit we can go ahead to book accommodation and then transport.
Tourists anywhere in the world can also book the chimpanzee trekking permits for Rwanda by themselves by simply sending an email to Rwanda Development Board containing the dates they want to travel and once they receive the email, they will reply you to let you if they are available or not. Once they are available, they will send you an email containing details of how you can second money for the permit and once you are done and they have received it, they will secure a permit for you and send you scanned copies.
What is the best time to see chimpanzees in Rwanda?
Tourists can visit Rwanda for chimpanzee trekking at any time of the year just that there are months that are better than the rest and these are the dry months. These months do occur in June to September and December to February and they are characterized by little or no rainfall which makes the roads to the park passable and the trekking trails dry.
If you want to trek chimpanzees in Rwanda, you are advised to book your trekking permit with Africa Adventure Vacations 3-4 months in advance just to avoid inconveniences. Tourists most especially budget travelers can still visit Rwanda for chimpanzee trekking in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities.
Accommodation on a chimpanzee trekking tour in Rwanda
There are so many accommodation facilities in and around the chimpanzee national park of Rwanda so you don’t have to worry about where you will stay. What matters is your travel budget because these parks have lodges ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury. For Nyungwe forest national park tourists can stay in lodges such as One & Only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe forest lodge, Hotel Du Lac, Nyungwe top view lodge, Gisakura Guesthouse, Emeraude Kivu Resort, and Nyungwe top view hill hotel.
Gishwati Mukura national park has only one lodge inside the park (Gishwati Lodge) but tourists can use accommodation facilities near Nyungwe forest national park such as Emeraude Kivu Resort, Peace Guest Hotel, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, Golden monkey Hotels, Uwinka Campsite, Comoran Lodge, and Gisakura Family Hostel among others.
Packing list for chimpanzee trekking tour in Rwanda?
When going for a chimpanzee trekking safari in Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati Mukura national park you need to come fully prepared with trekking equipment such as hiking shoes, a pair of gaiters, a pair of binoculars, insect repellents, long-sleeved clothes, rain jacket, gloves, sunscreen, a hat, drinking water, energy-giving snacks, camera and extra batteries, face mask, and sanitizer.
Travelers can extend their chimpanzee trekking tour to other destinations such as Volcanoes national park, Lake Kivu and Akagera national park.