Primate Trekking Safaris in Rwanda
Primate safaris in Rwanda do give travelers a chance to do some of the best activities that are done in the country. Mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, and chimpanzee trekking are activities that can be done on a primate trekking safari in Rwanda. Mountain gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking are done in volcanoes national park while chimpanzee trekking is done in Nyungwe forest national park.
Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda can only be done in volcanoes national park. The activity gives tourists a chance to encounter the endangered primates that are more than a half remaining in the whole world. The gorilla trekking activity in volcanoes national park is done on the slopes of Virunga volcanoes that are located within the park. there are 10 fully habituated gorilla families and the gorilla trekking is done throughout the year in volcanoes national park by those that have valid gorilla trekking permits.
The gorilla trekking activity in volcanoes national park starts with a briefing and this means travelers on a primate trekking safari will have to wake up very early in the morning and move to Kinigi park headquarters. At the park headquarters, tourists gather and get a briefing from the park rangers who teach them about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity and the armed ranger guides are assigned to groups not exceeding 8 people.
The rangers do lead trekkers into the jungle searching for the gorillas at the same time protecting the trekkers from dangerous wild animals. The trekking is done mostly on the slopes of Virunga mountains so you need to be physically fit to complete this hike. Going through different trekking trials, the trekkers are able to encounter different bird species, olive baboons, elephants, bushpigs, giant forest hogs, duikers, spotted hyenas, buffaloes, monkeys, and different plant species
When the trekkers meet the mountain gorilla family they have been looking for, they keep their voices low as they follow all the rules and regulations taught at the park offices. Trekkers are given 1 hour to be around the mountain gorillas and during this time, they are able to learn about their habits, watch them do daily activities such as nesting, coupling, breastfeeding, hunting, and you can be taking as many photos as you want using cameras that have no flash.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest and Gishwati-Makura national park
On a primate trekking safari in Rwanda, chimpanzee trekking can only be done in two national parks and these are Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati-Makura national park. Most of the chimpanzee trekking activities do take place in Nyungwe forest national park because it has the highest population of chimpanzees but in Gishwati-Makura national park, chimpanzee trekking activities happen every day.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati-Makura national park starts with a briefing at the park offices where participants must be early in the morning to get a briefing from the park wardens. During the briefing, they are taught about the rules and regulations of the chimpanzee trekking activity, grouping is done and the armed ranger guides are assigned to each to lead them onto the jungle.
The armed ranger guides take the trekkers through different trekking trails as they search for the chimpanzees. The trekkers are able to meet different park animals during the search and they do include duikers, blue monkeys, crowned monkeys, bush pigs, red-tailed monkeys, buffaloes, black and white colobus monkeys, birds, and different plant species.
Once the trekkers have located the chimpanzees, they are given 1 hour to be around them learning about their habits, watching them do daily activities such as hunting, nesting, breastfeeding, coupling, and you will be able to take photos bit using cameras that have no flash.
Golden monkey trekking in volcanoes national park
The other primates that can be trekked on a primate trekking safari in Rwanda are the golden monkeys. The golden monkeys can only be trekked in volcanoes national park which is in the northwestern part of the country. A few golden monkeys have been habituated for tourism purposes in volcanoes national park and the trekking activity does start with a briefing where tourists are taught about the rules and regulations of the golden monkey trekking activity.
After the briefing, the trekkers are led by armed ranger guides who take them through different trekking trails with opportunities of meeting other park animals such as buffaloes, duikers, elephants, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, monkeys, birds, and different vegetation types. Once the golden monkeys are located, the trekkers are given 1 hour to be around them, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
Booking primate trekking safaris in Rwanda
Booking a primate trekking safari in Rwanda can be done in different ways which include using a tour operator in your country, doing it by yourself, or using a local tour operator in East Africa. Looking at booking the primate safari for Rwanda by yourself, you will have to first secure trekking permits since they are the most important things, accommodation and transport can follow.
Tourists that want to book the trekking permits for primates themselves will have to send an email to Rwanda Development Board containing the dates they want to travel and using these dates, they will check for the availability of the permits. Once the permits are available, they will send you an email containing different ways you can pay and after they have received your money, they will secure a permit for you.
African Adventure Vacations limited is a tour company located in East Africa and they do help tourists on securing trekking permits for chimpanzees and mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Tourists intending to have a primate trekking safari in Rwanda will have to send us an email containing the dates they want to travel and using these dates we shall check for the availability of the permits with the Rwanda Development Board. When we find the permits available, we shall send you ways you can send us money and once we have received the money, we shall go ahead to book the permits for you.
How much are primate trekking permits in Rwanda?
The trekking permits are those documents that allow tourists to encounter chimpanzees or mountain gorillas in Rwanda. The permits for gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park do cost $1500 while the chimpanzee trekking permits for Nyungwe forest and Gishwati-Makura national park cost $100 per person per trek. These permits allow travelers to be around the endangered apes for a maximum of 1 hour where you get to learn about their habits, watch them do daily activities, and take photos.
What is the best time to book primate trekking permits for safaris in Rwanda?
The best time to book the trekking permits for Rwanda is 3-4 months before arriving in the country. This is advised by most tour operators and travelers because in that period you are able to secure the permits and avoid last-minute booking disappointments. Booking the permits in advance also helps travelers to prepare for the safari well, pack the essentials necessary, and book the best lodges. Travelers that are intending to trek primates in the dry season are the ones that need booking permits in advance because in June to September and December to February its when the permits tend to sell out quickly.
What to pack for a primate trekking safaris in Rwanda?
As you plan for a primate trekking safari in Rwanda, you need to know what to pack in order to have a perfect safari once you arrive into the country. The packing list includes those things that you might need while in the jungle and they do include long-sleeved clothes, waterproof hiking shoes, a pair of gaiters, gardening gloves, a hat, a rain jacket, sunscreen, insect repellents, a pair of binoculars, a camera and extra batteries, drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, face mask, and sanitizer.
What is the best time to visit Rwanda for a primate trekking safaris?
Rwanda can be visited at any time of the year for primate trekking safaris but there are months that are better than the rest. The rainy months are the best for chimpanzee trekking. Golden monkeys trekking and mountain gorillas trekking safaris in Rwanda. The dry months are characterized by little and sometimes no rainfall that leaves the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is short in these months giving clear views of the park primates, and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists most especially budget travelers can visit Rwanda for a primate trekking safari in the rainy season so as to get huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy months occur from March to May and October to November and they are characterized by too much rainfall that lives the trekking trails slippery and muddy, the vegetation is always tall giving unclear views of the park primates and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Accommodation to book for your primate trekking safaris in Rwanda
Volcanoes national park – Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Bisate Lodge, One $ Only Gorilla’s Nest Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, and Amakoro Songa Lodge among others
Nyungwe forest national park – One & Only Nyungwe House, Kitabi Eco Center Lodge, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Comoran Lodge, Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Uwinka Campsite, Gisakura Guesthouse, Hotel Du Lac, Golden Monkey Hotels, Nyungwe Nziza Eco Lodge, and Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel among others.
Gishwati Mukura national park – Emeraude Kivu Resort, Golden Monkey Hotels, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, Comoran Lodge, Peace Guest Hotel, Uwinka Campsite, and Gisakura Family Hostel among others.