Rwanda primate safaris
Rwanda primate safaris will give you an opportunity to explore 3 fascinating wildlife safari destinations that are considered to be some of the best places to tour in while in Rwanda. Trekking primates in Rwanda can be challenging depending on where these apes nested the previous night. Rwanda is famous for mountain gorillas of volcanoes national park but there are other primates for trekking in the country such as chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati Makura national park as well as golden monkeys in volcanoes national park.
There is only one place in Rwanda where mountain gorilla trekking can be done and this is the volcanoes national park in Musanze. The park is home to some of the remaining population of mountain gorillas in the world and these live on the slopes of Virunga mountains namely Bisoke, Karisimbi, Gahinga, Sabyinyo, and Muhabura.
Gorilla trekking starts with a briefing and then the ranger leads you through different park trails and as you hike you will be able to see several park attractions like animals such as buffaloes, duikers, giant forest hogs, elephants, spotted hyenas, several monkey species, birds such as cinnamon-chested bee-eater, bat hawk, white collared silverback, grauer’s rush warbler, and lesser honeyguide.
When you meet the mountain gorillas, you will be given 1 hour to observe them, learn about their habits, watch them do daily activities like nesting, hunting, feeding, and take a number of pictures. To trek these mountain gorillas of volcanoes in Rwanda, you must have a valid gorilla trekking permit from Rwanda Development Board.
Chimpanzee trekking is one of the activities you can do on primate safaris in Rwanda and get a chance to encounter the endangered chimpanzees in their natural habitats. Tourists that want to encounter chimpanzees in Rwanda can get this opportunity in Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati Makura national park only.
In these national parks as you trek chimpanzees you have opportunities to see over 12 other primate species and these are vervet monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkey, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, mona monkeys, olive baboons, grey-cheeked mangabeys, silver monkeys, and much more.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati Makura national park starts with a briefing at the park offices and later grouping is done before the armed ranger guides lead the trekkers into the jungle to search for the fully habituated apes. As you pass through different trekking trails you will be able to meet different primates, mammals, birds and you will pass through different vegetation types. On meeting the chimpanzees, you will be given 1 hour to observe them, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
Golden monkey trekking
Golden monkey trekking is another activity that can be done on primate safaris in Rwanda and this activity can be done in volcanoes national park. Volcanoes national park is the only place where the golden monkeys do live and these are found on the slopes of Virunga mountains like Sabyinyo, Gahinga, Muhabura, Bisoke, and Karisimbi.
To trek the golden monkeys of Volcanoes national park you will have a trekking permit and on the morning of trekking, you will move with all the necessary documents to the briefing point where ranger guides will brief you about the activity before armed ranger guides lead you into the jungle.
As you hike through different park trails looking for the golden monkeys, you will be able to spot different park mammals, primates like the vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, and several bird species such as strange weaver, collared apalis, red-faced woodland warbler, and bateleur among others. Golden monkeys can also be found in Mgahinga national park of Uganda in East Africa.
The most best months to visit Rwanda for primate safaris
Tourists who want to visit Rwanda for primate safaris can do so at any time of the year but some months are better than the rest and these are the drier months. The drier months are the best for primate safaris in Rwanda and these occur in June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall which leaves the trekking trails dry, the roads leading to the parks passable, and the vegetation in the park very thin with clear views of park primates.
Tourists that want to trek primates in Rwanda can still visit in the rainy season of March to May and October to November but during these months there is always too much rainfall that makes the roads to the park impassable, the trekking trails muddy and slippery and the vegetation is always thick giving unclear views of primates. the rainy season favors budget travelers because there are always huge discounts on accommodation facilities.
Where to stay on primate safaris in Rwanda?
Volcanoes national park – tourists on a mountain gorilla trekking or golden monkey trekking safari can stay at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, One $ Only Gorilla’s Nest Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, and Amakoro Songa Lodge among others
Nyungwe forest national park – Tourists on a chimpanzee trekking safari can stay at One & Only Nyungwe House, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Nyungwe forest lodge, Gisakura Guesthouse, Hotel Du Lac, and Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel among others.
Gishwati Mukura national park – The park has only one lodge inside and this is Gishwati Lodge but tourists can use accommodation facilities next to Nyungwe forest national park such as Emeraude Kivu Resort, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, Peace Guest Hotel, Golden Monkey Hotels, Comoran Lodge, Uwinka Campsite, and Gisakura Family Hostel among others.