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Nyungwe National Park 1 Day Chimpanzee Trekking Rwanda Safari is a full-day tour from Kigali to Nyungwe Forest National park located 225 km from Kigali, Rwanda. Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 4 to 5-hour drive from Kigali on good roads.
Nyungwe Forest covers over 1000km² of montane rainforest – the largest intact area of mountain forest in East and Central Africa. The drive en route to Nyungwe from Kigali offers attractions such as Nyanza King’s Palace and the National Museum should you wish to break the journey.
Nyungwe is an ideal destination for lovers of primates and most visitors in Rwanda will go for at least one tracking experience, the most popular of which is chimpanzee trekking. Our search for chimpanzees takes us into the oldest montane forest in Africa, on foot. Walking through this ancient and biodiverse rainforest is an incredible chance to spot a rich array of exotic and rare animals, birds, plants, and small creatures.
Once we find a troop of chimpanzees we spend time watching them move between the trees noisily. Sharing 98% of the same DNA as humans, chimpanzees are our closest relatives, often behaving very similarly to humans.
Nyungwe Forest is home to about 500 chimpanzees, offering excellent opportunities to watch these social apes, along with 12 other primate species (including a 400-strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus). Nyungwe Forest National Park is the only place where we have seen the troops of many 300 colobus monkeys that travel in the trees.
We are likely to encounter black-faced vervet monkeys and l’Hoest’s monkeys, with grey-cheeked mangabey and Rwenzori colobus monkeys also often sighted.
Along with the abundance of primates, the dense tropical forest of Nyungwe also hosts over 60 species of other mammals, a multitude of orchids, over 120 butterfly species, and more than 300 species of birds. Keep an eye out for endemic Grauer’s warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, and Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill in the forest canopy.
We have lunch in this massive old rainforest and later this afternoon we make our way back to Kigali city, in central Rwanda bringing our memorable Rwanda trip to a close.
Other activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park besides tracking the famous chimpanzees include experiencing the canopy walk, bird watching, excursions to Lake Kivu and Gisakura tea factory, scaling Mt Bigugu, and expedition to Kamiranzovu Marsh. Covering over 1000 square km, Nyungwe is one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rainforests.
The park is also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species, including 16 endemics, and is home to 75 different species of mammal.
Nyungwe National Park 1 Day Chimpanzee Trekking Rwanda Safari Itinerary
Our 1-day Nyungwe Forest chimpanzee trekking tour begins with an early morning pick-up from your hotel in Kigali. Our safari driver guide picks you up (0430 hours) and transfers you to the Nyungwe National Park located in South Western part of Rwanda.
Check-in to the park (0830 hours) followed by a briefing about the trek at the Uwinka visitors center. During the briefing, you will be briefed on how to behave in the presence of the chimpanzees the Dos and Don’ts in order to have an amazing experience while you carry out the activity. After receiving a briefing and depending on the number of people present for the chimpanzee trek you will be divided into two groups.
One will track starting at the Uwinka center and another starting at Cyamudongo – which will require your driver guide to transfer you to the starting point. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe national park can be carried out within the park and outside the park in Cyamudongo forest and the Park.
The park has two habituated chimpanzee groups the larger one in the park and the smaller one in the Cyamudongo forest. Regardless of where you go chimpanzee trekking, the experience is quite the same, engaging, interesting, and most of all rewarding. In the Cyamudongo forest, there is one habituated group and the other is in the habituation process which will increase the number of people that will participate in the chimpanzee trekking process.
In the park, you will have a variety of attractions to look at while carrying out chimpanzee trekking including other primate species including Olive baboons, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Ruwenzori colobus, Vervet monkeys, silver monkeys, Grey-cheeked manga-bey, red-tailed monkeys, among other monkeys species.
Your range guide will be in communication with the trackers who live early morning to locate where the chimpanzee nested the previous night. Chimpanzee trekking is an easy activity that is not time-consuming. The duration of your trek depends on the location of the chimps – this could take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to find them.
Long before you see the Chimpanzees, you can hear their almost deafening screams, their hoots, and cackles. You are allowed to stay with the chimps for only 1 hour after locating them, and learn their different daily patterns like their feeding patterns, grooming patterns, playtime, and many other activities that they carry out in the wild which is a very captivating experience. Photography is allowed but remember that flash is prohibited.
Since chimpanzee trekking takes relatively a short period of time, you can participate in other activities that the park has to offer for instance you can carry out a canopy walk which lasts for 2 hours. The Canopy walk is done on a suspended bridge 70m high above the great Nyungwe forest and this walk is a guided walk on a 160 m long walkway on this suspended bridge.
The walk starts from the Uwinka Reception Centre and offers its walkers great views of the great East African region, Lake Kivu, and the different sections of the Nyungwe forest as they spot the different animals, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians that live in the forest.
Later begin the journey back to Kigali.
* We suggest that you dress for the occasion. Have a daypack with binoculars, mineral water, and snacks.
* Wear a good pair of hiking boots, long trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, a light rain jacket that you can put into your backpack, and add a hat that will keep the sun out of your face.
Nyungwe National Park 1 Day Chimpanzee Trekking Rwanda Safari Prices
Nyungwe National Park 1 Day Chimpanzee Trekking Rwanda Safari included;
Lunch+ Bottled water + Professional guide + Hotel pickup and drop-off & Nyungwe Forest National Park fee
|Dates From||Dates To||Price Per Person||Children Aged 8 to 12 Years|
|1st January 2023||31st December 2023||Request for rates||Request for rates|
*The times indicated on the itinerary are estimated (to give you a general idea) and can change due to weather, traffic, etc
* Because of the limited time will have a packed lunch at Huye City (formerly Butare) the second most important city in Rwanda
* Do remember to take plenty of water with you for the trek – your guide will provide extra for you. You may also want to take a snack, for extra energy!
* The maximum trekking group size is 8, accompanied by a guide and an armed park ranger. You’ll also have the choice to hire a porter to accompany you on the trek
* Your dedicated driver-guide will be with you for the duration of your trip in Rwanda – they’ll accompany you to the park headquarters, and introduce you to your gorilla trekking guide
Nyungwe National Park 1 Day Chimpanzee Trekking Rwanda Safari included;
* Visa and visa fees
* International Air tickets
* Items of personal nature
* Optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
* Tips/ Gratuity for your porters, driver, and guides
* Food and drinks, Alcoholic drinks, Souvenir photos