Welcome to Rwanda the land of thousand hills and the smartest country in East and Central Africa. Rwanda is famously known for the great mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes and previously tourists have been visiting the country for the gorillas.
Today, most of travelers hosted in the country do take a combined primate adventure and always start with the Chimpanzee trekking that is one of the most touristic safari activities in the ‘Land of a thousand hills’ – Rwanda. South of Rwanda however nestles the best chimpanzee refuge in the country, known as Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Therefore, for the travelers taking Luxury Rwanda Safari can combine the One & Only Resorts, Rwanda experience and on this you can experience the beautiful view from the green tea plantation on your way to the Nyungwe Forest and then the chimp trek and the canopy walk on the scenic designed trail in the park. Here you will have stay at the One & Only Nyungwe House that offers the super international luxury space and services.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe:
Nyungwe is a vast area of mountain rain forests which inhabit one of the world’s great apes, the common chimpanzees. It is one of the oldest rain forests in Africa, particularly very popular for its rich biodiversity and the beautifully spectacular landscape.
Topping on the list of any tourist’s visit in the Park is primate trekking – chimpanzee trekking in particular. The Nyungwe forest has two areas where chimpanzees can be trekked from and these are; Uwinka and Cyamudongo.
Meanwhile, if you surely went in the Park to trek the beautiful common chimpanzees you are always expected and much advised to wake up very early in the morning such that you go for an early morning tracking session before these precious animals’ scatter in the Park. Like with any other safari activity, you will first have an early morning breakfast before you set off to the park headquarters.
When you are done with the early morning breakfast, your driver-guide will drive you straight to the park headquarters for briefings. Before entering the rain forest to trek the chimpanzees, you should always have to first attend the briefings about the entire activity. Briefings are conducted at the starting point of the trek.
After the briefings, you will be led by a park ranger into the rain forest to track chimpanzees of which on meeting them you will be able to spend one memorable hour with the chimpanzees. Chimpanzee tracking is however a strenuous activity that needs physicality and commitment, therefore if you are feeling any illness you shouldn’t tamper to do the activity.
The mountainous region is teaming with much other wildlife. Besides the chimpanzees, the forest also harbors 12 other species of primate, including the L’Hoest’s monkey endemic to the Albertine Rift. Overall, Nyungwe forest is home to 13 primate species, including over 500 chimpanzees as well as L’Hoest’s monkey, Angola colobus, Rwenzori colobus, silver monkey, golden monkey, owl-faced monkey, red-tailed monkey, Den’tmona monkey, Vervet monkey, olive baboon, grey-cheeked mangabey and three species of bush babies.
Chimpanzee Permit in Nyungwe:
Unlike the Rwanda luxury gorilla permit that costs US$ 1,500, a chimpanzee permit for Nyungwe is very affordable costing only US$ 90.
The Canopy Walk in Nyungwe:
The canopy walk is an exciting activity in Nyungwe where you can see the rest of the Park from above on a bridge that’s built on trees of Nyungwe. The bridge offers stunning views of the Park as you will be viewing the Park overhead.
The memorable canopy walk takes close to 2 hours and its starting and end point is at Uwinka tourist reception center. With the walk, you will first have a 200 meters’ walk along the forest trail under the thick canopies for an opportunity of viewing the ground level nature before taking on the canopy walk way to get to the top level of the forest.
The major sightings here include; the monkeys, such as blue monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, black and white Colobus, the red-tailed monkeys and several bird species. The canopy walk however costs of US$60 per person paid to the reception center and the activity is only eligible to persons above 6 years. Younger ones should always be escorted by adults. Amazingly this hike is so easy and takes only 2 hours to complete it with guaranteed stunning views of the Park.
Apart from Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park you can experience this in the Gishwati – Mukura National Park. It is nestled in the western region of the country and lying between Akagera and Volcanoes National Parks, Gishwati – Mukura National Park is Rwanda’s newest Park covering an area of 13.2 square miles. The park was formed by merging the Mukura and Gishwati forests.
The merging of two major forests has thus built up a park with outstanding biodiversity with animals like the Red river hogs, bush bucks, serval cats, tree hyraxes and black-fronted duiker calling it home.
The major attraction here is however chimpanzee tracking but tourists should take note that chimpanzee tracking here is not as perfect as it is in Nyungwe as you may track and fail to locate any chimpanzee. The park has 5 primate species including chimpanzees, baboons, golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys.
Besides chimpanzee tracking, the protected area is also a famous birding destination in Rwanda with over 100 species of birds. Visitors to the park can also expect to encounter brown forest frogs, toads, chameleons and bush vipers.
Thereafter, on your way to Volcanoes National Park you will have the scenic view of the Lake Kivu and then upon your arrival at the park check in the One & Only Gorilla’s Nest Lodge and here you can experience the gorilla trek, golden monkey tracking, Dian Fossey Hike, Musanze Cave, Iby’Iwacu cultural village, Musanze Museum, Visit to the Twin Lakes and much more can be experience depending on the time you have to stay at this park.