Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is the main chimpanzee trekking park in the country. It is located in the southern part and was launched as a Rwanda National Park in 2005. Nyungwe forest National Park has about 1600 km to 2000km of land but the biggest part is rugged terrain.
Each day, clients rise up as early as 5:00 am to start the chimpanzee trekking experience. They may get to see the chimpanzees de-nesting from there overnight spots. That is how the chimpanzees open up there day, begin feeding but they are mobile too. They keep on there feet all day long searching for the day’s meal.
The chimpanzee mainly feed on foliage including leaves, fruits, soft stems and so much more. At times chimpanzees may feed on monkeys especially during the hunger period when there is less to feed on. When the chimpanzees get chance to harvest honey they enjoy there feast, pick ants too which supplements on there diet.
Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda is mainly done in Nyungwe forest and Cyamudongo forest which is in eastern part of the main National park. Each day chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda starts from Kitambi, Uwinka and Gisakura centers where briefing is done before heading for the forest chimpanzee search.
Troupes of monkeys are also residents of Nyungwe National park like Blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, olive baboons, black and white colobus to mention but a few. Different incredible bird species find there way to Nyungwe National Park.
A number of accommodation facilities support your stay in Nyungwe National Park like Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Gisakura Guest house and so many others.
Chimpanzee Trekking Regulations In Rwanda
Safety of the chimpanzees in the wild during chimpanzee trekking is the goal for Rwanda Development Board (RDB). You need to pay attention to all these rules to succeed.
During chimpanzee trekking keep a distance of about 10 meters from the chimpanzees. This is to protect you and the chimpanzees from direct contact.
Wearing a mask and testing for Covid 19 is compulsory to rule out the chances of spreading this infection to the vulnerable chimpanzees. They may not be endangered right now but there existence especially there habitats have been encroached on by humans which is deadly.
In case you feel any sickness volunteer to stay behind to save the chimpanzees from catching any human infections. Fear is that once they catch this infection it may massively kill them which alters the long time chimpanzee conservation plan.
When with the chimpanzees try not to eat anything that may tempt them to grab. This is because they are wild animals that should fend there food. Feeding them may change there natural way of life turning them into dependents.
Children below 12 years are not allowed to do chimpanzee trekking. This is because they cannot withstand the forest conditions as the chimpanzees are mobile.
Having a guide to take you to escort you to the forest is important because walking in the forest without a guide is risky.
In case you want to defecate ask for help from a guide but do it off trail, bury waste and dump the cleanup beyond recognition about 30 cm deep.
Chimpanzees are sensitive primates so try not to provoke them because it may frighten them sending them into hiding.
Flash photography is forbidden because lightening frightens them. Carry a lens that will give you a perfect projection.
What To Pack For Chimpanzee Trekking In Rwanda
Warm clothes to keep you from getting cold as Rwanda is generally a cold country especially the forest areas. Even the hills that make up the topography of Rwanda bring about this coldness.
Insect repellants to wear when doing chimpanzee trekking as the jungle has some stinging insects that may bite you.
Cover up shoes that are comfortable to wear while moving in the forest for chimpanzee trekking.
Garden gloves that will give you a grip while hiking the slopes to locate the chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park Rwanda.
Energy bites to re-energise while you trek to locate the chimpanzees that are always on there toes while searching for the day’s meal.
A sound-proof camera to keep memories of your encounter with the chimpanzees. Carry good lenses too so that you get better focus.
Another spare battery with great power storage will protect you from missing out on taking pictures of the great moments of chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda. Its very heartbreaking not to take shots of incredible moment with the chimpanzees.
A pair of binoculars to have a clearer view of chimpanzees especially during extreme wet seasons when they hide up the tree tops. Getting a clearer focus is very important for anyone to enjoy the experience.
Do Chimpanzees Eat People
Chimpanzees are mainly vegetarian but during periods of scarcity, they may eat the monkeys. The chimpanzees like in communities of about 100 members that may feed in an area until no more food supply. They have to look for another location from where to feed.
Chimpanzees to be viewed by tourists are habituated to be in the presence of humans however you need to follow the rules of chimpanzee trekking so that you are at peace with them.
When Is The Best time For Chimpanzee Trekking In Rwanda
All year round you can do chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda Nyungwe National Park. The drier seasons however are more comfortable as the chimpanzees feed from the ground. The wet months push you to the tree tops reducing on the chances of quick access.
How much is Rwanda Chimpanzee Trekking Permit
Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda is currently $100 however, it may change as per the policy of Rwanda Development Board (RDB)
How Difficult Is Chimpanzee Trekking In Rwanda
Rwanda is generally a hilly country so expect to hike to find the chimpanzees at times. The dynamic life of the chimpanzees keeps them moving throughout the day to locate the best meal to take them throughout the day.
What Is The age Limit For Chimpanzee Trekking In Rwanda
16 years is the age limit for chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda because of the nature of the topography of the Nyungwe National Park. Children below this age may not be capable of completing the chimpanzee trek in Nyungwe National Park.