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Are you planning to visit Rwanda to see chimpanzees and you want to how hard and challenging is chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park? Nyungwe Forest National Park is located southwest of Rwanda close to the border with Burundi, south of Lake Kivu and west of DR Congo. The park is endowed with great species diversity with over 1000 plant species, 85 mammals, 38 reptiles, 120 butterfly species and 300 birds including 29 endemics. The biodiversity of Nyungwe forest is even further enriched with other beautiful landscapes including swamps, heath, bamboo thickets and open woodlands.
How hard and challenging is chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Chimpanzee trekking altitude in Nyungwe ranges at an elevation of about 1600-2950 m above the sea level in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The trek takes 3-4 hours, it starts at 8am and ends by 1pm.
Nyungwe Forest Park chimpanzee population is second highest in Africa after Kibale Forest National Park, the park has different trails to walk through to search for these great apes, on the your trek you will have an opportunity to see chimpanzee swing in trees, mother chimps cuddling the baby chimps. The trekking starts early in the morning by 5am and this means you will be required to be at the trekking point early in the morning which normally starts with briefing about the does and don’ts while with the chimpanzees in the forest. For you to trek chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park you will need a Chimpanzee permit which can be purchase through Eco Adventure Safaris or directly through Rwanda Development Board.
Other activities to do in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda
Bird Walk in Nyungwe Forest
Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the best birding destinations in Africa; it is home to over 300 bird species including 29 albertine endemic species, these include the Great Blue Turaco, Red-Breasted Sparrow Hawk, White Headed Wood Hoopoe, the Re-Throated Alethe, the Paradise Flycatcher and the Gigantic Forest Hornbill, Green Pigeons, Ross’s Turaco, Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Red-Faced Woodland Warbler, the purple breasted and the blue headed sunbird, the Rockefeller’s Sunbird, Ruwenzori Batis, Stripe-Breasted Tit, Collared Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis and the Regal Sunbird. Given the fact this is a forest spotting the birds maybe hard when alone and with this you will be guided by a experienced guide during your walk through the forest to search for various bird species.
Nyungwe Forest sits on a 1015sq Km making it the largest remaining area of Tropical Afro Montane rainforest in East Africa. The Canopy walk in Nyungwe forest is a 3 hour thriller on a 200 meters long trail located 50 meters above the forest cover is one of the amazing activities not to miss out during your visit to this park. The view at the top of the trees gives you the eagle’s eye experience and great experience of Nyungwe forest you will as well have an opportunity to see various primates as they swing in the trees and different birds.
Hiking through the Forest
Nyungwe forest has different trails for hiking through the forest this will give you an opportunity to view various plants, birds, butterflies. The hike takes 1 to 8 hours.
Colobus Monkey tracking
Nyungwe forest has 13 species of primates with the monkeys the dominant specie. The Rwenzori Colubus monkey is endemic to this forest. Other monkey species you will see include the Grey-Cheeked Mangabeys, Blue-Monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Owl Faced Monkeys and Mona Monkeys.
How to get to Nyungwe Forest National Park
You will drive south from Kigali via Lake Kivu proceed south to Nyungwe National Park. Distance from Kigali to Nyungwe National Park is approximately 225 kilometers which will take you 4 to 5 hours drive to get to the park by road.
By Bus: You can board buses heading to Ruzizi from Nyabugogo Bus Park in Kigali, get off at Uwinka Center the bus ride will take you more than 5 hours.
By Private Car: Hiring a private car is much more comfortable, convenient and will take a much shorter time to get the park. Hiring a car will cost you about 100 dollars a day including a driver.
By Air: RwandAir offers domestic flights with 9 flights a week from Kigali to Kamembe International Airport which just 32km from Nyungwe forest National Park. This is the faster means of transport to get the park. You will need pick up from the airport and transfer to the lodge with this you need to book your transfer in advance with your tour operator.
Best time for Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest National Park
Best time for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest National Park is during June, July and August every year during this time the fig trees have fruits which chimpanzees feed on commonly and this makes finding them easy. There are only two groups open for chimpanzee trekking each group accommodating 8 tourists, this means you will need to book in advance for you to be able to do chimpanzee trekking in this park atleast 3 to 4 months in advance.
What to pack for Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe
Given the fact the trek in done in the forest, where you can encounter insects, stingy trees It is also advisable to wear a long sleeve cotton shirt and lightweight long trousers to protect yourself from the undergrowth, stinging nettles and biting ants. Suggested Items to pack for Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park;
• Insect Repellent
• Torch/Flashlight – and Spare Batteries
• Wet Wipes
• Water Bottle
• Camera, lenses etc
• Comfortable walking/hiking boots & socks
Where to stay in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Lodges in Nyungwe Forest National Park include Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, Gisakura Family Hostel. Contact us here for booking your accommodation.
Why book with Eco Adventure Safaris Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda
Eco Adventure Safaris ethos is to provide personalized service with the utmost dedication to the safety and enjoyment of our clients. We are committed to the well-being of our staff and guests as well as to having a positive impact on the communities and wild places that our operations reach. On all our operations and safaris, we embrace the environmental ethic “Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Only Footprints“. Contact us here for Safari packages to Nyungwe Forest National Park and our dedicated safari consultants will help you plan your safari smoothly. How hard and challenging is chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park