Nyungwe Forest National Park and Chimpanzee Tracking Tours in Rwanda
Chimpanzee Tracking Tours are the most prominent Safari Activity carried out in Nyungwe Forest National Park located South West of Rwanda. The Forest has green forest vegetation which is a very suitable habitat for the Chimpanzees in the wild.
Chimpanzee Tracking Adventures take place in the Cyamudongo Forest which is located a few kilometers from Nyungwe Forest National Park with dense vegetation covering an area of 4 square Kilometers between Gisakura and Rusizi and 20 kilometers from Bugarama.
Other Primates can be spotted here as well and these include; Dent’s Mona monkey, L’Hoest monkey, blue monkey and nocturnal like the Potto.
Chimpanzee Tracking Adventure in Nyungwe Forest Rwanda
Chimpanzee Tracking Adventures in Nyungwe Forest National Park are carried out in Cyamudongo Forest and the tracking process requires you to transfer with a valid Chimpanzee Tracking Permit which costs US $100 per person to the Park Headquarters. When you reach here you will be briefed about the Dos and Don’ts around the Chimpanzees, then be distributed in groups of 8 to track the Chimpanzees.
You will then proceed to penetrate the forest and search for the Chimpanzees for 3-5 hours depending on their current location and when you meet them, only an hour is allowed to stay in their presence taking photos to keep for memories. After tracking the Chimpanzees, you will transfer back to the headquarters.
How to Get to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is located South West of Rwanda about 225 kilometers requiring you to transfer for a period of 4-5 hours from Kigali. Getting to the Park will require you to transfer by Air, Car.
By Car you will transfer for a longer period via the Uwinka Visistor’s Center stretch to Gisakura with in 4-5 hours from Kigali and if you use a bus,you will transfer for 8 hours.
By Air, you will book a flight with Rwanda Air from Kigali to Kamembe Airport located 32 kilometers off Lodge One & Only Nyugwe House (Former Nyungwe Forest lodge). This is the fastest means to get to Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Other Primates to track in Nyungwe Forest National Park
The Angolan Colobus Monkeys
- They are black with white ornaments
- Live in vast groups of 350 to 400 individuals
- Trekking them is not tiresome as the chimpanzee trek
- Are always at top of the trees
- They have a habit of messy eating which enables spreading of seeds-fruits
- In order to spot them, wake up early and take a morning nature walk through the forest
- Other things you will include birds, primates.
The L’Hoest Monkeys
- These are referred to as mountain monkeys
- They are endemic to the albertine Rift and can also be found in the Rwenzori Mountains and Bwindi impenetrable forest as well as Gishwati Forest.
- They have dark black bodies with a fuzzy white beard
- They move on all the fours on the ground as they hunt
- The males weigh between 5-7 kilos where as the females are smaller in size
- The smaller groups are dominated and led by females
The Owl Faced Monkeys
- These are the most exceptional specie of monkeys that inhabit Nyungwe forest
- Their faces look like that of an owl
- It is solitary and very endangered although can be spotted while on the various trails
- It is a close relative of the L’Hoest monkey
- Live in smaller groups with one dominant male and many females
- They are quite hard to study/ do research on
- They have a white stripe that goes from the top of the lip to the top of the nose due to the fact that if is an owl monkey with an owl face
The Dent’s Mona Monkey
- They are usually found in large groups of other species like the blue monkeys, grey cheeked Mangabeys and the Ruwenzori Colobus Monkeys.
- Live in comparatively smaller groups with one male surrounded by many females
- The females rule and lead the groups
- They have a long black tail, a white rump and brown back
- They have hairy faces and when they get food, they carry it with their vast cheek pouches
- Prefer fruit although sometimes, they eat leaves and insects.
The Blue Monkeys
- They are not blue in color but instead are light grey with olive fur which gives off its kind of the blue hue while at the tree tops.
- They live in the tree tops so one has to look up in the trees in order to spot them
- They rarely come down at the forest floor but instead find food and shelter in the tree tops.
- They live in female groups of about 10-40 with one dominant male.
- All of them raise each other’s young ones like they are theirs.
- Are prominently found around Uwinka visitor’s center at Nyungwe Forest.
The Vervet Monkeys
- They are referred to as the grey Guenon
- They can also be found in the Open woodlands and Savannah
- They like the baboon’s raid crops and can enter homes to search for food.
- The faces have black masks where as the rest of the body is grey.
- They are the most regular monkey around the world.
Canopy walks are another safari activity to carry out in Nyungwe Forest National Park and involves transferring from one point to another at the top of gigantic mahogany Trees. It is located about 60 meters high above a sharp valley full of rocks which are usually hit by thunder making all that traverse the walkway have unique adventures in Nyungwe Forest National Park. You will take on this for a period of 1-3 hours watching various bird species, forest vegetation and primates like the vervet monkeys, golden monkeys, etc. The Canopy Walks permit costs US $60 per person interested.
Bird watching in Nyungwe Forest is also another activity carried out in the forest with numerous Bird Species inhabiting the thick forest vegetation habitat of Nyungwe Forest National Park at Cyamudongo Forest. The Birds birders can watch here include; 310 species of birds in the Karamba Area near Gisakura i.e the Red-faced Barbet, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Papyrus Gonolek, White-headed, Black and familiar Chats, Carruther’s and Tabora Cisticolas, White-winged and Broad-tailed, Warblers and Miombo Wren-Warblers, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Rwenzori Batis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Archer’s Robin-chat, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Grauer’s Rush, Neumann’s and Grauer’s Warbles, Masked Mountain Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit and Strange Weaver.
Hiking and Nature Walks
Hiking and Nature Walks are also very remarkable in Nyungwe Forest National Park with numerous trails to take on through the thick forest vegetation watching birds, mammals and primates. The Walks in Nyungwe Forest National Park include and Cost;
- Tropical Waterfall Guided Hike-1 day–US $50
- Congo Nile Guided Hike-3 days–US $100