Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda is not as popular as gorilla trekking and for most of the tourists, gorilla trekking is the driving force and major attraction for coming to Rwanda, however, there is a lot to do more than that and you can see a lot in this land of a thousand hills than just the famous mountain gorillas. The price of the gorilla permit to track the gorillas discourages many tourists from visiting Rwanda, in many cases, it’s more expensive than the cost of the flight. It is very important to enjoy a cost-effective safari while you trek the chimpanzees instead of gorillas.
Chimpanzee Trekking is so different from the mountain gorilla trekking experience, so unlike the mountain gorillas, the chimps are moving constantly around and at high speeds, jumping from tree to tree making noise. But the gorillas are usually found sitting eating quietly within the forest clearings. Gorillas are very shy and aggressive while the chimpanzees are stubborn and very jumpy aThe other big difference between these two is the tracking experiences and by this the gorillas, one is usually allowed one hour of observing and taking photos of them, but with the chimpanzee tracking in Rwanda, there is no limit, keeping up with them is also the main challenge and the biggest determining factor of the amount of time that is spent with them. Of all the primates that are found in the Nyungwe forest, it’s the chimpanzees that are the famous ones and core wildlife attractions in this national park.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest starts off from three reception centers, that’s Uwinka, Kitabi, and Gisakura, where the tourists meet the park rangers and the tourists, are also expected to be at the reception as early as 4: 30 am and by 5 am, you drive to the starting point of the trek into the forest. Since the chimps nest each and every night, there are the trackers who go ahead of the trekking group of finding them and communicate with the ranger guides. The tourists spend only 1 hour with the chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest National park and get to observe them so closely going about their own lives and see the human-like features and behavior that makes them our closest relatives with 98.7 % DNA. The chimps also communicate by way of deafening screams, the loud hoots and booming hitting of the tree barks and the buttress. It’s such a hair-raising moment like no other and so memorable.
These habituated chimpanzee group in Nyungwe forest is also bigger with about 60 individuals and due to the greatness of the forest and terrain, it gives few chances of seeing the chimps, while the group in Cyamudongo forest that has a smaller number of about 30 chimps giving the most successful sightings that are given in the small size that is covered to find the chimps in any part.