This Rwanda safari takes you for primate trekking in the forests of Rwanda. Start with gorilla trekking in the volcanoes national park; visit the tombs of the gorilla scientist as well as a cultural visit of Iby’Iwacu village. End the Rwanda gorilla trek with chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest as well as a canopy walk which will help you to locate other primates like blue monkeys, baboons, white and black colobus, Angola colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, red tailed monkeys and mountain monkeys.
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is the most popular tourism product in Rwanda. This activity involves hiking through mountainous areas and forests in search of a creature that resembles/behaves like humans. Mountain gorillas are special among the gorilla sub-species because of their endangered status.
This activity involves hiking through mountainous areas and forests in search of a creature that resembles/behaves like humans. Mountain gorillas are special among the gorilla sub-species because of their endangered status. Only 1000 individuals still roam earth and there are none in zoos. An encounter with them is concerned to be one of the best wildlife experiences.
Right from airport to your preferred hotel for the overnight and refreshing from the flight. Then be briefed by the experienced driver guide for tomorrow’s programme. Early in the next morning drive to volcanoes national park for trek briefing at the park’s headquarter about the dos and don’ts.
During the briefing session, the Rangers and Warden will share information about the park, the gorilla groups, gorilla conservation activities and how to conduct oneself while with the primates. After the briefing, your gorilla permits and passports will be verified. After that you will be given a walking stick and allocated a gorilla group based on your overall fitness.
Only 8 people can track a gorilla group in a day. The Rangers will take you to different starting points depending on the gorilla group you are allocated. If you have any heavy luggage, you can hire a porter to help out. Porter services go for between 10 to 15 US Dollars.
While with the gorillas, follow instructions from the Rangers. Only start taking photos when you are allowed two. Do not touch a gorilla even when they come close to you. Keep a distance of at least 7 meters from the nearest gorilla. Do not surround the gorillas or make loud noises out of excitement. You are allowed only 1 hour with the gorillas. Take the time to observe the family.
After the gorilla safari trek, go for Dian Fossey Tomb Hike: Dian Fossey is considered to be one of the greatest primatologists of all time. She was the first to study mountain gorillas extensively hence making the park very famous. Dian Fossey’s name is also synonymous with gorilla conservation. She fought hard to stop poaching and pet trade within the wider Virunga ranges and it is because of her that mountain gorillas now thrive. Unfortunately, Fossey was murdered by people believed to have been poachers. Tourists often visit her tomb located between Mount Karisimbi and Bisoke to pay homage. A Dian Fossey tomb hike includes visiting her former Karisoke Research Centre.
Also visit Iby’Iwacu cultural village before transferring to Nyungwe: Now known as the Gorilla Guardians Village, the Centre brings together all the tribes in Rwanda for an amazing cultural showdown. On a typical tour of the village, tourist can sit back, relax and watch traditional dance performances. After watching the performers, one can also checkout some local food, visit the local medicine-man, cook local food or take local beer.
Transfer to Nyungwe forest for chimpanzee and canopy walk. Rwanda is one of the best places to track primates in Africa. Apart from the gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park, a safari can be arranged to take you for chimpanzee and small primates tracking in Nyungwe forest. The small primates include Vervet monkeys, olive baboons, black/white colobus, grey cheeked mangabeys, red-tailed monkeys, Angola Colobus, golden monkeys and more. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest is the most popular activity. Like gorillas, chimpanzees are also close relatives of humans. Though gorillas may be seen as wiser, chimps are very intelligent and dramatic primates. An interaction with them is always special.
Chimpanzee trekking permit for Nyungwe forest national park is charged 90 USD person per day for all foreign non-residents as for the foreign residents the permit is 60 USD per person and maximum of 8 people are allowed to meet with chimpanzee community and they are allowed to spend only one hour with the chimpanzees.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park is an early morning activity that starts at 5:00 am with a briefing at the park centres. Nyungwe forest national park has about three sections where the chimpanzee trekking starts from such as Kitabi section, Gisakura section as well as the Uwinka which known as the park headquarters.
Trekking will take you about 2-6 hours due to the fact that chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park are found of moving from one place to another from tree to tree as they search for food of the day in the forest. Visitors who go for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park are allowed to spend only one hour with the chimpanzee community from the time they have met it.
After that forest trek, take a Canopy Walkway. Suspended above a ravine in the lush montane rain forest of Nyungwe National Park, the canopy walkway provides an exhilarating perspective on the ancient treetops and wildlife.
The 160m long and 70m high Suspension Bridge is accessible as part of a guided tour along the Igishigishigi trail, or to those hiking the Imbaraga or Umuyove trails.
Having escaped the last ice age, the Nyungwe forest is a hotbed of biodiversity. Along the hour’s walk to the canopy walkway from the Uwinka Reception Centre, visitors will see countless butterflies, orchids and colourful birds, including many endemics to the region. Thirteen species of primate live in Nyungwe, so a chance encounter isn’t out of the question, although those wishing to seek them out should opt for a dedicated primate visit.
The steep forested slopes have well-maintained footpaths, which can become muddy, especially after rain. So, with this canopy, you will avoid the mud that would make you tired so fast. Transfer back to Kigali for your flight.