Chimpanzee tracking and Canopy Walk are one of the Major activities done in Nyungwe Forest National Park, this is one of Rwanda’s major boosting tourism destinations and is located in the South western wing of Rwanda covering over 1000 square kilometres, and Nyungwe is surely one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rain forest. Research put it to be one of Africa’s oldest forests maintaining its green cover even through the Ice Age, which demonstrates its diversity clearly.
Its home to habituated chimpanzees and 12 other primate species including habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus Monkeys, it’s also a birder’s haven with over 300 species, including 16 endemics, and is home to 75 different species of mammal. When it comes to Rwanda Nyungwe Forest National Park is mostly known for the Chimpanzee tracking and it’s about five hours’ drive from Kigali up to this Park’s headquarters.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park
If not doing gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park visitors to Rwanda rush for the habituated Chimpanzees in Nyungwe and this resulted after a great increment in the prices of its gorilla trekking permits. Currently most visitors prefer and resorted to Chimpanzee tracking and Golden Monkey tracking because they cannot reach the prices of gorilla trekking permits marked by Rwanda development board last year.
Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest starts off from three reception centers, named 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: 30am and by 5 am, you drive to the starting point of the tracking journey into the forest.
Since these chimpanzees’ nest each and every night, there are the trackers to go first ahead of the tracking group to first locate them and communicate with the ranger guides. Tourists are allowed to spend only one hour with the chimpanzees in the Montane forests of Nyungwe Forest National Park, and get to observe them so closely going about their own lives, see the human like features and behavior that makes them to be our closest relatives with 98.7 % DNA.
Chimpanzees communicate by way of deafening screams, the loud hoots and booming hitting of the tree barks and the buttress. It’s such a hair rising moment like no other and so memorable.
Chimpanzees are omnivorous feeding both on meat and grass exactly in the same way as human beings do, these chimpanzees mostly feed on young bamboo shoot, sugar canes, fruits like Avocados, jack fruit, oranges, cabbages, Water melon, and more. Chimpanzees are not like Gorillas they feed both on the ground and up in the tree branches which make them to be tricky in that sometimes when they discover presence of human beings, they tend to hide away so it’s always advised to maintain your voice at low tone while in the Jungle. Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park of Rwanda costs $100 USD per person.
This is another boosting activity done which has made Nyungwe Forest National Park to be among Rwanda’s top major destinations to visit. Getting to the canopy is about 2 hours from the starting point at Uwinka visitor Centre. This forest is on a mountain which makes this hike to be slippery due to the mere fact that the ground on which the guests trek is wet and so moist. Viewing the canopy on arrival, most especially for those that are fear heights, this could also be described as the endless walk to hell.
This bridge adjourned between the huge trees one on the feel of the fresh air, 60m above the forest floor. Apart from the freshness in the air and the wonderful aerial view of the trees, you will also enjoy the sights of different fantastic bird species that fly across as you enjoy the walk.
This canopy walk is the most preferred activity for the park visitors and it’s one of those you want to try before you die. It was opened in 2010 and it’s the only one of its kind in east Africa and the third on the African continent. This 90m long canopy walk way also gives a unique face to face meetings with the tsetse flies, butterflies, different bird species and the monkeys like Black & White Colobus, blue monkeys and more.
This activity in Nyungwe Forest National Park of Rwanda costs $60 USD per person and it takes about two hours from the starting point up to the ending point.