Chimpanzee Safaris in Rwanda
Chimpanzee Safaris are one of the most sought for Primate safaris second to the famous gorilla trekking since they all deal with endangered species. Uganda and Rwanda are two countries known for being hubs for primates; both countries harboring these rare and endangered primates in natural habitats in different parts of the countries. The primates in Uganda and Rwanda include but not limited to the famous mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, baboons, grey-cheeked Mangabey, L’hoest’s monkeys, Patas Monkey among other primates.
As lots of people keep flocking these two countries for mountain gorilla trekking safaris, there is also a significant number of people that are flocking these two countries for a chance to experience chimpanzees that are nest in similar habitats like the mountain gorillas.
In most cases because mountain gorillas are the more sort after animals, travellers desiring to take chimpanzee safaris may wonder where to go for their chimpanzee safaris, so below we highlight the different places where you can have a chimpanzee safari in both Rwanda and Uganda.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest
This Chimpanzee trekking experience in Nyungwe forest takes you through the great Nyungwe rain forest on an adventurous climb quite deep into the forest to get a chance to see the chimpanzees in their natural habitats for up to one hour. The chimpanzee trekking experience in Nyungwe rain forest starts as early as 7 am with a briefing from the authorities on what to expect and the guidelines of the trekking experience, after this briefing you will head into the forest where you find the chimpanzees and spend an hour with them. The entire experience will take about 4 to 5 hours sometimes up to 6 hours but not the entire day. Chimpanzee trekking in the forest costs 100 USD per person per trek.
Nyungwe forest is found in Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park about 5 hours south of the country’s capital Kigali; other activities you can do in this park include canopy walks, hiking and tea plantation visits.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale forest
Kibale rain forest is said to have the biggest number of chimpanzees in the region and possibly in the world hence the name capital of primates. The forest once had over 20,000 chimpanzees nesting in the habitat but poaching and encroaching on the chimpanzees’ habitat caused the numbers to significantly drop due to death from severe living conditions or lack of food. Currently, the number of chimpanzees in the forest is slightly over 5,000 chimpanzees and the numbers look few because of the decline, Kibale forest National Park is still the best place to spot chimpanzees, they are everywhere in the habitat playfully making noises and making the most of this forest.
on this chimpanzee trekking safari in this forest, you will be up early have a briefing about the expectations of the trek and the different guidelines, after the briefing you will then head into the forest for you chimpanzee trekking experience which takes between 5 to 7 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are nesting for the day.
This forest has several chimpanzee habituated families, so you will be sure to catch a chimpanzee even as you walk through the forest. This experience costs 150 USD per person per trek.
Chimpanzee habituation also happens in this great forest at a cost of 200 USD. the habituation experience is similar to the trekking experience with the only difference being that during habituation you spend about 4 hours with the chimpanzees that are not used to human presence like the ones that are trekked, so your role there is to help them adjust to the human presence.
Kibale forest is found in Kibale National Park in western Uganda about 4 to 5 hours from the country’s capital Kampala.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge
The Kyambura gorge in the western rift valley is known as the valley of apes harbouring quite a number of ape species especially the chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking in this gorge starts at 8am with a briefing and then you head into the forest forested gorge to find the chimpanzees.
The experience in this gorge is not meant to take long however the forest terrains in the gorge can be quite rough to navigate but you will spend about 3 to 4 hours. The chimpanzee trekking permit for this gorge costs 50 USD.
Kyambura gorge is found in Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda.
Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest.
The chimpanzee experience in this forest is not different from kyambura gorge; you are at the briefing centre at 8 am and after the briefing head into the forest for your chimpanzee trekking experience. The experience doesn’t take long and you are normally done in 3 hours. The chimpanzee trekking permits for this forest cost 95USD per person per trek.