ParkIt’s one of the 13 primate species found in the forest and the only ape, there’s at Nyungwe. Nyungwe Forest National Park habituates a total of about 500 Chimpanzees and they are basically two chimpanzee groups known for welcoming and entertaining guests; the one group at the Cyamdungo (and best recommended for elders) and others around the Uwinka areas of the park ( and best for the strong and active youths- though those strong physically and healthy wise can visit both groups). Chimpanzee tracking is a major tourist activity at Nyungwe National Park.
In East Africa, they (chimpanzees) are only in four places with big chimpanzee parks that’s; Nyungwe Forest National Park of Rwanda, Kibale Forest National Park of Uganda, and Mahale and Gombe streams of Tanzania. Just like mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking too is an amazing activity best recommended in the mornings and therefore tracking regulations and preparations must be clearly put into consideration. Chimpanzee tracking is also carried out in groups of 8 people and limited to an hour of interaction with the Apes once found so as not to tire them.
When going for chimpanzee tracking, one should mind their dressing code like carry long trousers with long sleeved shirts, rain jackets, ( since it’s a rain forest), hat, and hiking boots as well as snack / packed lunch and water in the backpack. But it should be noted that sighting / watching / viewing these creatures (the apes) cannot be as clear as that of the mountain gorillas because the Chimpanzees do remain within the dense canopy so you can only enjoy their playfulness and human like characters which is yet an interesting and worthwhile experience. There are guides who are usually ready and available to render you any help and are always aware of the trails of these primates and the trees on which they feed which then makes it an easy activity. You will be warned that you might not see the chimps first time around and can be seen for a second as they are always running; you only catch a glimpse of these creatures, although the trackers are pretty good and know which trees they feed on. You are most likely to catch them perched in a ficus tree and might spot Mona monkeys too.
Unlike gorilla trekking that keep moving and stay in area of high altitude), chimpanzee tracking doesn’t require very strenuous movements since they keep in low areas. These tour guides are also very friendly and helpful and usually do their best to equip you with enough information on the forest and its inhabitants (the flora and fauna). If opting for a chimpanzee tracking adventure, there are three centers for Nyungwe National Park where the tourists can meet their guides and porters ;Gisakura, Uwinka, and Kitabi centers.
How to Visit Nyungw Forest
You can go chimpanzee tracking on an organized Rwanda tour offered by a local tour operator or you can travel independently. For independent travel you can book a bus ticket in time since vehicles are not provided here but buses are always moving on the road running through the forest. The Chimpanzee tracking permits are always provided at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) at; firstname.lastname@example.org