Are you a primate lover and you are planning to visit Rwanda this coming holiday? For primate enthusiasts on safari in Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the most exceptional travel destinations in East Africa that shouldn’t miss out in your bucket list. This primate paradise boasts of over 13 distinct primate species most of which include chimpanzees making chimpanzee trekking one of the most sought after primate adventures at this park. Other remarkable primates at this park include silver monkeys, the rare L’Hoest’s monkeys, red tailed monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkeys, dent’s Mona monkey, olive baboon, grey cheeked mangabeys and others.
Most of the chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park are fully habituated meaning they are used to human presence. This primate adventure is done in the morning and in the afternoon starting with early morning briefing at the park headquarters. It lasts for about 2 to 6 hours depending on various factors especially visitor hiking speed, nature of habitat, location of these spectacular creatures. Like other destinations, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park involves visitors hiking through a tropical rain forest. This also rewards visitors with spectacular views of forest birds, floral species and several forest dwellers. Up on getting these beautiful creatures, you will have only an hour to explore their behavior-their hunting behaviors, feeding habits, coupling, socializing behavior and take photos as many as you can. Permits for this adventure in Rwanda cost $90 per visitor.
Colobus monkey tracking
Besides chimpanzee tracking, Nyungwe Forest National Park also refuges a number of black and white colobus monkeys which come in large numbers compared to any African country. This makes it one of the ideal destinations for you to track these most fascinating wild creatures. This thrilling primate experience starts at 8:00 am and takes visitors about 2 to 5 hours and only one hour is given for you to have a face to face encounter with these dramatic wild creatures. Compared to their colleagues the chimpanzees, colobus monkeys are docile and hence provide visitors opportunity to have a more relaxed primate experience with them in the wilderness. They usually have their young ones around them and you will have amazing experiences with these playful creatures. Tracking these colobus monkeys cost $70 per visitor.
The canopy walk
Canopy walk features among the major safari highlights in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Unlike other tropical rain forest, Nyungwe Forest National Park offers visitors with the most exceptional canopy walk in the entire East Africa and features the 3rd of its kind in Africa. The canopy walk was initiated in October, 2010 and it stands at altitude 200 and it is 90 meters long. This amazing forest experience offers you opportunity to discover what the canopy landscapes hold with spectacular views of the spectacular butterflies, birds and several primates. When you reach to some parts, you will cross some deep valleys which leave you with lots of memories. Nyungwe canopy walk starts at Uwinka visitor center and you will spend approximately 2 hours and for this lifetime experience, you will pay $60.
Besides primate adventures, bird lovers are also not left out when it comes to safaris at this park. Nyungwe Forest National Park offers refuge to over 300 distinct bird species 26 of these are restricted to the Albertine rift making it one of the birders havens in Rwanda. While on birding safari in this spectacular tropical rainforest, you will have a chance to sight bird species like the Rwenzori Turacos, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Red throated alethe, apalis Argentea, Stripe breasted tit parus fasciiventure, purple breasted and blue headed, Batis diops, alethe poliophrys, white casqued hornbill, dusky crimson wing, Archer’s robin chat Cossypha archeri, Ruwenzori Nightjar, yellow eyed black flycatcher, Red collared babbler, Cryptospiza jacksoni, Hemitesia naumanni, Caprimulgus Ruwenzori, Neumann’s warbler, Kupeornis Rufocinctus, Regal sunbird, Shelley’s crimson wing, Francolinus nobilis mention but a few.
For those of you who are adventure enthusiasts, you can also engage in hiking adventures in the various hiking trails which at this park. The extensive hiking trails for you to embark on your amazing hiking experiences at Nyungwe Forest National Park include Igishigishigi trail, Karamba trail, Imbaraga trail, Umugote trail, Umuyove trail, Congo Nile Divide trail, Kamiranzovu, Uwinka trail, Isumo trail, Irebero trail, Bigugu trail, Rukuzi trail, Ngabwe trail, Rukuzi trail. Hiking in Nyungwe Forest is amazing with each trail lasting for about 1 t0 8 hours and reward visitors with distinct attractions and experiences. Hiking experiences in this park usually rotate around exploring unique primates, wildlife, birds, butterflies, flowers and plant species.
In conclusion, Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of kind protected areas that you should consider a must to include in your travel plan and you won’t regret in life. If you are planning for a gorilla safari in the Volcanoes National Park don’t miss to add chimpanzee trekking at this park in your bucket list.