Chimpanzee Tracking in Nyungwe


Nyungwe Forest National Park

Probably the most rewarding activity in the Nyungwe National Park is Chimpanzee tracking. You enjoy a (very) early morning breakfast followed by an early morning hike in search of chimpanzee communities. Once you reach the chimpanzees you are allowed to spend one hour with them. You can see how they interact together, where they sleep, what they like to feed on and also to see how sociable they are. Only one group of walkers is allowed to visit any one troop of chimpanzees on any given day, so that they are not put under any stress.

There are two groups of chimpanzees who are habituated. The Rwandan chimpanzee population is thought to consist of approx. 400-500 individuals in the Nyungwe National Park, including a small community in the Cyamudongo Forest.

Prepare to hear these excitable primates before you see them, as their hoots travel through the deep forest. During your hike you may also spot migratory birdlife including the Ross turaco, grey-cheeked hornbill, red-breasted sparrow hawk and the regal sunbird.

As well as tracking the chimpanzees, you can also enjoy a hike to track the colobus monkeys as well, and also take the Canopy Walkway through the trees.

Fitness Levels

As the park is between 1600m and 2950m above sea level, you will be affected by the altitude and so we recommend a reasonable level of fitness. As they can be on the move, it is difficulty to say how long you may need to walk to reach one of the troops but generally it is between 40 and 60 minutes but it could be more.

Best time to see the Chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park

Generally try to avoid the two more rainy seasons of April-May and also November June to Late August is a particularly good time as it is relatively dry (but it is a rainforest so it can rain at any time of the year.) However during this time the fig trees are full of fruit and so it is a great time to see the chimpanzees feasting.