Besides Kibale National Park Uganda the “Primate capital of the world”; Rwanda is another stunning destination prominent for being home to the funniest primates in the world; chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda happens in Nyungwe National Park and its annexe Cyamudongo Forest, in southwestern Rwanda. It is a very interesting activity for you will enjoy time in the forest as you watch man’s closest cousin mimicking you, giggling, jumping from branch to branch and many more. They are more active during morning hours than in the afternoon. Nyungwe Forest, Africa’s largest Afro-montane Forest is home to about 500 Chimpanzees and close to 100 that are habituated and used to Humans near them. The forest is the perfect supplement to a Gorilla Safari in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. There are two groups of habituated Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest, the larger one has about 60 chimpanzees while the smaller group of 30 is tracked in Cyamudongo Forest area of the Park.
The Rwanda chimpanzee trekking safari experience is different from the Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris as you will watch the chimps are running around in the tree canopies, and so there may be running after to catch up and sightings are a bit more irregular and rushed. Long before you see the Chimpanzees, you can hear their almost deafening screams, their hoots, and cackles. Unlike with the Mountain Gorillas who are quite calm as you visit them on your Rwanda gorilla safari, the chimpanzees are on the move both on the ground and in the Trees. An amazing sight for the Trekkers who come to visit on that day. You get one hour with the chimpanzees in Nyungwe, one hour that is quite memorable. While you are in search of your Chimpanzee Groups you will most likely see other primates that are residents of the forest such as the large groups of Colobus Monkeys as well as Wild Orchids, and plants and trees that make up this vast Rainforest.
The chimp trekking activity in Nyungwe Forest National Park sets off from three reception centres; Kitabi, Uwinka (main) and Gisakura where tourists can meet the park ranger guides. The tourists are expected to be at the reception centre as early as 4.30am and at 5 am drive to the starting point of the trek into the forest. Because the chimps nest somewhere new every night, there are trackers who go ahead of the trekking group to find them and communicate with the ranger guides. Tourists spend only one hour with the chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park and get to observe them closely going about their lives and see the human-like features and behaviour that make them our closest relatives with 98.7% DNA. Every now and then the chimps communicate by way of deafening screams, loud pant hoots and thunderous hitting (slapping) of the tree barks and buttresses. It is such a hair-raising moment like no other, and quite memorable! The cost of the permit for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda is USD 90 for foreign non-residents and USD 60 for foreign residents of Rwanda and East Africa (Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Burundi).
Here are facts you must know about our closest living cousins in the animal kingdom.
Chimpanzees are so much like us
Because they are so much like us, they are referred to as our closest living non-human relatives or man’s closest cousins. We share over 99% of our DNA with these chimps.
As many experts say we are 99% chimpanzee, chimpanzees are also 99% human. This shared genetic make-up reveals itself in many physiological and behavioural traits that give us an incredible look into human evolutionary history.
Chimps are handy with tools
One of the early discoverers; Dr Goodall’s discovered that chimpanzees make and use tools. He observed one of the chimps named David Greybeard using a stick he had stripped of its leaves to reach termites deep within their mounds. When he pulled it out of the mound, termites had clung to the stick. So the chimp picked them off with his lips for a protein-packed snack.
They make terrible pets
Chimpanzees may look cute, especially when they are babies, but they can be very aggressive. Groups of males have the ability and motivation to plan and execute attacks on other chimps in the forest. These fights often result in serious injuries and even fatalities. Sometimes they even attack man; fatal attacks on humans have also been reported.
Just like humans, chimps have been observed grieving over friends and family members. They visit the body, both individually and in groups, gently touching, sniffing, and grooming the deceased.
Humans are not direct descendants of chimpanzees, gorillas, or any other great ape. Evolutionary theory suggests we share a common ancestor – an ape-like-human-like creature that lived millions of years ago.
chimpanzees enjoy an occasional dip though they can’t swim
You’ll rarely see a chimp paddling about in the water as they don’t like to swim. Their low body fat ratio causes them to sink and their top-heavy body composition makes it difficult for them to keep their heads above water. However, some chimpanzees do enjoy a good splash around in shallow water.
Chimpanzees go to war
Dr Goodall discovered that chimpanzees not only fight but engage in a primitive form of brutal warfare. The first-ever recorded long-term war broke out in 1974 and lasted for four years.
Chimpanzees enjoy many of the same foods humans do
Chimpanzees love honey, watermelons, and figs! Check out this top ten list of what chimpanzees eat.
Chimpanzees are endangered
Chimpanzees are classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were more than 1 million chimpanzees in the wild. Today, it’s estimated that there are less than 300,000. Their numbers are decreasing because of habitat loss and fragmentation, commercial bushmeat hunting and the illegal wildlife trade.
Besides undertaking a Rwanda tour, we wish to also help you plan your next Africa wildlife safari, probably a Uganda safari is an opportunity for you to have a gorilla trekking safari Uganda or a Uganda wildlife safari, short Uganda wildlife safari, Long Uganda wildlife safari, Uganda birding safari, Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari, Uganda golden monkey trekking safari, Kampala city tour, Jinja city tour and many more. As part of your adventure on your short safari Uganda, you will experience various gorilla behaviours and it will also give you an opportunity to see other wild animals like monkeys, birds and also visit various tourism sites in Uganda.
Rwanda chimpanzee safari packages
1 Day Rwanda gorilla safari
2 Days Rwanda gorilla trekking tour
3 Days Rwanda gorilla safari
4 Days Rwanda Gorilla & wildlife safari
5 Days Rwanda Gorilla & wildlife safari
6 Days Rwanda gorilla safari tour
8 Days Uganda Rwanda gorilla trekking safari
9 days Uganda Rwanda gorilla, chimps & wildlife safari