Chimp Trekking in Rwanda
Chimp Trekking in Rwanda's Nyungwe National Park
David from Rainbow Tours recently spent time exploring the heart of Nyungwe National Park, a fantastic place in which to search for Rwanda's famous charismatic residents: chimpanzees.
I stayed at Nyungwe Top View Hotel, which is the only upmarket hotel in the area at the moment and is situated right next to the park, making it a handy choice for chimp trekking excursions. Here each balcony cottage enjoys a wonderful view from the room.
Heading into Nqungue National Park was an incredible experience. It was an early start (the day began at 5am) but thankfully the Top View Hotel can provide a packed breakfast for your day ahead.
The trek begins around an hour away and you meet your jungle guide deep in the park. Road conditions were pretty poor, with half of the journey travelling on a rough unpaved road - but that just adds to the authentic experience and excitement for the day ahead.
Both the weather conditions and estimations about where the chimps are currently located decide how long your trek will be. We had a lot of rain whilst in the rainforest, which was surreal and made the terrain a bit tougher than usual as the ground becomes slippery, so I'd recommend this trip is only for the reasonably fit during the rainy season! The less-able walkers should be fine during the dry months.
But with all the rain it meant we could view the chimps after just a couple of hours trekking, and we spotted them hanging about in the trees which was spectacular! You have two guides to help you with the trek and there are chimp trackers already in the forest to help guide your group to where the chimps are to really increase your chances of spotting the wild chimps. It was a truly incredible experience!
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