In Rwanda, Chimpanzee trekking is conducted in Nyungwe Forest National Park and within the neighboring Cyamudongo Forest found in southwestern Rwanda. the country has a fairly large number of chimpanzees (approximately 500) among which is are two troops of habituated chimpanzees. One of these lives within Nyungwe forest, and the other in Cyamudongo which is a small forest patch found on the eastern side of the park. When trekking chimpanzees in Rwanda you will begin at any of the three (3) reception centers found at either Gisakura, Kitabi, or Uwinka (the main reception) where the tourists will also meet the ranger guides who will lead them on this activity. The tourists will begin very early in the morning and visit the point where the chimps spent the night known as the chimps’ nest. Once you find the chimps you spend an hour with them observing and doing some photography. Because mountain gorillas share about 98% of their DNA with man, it’s very fascinating to observe them do very many things that are similar to man. While in the forest you will hear them screaming, making loud hoots, clapping as well as slapping the backs of trees.
Nyungwe’s habituated chimp group in the bigger group and considering the large size of Nyungwe forest, chances of seeing the chimpanzees are very minimal whereas the adjacent Cyamudongo forest has a habituated group of 30 chimpanzees but offers Rwanda’s most successful chances of seeing the chimpanzees. Unlike what many think, the chimpanzee tracking experience is very different from the renowned mountain gorilla trekking because the chimps have more swift movement which makes their viewing more rushed, and prefer living up in the tree canopy unlike gorillas which spend most of their time on the ground. in Rwanda, the cost of the chimpanzee trekking permit in Nyungwe Forest National Park is USD 90 per person for the foreign non-residents and then USD 60 per person for foreign residents. There are a number of places you can stay during your Chimpanzee tracking safari and these include: Gisakura Guesthouse, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Inzozi Beach Hotel among others