Primate treks in Rwanda
PRIMATE TREKKING IN RWANDA
There are two major destinations where primates are trekked in Rwanda. Such areas include Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe National Park. Primates which are officially trekked include Mountain Gorillas, Golden Monkeys, Colobus Monkeys and chimpanzees.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda:
Gorilla trekking is majorly done in Volcanoes national Park which is situated in the northern part of Rwanda known as Musanze province. It is the major tourist activity in the park and the country at large. Currently, there are ten habituated Gorilla families in Volcanoes National park which are reserved trekking and a maximum of eight people visit each Gorilla family a day.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda begins at around 7:30am with briefing and then visitors are allowed to move into the jungle under the guidance of rangers to encounter Gorillas in their natural habitat. The only tragedy that occurred in Rwanda happed after the massive increase of Gorilla permit from US$ 750 to US$ 1500 which is 100% increase.
The increased trekking prices resulted into the reduction in the number of visitors willing to trek Gorillas in Rwanda and more a resorted to trek Uganda Gorillas. It’s argued that US$ 1500 can pay for 2 days Uganda Gorilla trip when transport, accommodation, Gorilla permit and when all other services are settled.
Golden Monkey trekking:
Golden Monkey trekking is the second sought after Gorilla trekking. If you miss Gorillas at least meet Golden monkeys. Golden Monkeys are playful, nosy and flit around in the Bamboo Forest in a most playful manner that proves to delight those who have come to track and observe them. There are two habituated Golden Monkey Groups presently that can be tracked in Volcanoes National Park ranging up to 100 members in each group, which is quite a sight to behold when you are up close to them. The current cost of Golden Monkey trekking in Rwanda is US$ 100 per person/ per permit.
Chimpanzee trekking is the major tourist activity in Nyungwe national Park and the second in Rwanda at Large after Gorilla tracking. The fact that Nyungwe forest protects other 12 primate species makes regularly visited by the tourists from many parts of the world.
The trekking process starts off from three reception centers, that’s Uwinka, Kitabi and Gisakura where the tourists meet the park rangers and the tourists are also expected to be at the reception as early as 4: 30am and by 5 am, you drive to the starting point of the trek into the forest. Since the chimpanzees nest each and every night, there are the rangers who go ahead of the trekking group of finding them and communicate with the ranger guides. Like Gorilla trekking, Chimpanzee treks also allows a maximum of one hour. The chimpanzees also communicate by way of deafening screams, the loud hoots and booming hitting of the tree barks and the buttress. It’s such a hair rising moment like no other and so memorable.
Colobus Monkey trekking:
Colobus Monkey trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park is listed among the exciting activities in Rwanda. Nyungwe forest protects the Africa’s largest troop of Black and White Colobus Monkeys with the numbers stretching to 400.
Colobus monkeys exposes the beautiful coat that is white and black among adults and pure white among the young monkeys makes them very beautiful to explore. It is always magical to spend time with a large troop of these beautiful species as they roll in the natural loveliest trees of Nyungwe foraging and playing.