Chimpanzee Trekking, in Rwanda
Nestled in the heart of Africa Rwanda is a top notch destination for those seeking the thrill of chimpanzee trekking. While renowned for its Mountain Gorillas Rwanda is also home to a number of chimpanzees mainly found in Nyungwe National Park and the recently established Gishwati Mukura National Park.
Nyungwe National Park Chimpanzee Trekking
Spanning over 1,019 kilometers Nyungwe National Park proudly stands as one of Africas rainforests. It serves as a haven to an estimated 500 chimpanzees making up a portion of Rwandas population. Visitors are invited to embark on treks within the park granting them an opportunity to witness these captivating creatures in their natural habitat.
With its high altitude rainforest stretching from 1600 to 2950 meters above sea level Nyungwe boasts an ecosystem that accommodates not chimpanzees but also hosts an impressive array of other primate species (13 in total) over 275 bird species and about 1068 plant species. This remarkable biodiversity only amplifies the overall experience of chimpanzee trekking within Nyungwe.
Gishwati Mukura National Park
Though new and smaller in size compared to its counterpart Gishwati Mukura National Park presents visitors with a unique and captivating chimpanzee trekking experience. Officially established in 2016 and covering 34 kilometers this park is now home to a growing community of around 20 cherished chimps.
The forests, within Gishwati Mukura have made a recovery following deforestation challenges.The region is now thriving with a variety of wildlife including Eastern Chimpanzees, Golden Monkeys and Blue Monkeys. This has led to a surge, in Rwandas ecotourism industry making it an emerging hotspot.
Chimpanzee Trekking; Conservation and Impact on Tourism
Chimpanzee trekking offers not an exhilarating adventure but also plays a role in Rwandas conservation efforts for these primates. A portion of the tourism revenue is dedicated to maintaining and conserving the parks as ensuring the well being of the animals.
To protect the chimpanzees and promote tourism practices the Rwandan government has implemented regulations. Similar to Tanzania each group visiting the chimps is limited to a maximum of 8 visitors with one hour allowed for observation per day. Visitors must keep a distance of least 10 meters from the chimps and are not permitted to trek if they display any signs of contagious illness.
Over time Rwandas tourism sector has experienced growth contributing substantially to its economy. In 2019 this sector generated than $498 million in revenue. Therefore chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda holds promise, for both communities prosperity and the conservation of their invaluable wildlife.