Rwanda’s Primate Paradise
Experience the allure of Rwanda’s rich biodiversity with our luxurious primate safaris, where we unveil the captivating world of mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and chimpanzees. While Rwanda is renowned for its thriving mountain gorilla population residing in the Volcanoes National Park, it also shelters an array of other primate species, creating a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.
Venture into the heart of Nyungwe Forest National Park and Gishwati Forest, where you’ll encounter the charismatic chimpanzees. These sociable creatures live in extended communities, showcasing fascinating daily routines of foraging and occasional hunting. As they build fresh nests in the trees each night, you may hear their reverberating vocalizations, fostering a sense of bonding within their ranks.
Chimpanzee tracking begins at the break of dawn, around 5:30 am, an exhilarating journey that can span from an hour to several hours, depending on the chimps’ location. Visitors are granted a maximum of one hour to observe these remarkable primates. Trekking through steep, slippery, and muddy terrains, often engulfed in dense vegetation, requires suitable footwear and a reasonable level of fitness. Permit reservations can be made through Trek Africa Tours, ensuring a seamless experience.
Volcanoes National Park, along with the Gishwati Forest Reserve, is home to the captivating golden monkeys. In Volcanoes National Park, you can track two distinct groups—one on the slopes of Mount Karisimbi and the other in the bamboo forest on Mount Sabyinyo. This standalone excursion departs daily from the Kinigi headquarters.
Rwanda boasts an impressive array of primate species found in various national parks and reserves. In Nyungwe, you’ll encounter colobus monkeys, easily distinguishable by their black and white coloring and flowing hair, making them a photographer’s dream. The forest is also home to owl-faced monkeys, Dent’s monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervets.
L’Hoest’s monkeys, with their distinctive dark coat and white beard, are endemic to the Albertine Rift and thrive in both Nyungwe and Gishwati Forest. They live in small groups dominated by females, typically accompanied by a single male.
Akagera National Park offers sightings of olive baboons and vervet monkeys during safari drives. For a more elusive experience, explore the night to spot the small potto, closely related to Madagascar’s lemurs, and the bush babies with their large, expressive eyes adapted for superior night vision and bat-like ears to track insects in the dark.
Begin your journey by driving from Akagera National Park to Nyungwe Forest. Along the way, explore the Cultural Heritage Corridor of Rwanda, visiting the King’s Palace and The Ethnographic Museum.
Covering over 1,000 square kilometers, Nyungwe is among the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rainforests. Its age-old legacy has withstood the test of time, remaining lush even through the Ice Age. Nyungwe is celebrated for being home to habituated chimpanzees, 12 other primate species (including a 400-strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus), and a birdwatcher’s paradise with over 300 species, including 16 endemics. Additionally, the park harbors 75 different mammal species.
This majestic rainforest offers an array of immersive nature and wildlife experiences. Explore the mesmerizing terrain through hiking or biking, track the renowned chimpanzees, take a canopy walk amidst the treetops, witness an astounding variety of bird species, and unwind by enchanting waterfalls. The sounds and scenic vistas collaborate to create an unparalleled wildlife experience. Traverse the forest, where lush green mountains meet cooling mist, etching an indelible landscape in your memory.
Experience the singular canopy walk, a unique adventure found only in East Africa, before retiring to your hotel.
Embark on a scenic drive to Nyungwe Forest from Kigali. Along the way, pause to explore the Cultural Heritage Corridor, visiting the King’s Palace and The Ethnographic Museum. Nyungwe’s captivating landscape, encompassing over 1,000 square kilometers, is one of the world’s most pristine mountain rainforests. It boasts a diverse ecosystem, including habituated chimpanzees, 12 other primate species, a wealth of bird species, and a multitude of mammals.
Set out early for an exhilarating chimpanzee tracking expedition in Nyungwe Forest. After a brief orientation from your guide, traverse stunning tea plantations before entering the lush forest. With over 13 monkey species and abundant birdlife, the forest offers exceptional opportunities for nature enthusiasts. The chimpanzees’ vocalizations will guide you, ensuring an unforgettable hour observing their play, interactions, and dining habits in their natural habitat. Return to your hotel for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Embark on a picturesque coastal road journey to Lake Kivu, reaching Serena Hotel. The three-hour drive treats you to Rwanda’s breathtaking landscapes, including the lake’s numerous islands and stunning shores. Serena Hotel, nestled on the north shore of Lake Kivu, offers captivating views of the lake and the Congo region. Enjoy kayaking, swimming, and a variety of activities around Lake Kivu, all thoughtfully arranged by our team.
Spend the morning unwinding by Lake Kivu before proceeding to Volcanoes National Park in the afternoon. Your hotel near Volcanoes National Park provides a relaxing environment for your stay.
Rise with the sun and embark on a short journey to the park headquarters. Receive a comprehensive briefing, enlist the assistance of porters, and savor tea and coffee before venturing into the forest. Local porters are available to enhance your gorilla tracking experience. Tracking duration varies, typically lasting between 90 minutes and the entire morning, depending on your assigned family group. You’ll spend a precious hour with the gorillas, either following their movements or staying in their vicinity. Your guide ensures you capture breathtaking photographs and fully immerse yourself in this awe-inspiring encounter. Return to your hotel for a relaxing evening and refreshments.
Embark on hikes to spot the agile golden monkeys, known for their vibrant orange bodies. Indigenous to the region, these fast-paced monkeys are more elusive than gorillas, providing an exciting adventure.
Your journey concludes with a flight departing from Kigali. Depending on your flight schedule, we can arrange a Kigali city tour or overnight accommodation in Kigali. Contact Trek Africa Tours to book your luxury primate safari in Rwanda, where you’ll enjoy VIP treatment throughout your Rwandan adventure.
Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to witness Rwanda’s extraordinary primate species and lush landscapes, creating indelible memories that will last a lifetime.