Chimpanzee trekking is a popular tourist attraction in Rwanda, second only to gorilla trekking. If you are planning a safari in Rwanda and want to observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat, you will need to purchase a chimpanzee trekking permit. This license grants you access to a guided tour of a habituated chimp family. In Rwanda, you can experience the beauty of Africa’s untamed chimpanzee populations in the Cyamdungo and Uwinka regions of Nyungwe Forest National Park. We are here to provide you with all the necessary information on how and where to obtain a chimpanzee trekking permit in Rwanda.
The Rwanda Development Board issues permits for guided chimpanzee trekking tours in Nyungwe Forest National Park. These permits allow tourists to spend one hour with a group of habituated chimpanzees in the rainforest. To participate in a tour, tourists must meet at one of three visitor centers around the park for a briefing before 0500 hours. The park warden on duty will verify the permit and passport of each participant before allowing them to join the trekking group, which is limited to a maximum of 10 people.
The revenue from chimpanzee permits plays a crucial role in supporting primate conservation efforts and the natural habitat of chimpanzees in Rwanda. It also helps fund tourism and park services, such as staff salaries. By purchasing a permit, tourists can contribute to the survival of chimpanzees and other primates, as well as the well-being of the communities surrounding the national park.
The Rwanda chimpanzee trekking permit allows tourists to participate in a guided tour to visit a habituated chimpanzee group for one hour. The permit includes access to armed range security, park entrance fees, and a knowledgeable guide who will provide information about the chimpanzees during the trek. Only 10 tourists over the age of 15 are allowed on each tour, and the permit is valid for a single use on a specific date. However, tourists can purchase additional permits for different trekking dates. The cost of the permit does not cover porter fees, accommodation, meals, tipping costs, transfers, or local logistics for the safari. It also does not cover any other park activities, such as nature walks, birding, or hiking, which may be subject to additional charges by the Rwanda Development Board.
A chimpanzee trekking permit in Rwanda costs USD 90 per adult for foreign non-residents above 15 years old. Foreign residents with work permits pay $60, East African residents pay $10, and Rwandan nationals par RWF 5000.
While gorilla trekking may get more attention, chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda is a unique and rewarding experience that offers a chance to observe these fascinating primates in their natural habitat. The Nyungwe National Park is home to two habituated chimpanzee groups and a variety of other primate and bird species, making it one of the best places for chimpanzee trekking in Africa. In addition to tracking chimpanzees through the rainforest, tourists can also enjoy other activities such as nature hikes, birding, and canopy walks before, during, or after their chimpanzee trek. The diverse and beautiful Nyungwe rainforest offers a variety of adventures for tourists to enjoy.
There are only two habituated chimpanzee groups in Rwanda, located in Cyamdungo and Uwinka, and each group can only be visited by a maximum of 10 people per day. This means that there are a limited number of chimpanzee trekking permits available on any given day, with a total of 20 permits available for both groups. Due to the popularity of chimpanzee trekking and the limited availability of permits, it is recommended to book in advance to secure a spot on a tour and to plan your travel accordingly. This will ensure that you have the opportunity to participate in this unique and rewarding experience.
There are several ways to obtain a chimpanzee trekking permit for Rwanda. You can apply for the permit online through the IREMBO government logistics website, where you can pay by credit or debit card. Reservations are based on availability, and it is possible to book months in advance. Alternatively, you can also book your permit directly with a licensed tour operator, who can assist with the booking process and other logistics. If you need help obtaining a permit or have any questions about chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda, you can contact a tour consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The online booking system for chimpanzee trekking permits in Rwanda, provided by Irembo, allows applicants to complete the application process and receive their permit electronically. To apply for a permit, you will need to select an available date, fill out the necessary forms, upload any required supporting documentation, and pay the applicable fees. The system will then issue the permit via email. When booking a permit, either through the online system or a tour operator, you will need to provide your personal details, including your name, passport information, email address, and phone number. It is important to provide accurate and complete information on your permit application, as incorrect or false information may result in your permit not being issued or being unable to be verified at the park office. The minimum age for a chimpanzee trekking permit in Rwanda is 15 years. At the park office, a warden will verify the documents of all tourists before they are allowed to participate in the tour.
It is possible to purchase last-minute chimpanzee trekking permits in Rwanda based on availability. You can also have a tour operator purchase the permit on your behalf and have it ready for your trip. However, it is generally more difficult to obtain a permit during peak travel seasons, such as June to September. If you are planning a trekking safari during this time, it is recommended to make reservations at least three months in advance to increase your chances of getting a permit. If you are planning a last-minute primate trip to Rwanda and need assistance with obtaining a permit, you can contact a safari consultant at email@example.com. They may have a few permits on standby that can be used for last-minute trips.
It is important to note that seeing chimpanzees in Rwanda is not guaranteed due to the unpredictable nature of wildlife. If the chimpanzees are not found or are too far into the jungle for trekking, visitors may be given another opportunity to try again or receive a refund on their permit. In the event that a visitor is unable to locate the chimpanzee group during their trek, they will be eligible for a 75% refund of the permit fee. However, no refund will be given in cases of late arrival, flight delay, absence, or cancellation of travel for any other reason.