Cookie Settings

By clicking ‘Accept’ you agree that we use Analytical cookies for gathering information about how our website is used, as well as Advertising and social media cookies (including cookies from trusted partners) to personalize our advertising campaigns and to allow you to share on social media. About our use of cookies

Manage Cookie Settings

Please select which cookies you would like to keep switched on. Open a list of all cookies

Below you can decide which type of cookies you would like to keep switched on. Open a list of all cookies

Functional cookies

Functional cookies are essential to using our website and cannot be switched off. These cookies do not contain personal information and are not used for analytical or advertising purposes. Show Hide description

Analytical cookies (anonymous)

Analytical cookies gather anonymous information about how our website is used. The information collected does not contain personal information, cannot be traced back to you, and is not used for advertising purposes. Show Hide description

Advertising and social media cookies

Advertising and social media cookies (including cookies from trusted partners) enable us to personalize our advertising campaigns, and enable you to share on social media. Show Hide description

Filter Options

Your Safari

Where To
Start Date
Start Date
2 Adults
Age at the end of the tour

Tour Length

Rates in USD $ Change Currency

Per person, excl. international flights

Comfort Level

Private or Shared Tour

Safari Type

Operator Rating

Specialized Tours

+ Show more

Other Tour Features

Filter by Operator

Filter by Accommodation

Operators From

+ Show more

Nyungwe Chimpanzee Trekking Tours

Best known for its mountain gorillas, Rwanda also offers the opportunity to see all the Big Five in the savannah of Akagera National Park and to track chimpanzees in East Africa’s largest remaining Afromontane forest. That forest’s name is Nyungwe, and it is protected in a magnificently scenic and biodiverse 1,015km²/392mi² national park set on the Rift Valley escarpment above Lake Kivu. At least 500 chimps roam this vast forest, but the main trekking site is Cyamudongo, an isolated forest annex whose community of 30 chimps is well habituated to tourists. These humanlike apes share almost 99% of our DNA, and trekking through the jungle of Nyungwe to look for them is one of many magical experiences on offer in this underrated park.

Selected filters:
Clear All Filters
1-20 of 58 chimp tracking trips, holidays and vacation packages to Nyungwe National Park

8 Questions About Nyungwe Chimpanzee Trekking Tours


8 Questions About Nyungwe Chimpanzee Trekking Tours

Answered by Philip Briggs

How does chimp trekking in Nyungwe National Park compare to other places?

“The chimps at Nyungwe National Park are now well habituated, so they are used to seeing people and not very shy, and the actual trekking experience is very similar to what it is in other places that offer the same activity. One major difference is that Cyamudongo Forest, the main chimp trekking site, is more than 2 hours’ drive from the park reception and from most accommodation, so a very early start (typically around 5:30 AM) is required. Another difference is that the compact nature and steep slopes of Cyamudongo mean you typically walk shorter distances than at other places, but the terrain is tougher.”


What fitness level is required?

“A relatively high level of fitness and agility is required to track chimps in Nyungwe. Indeed, of all the major chimp trekking destinations in East Africa, Nyungwe’s Cyamudongo Forest is probably the most physically demanding, due to the steep slopes and slippery underfoot conditions. That said, the distances involved are not great, and most people who are sufficiently fit to track gorillas will be fine in Nyungwe.”


Are chimp sightings guaranteed?

“No. Chimp sightings cannot be guaranteed on a Nyungwe chimp trek. But this is true of almost all chimp trekking locations, simply because chimps (unlike gorillas) tend to be very active. They move long distances at a pace no person could hope to match in the tangled jungle undergrowth. However, the success rate at Nyungwe is very high, partly because Cyamudongo Forest is relatively small, which makes it quite easy to locate the chimps.”


Is a chimp trekking trip in Nyungwe safe?

“Nyungwe is a safe place to track chimps. Although chimps can be quite imposing in appearance, and they’re far stronger than people, Nyungwe’s habituated community is not bothered by human visitors and shows no aggression towards them. As a precaution, children under the age of 12 are not allowed to track chimps. But adults have little to worry about, provided they follow the instructions given by their guide. The most significant risk in Nyungwe is losing your footing on the tangled slopes. This will be greatly reduced if you use one of the walking sticks that are offered to all trekkers.”


Can I combine a chimp trek in Nyungwe with a gorilla trekking trip?

“You most certainly can! In fact, for most people who go chimp trekking in Nyungwe, the excursion is made as an add-on to a holiday whose main focus is gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. When planning your tour itinerary, bear in mind that although Rwanda is a small country, these two parks lie at opposite ends of it. It is worth breaking up the long drive with a night or two on the shores of Lake Kivu or in the capital Kigali. While you’re in planning mode, you could also consider adding Akagera National Park, which now hosts all the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), to your Rwandan holiday.”


What other animals am I likely to see in Nyungwe?

“Although chimp watching is the focus of many Nyungwe safaris, other hikes provide the chance to see many of the other 86 mammal and 300-plus bird species recorded in the national park. Nyungwe is renowned for hosting troops of Ruwenzori colobus that number up to 600 individuals, while other common primates include l’Hoest’s monkey, silver monkey, Dent’s mona monkey and olive baboon. The exceptional birdlife includes 30 Albertine Rift endemics, which are restricted to the western branch of the Rift Valley. Many of these are very difficult to see elsewhere in their limited range, while the most striking bird for casual visitors will be the spectacularly garish great blue turaco. Look out, too, for the formidable Rwenzori three-horned chameleon.”


What other hikes and activities are available in Nyungwe?

“Nyungwe is a true hiker's paradise. The forest is crisscrossed by a 130km/80mi network of well-maintained day trails that offer great opportunities for bird watching, monkey viewing and enjoying the magical forest interior. The shortest and most popular is the Igishigishigi Trail, which features a 160m-/525ft-long canopy walkway suspended between facing slopes above a fern-lined stream. Other trails lead to Kamiranzovu Swamp, Ndamabarare Waterfall and Mt Bigugu, where you can see the most remote source of the world’s longest river, the Nile.”


What are the accommodation options?

“Nyungwe offers accommodation to suit most tastes and budgets. At the very top end is a boutique lodge called One&Only Nyungwe House, but there is also a good selection of mid-range and budget lodges, as well as a few campsites. Many safari packages visit Nyungwe as a day trip from the nearby town of Rusizi, which has a lovely location on Lake Kivu and offers some great-value accommodation. But it isn’t quite so thrilling as being based in the forest itself.”


Nyungwe Holiday Reviews

4.1/5 9 Reviews
Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

A fairytale forest

Nyungwe only became a national park in 2004, established to protect its lush rainforest that is home to a staggering 13 species of primates. These include huge troops of colobus monkeys that look like aging hippies with long white beards,...

Full Review

Stuart Butler  –  
United Kingdom UK

Stuart is a travel writer and author of numerous Lonely Planet guidebooks, including 'Kenya', 'Rwanda' and 'Tanzania'.

Live like Tarzan

The first time I visited Nyungwe National Park, within the space of 24 hours I watched a habituated troop of colobus monkeys frolic in the branches of great rainforest trees, stared in wonder at a beautiful lime-green snake, was wowed by...

Full Review

Christophe Iradukunda  –  
Rwanda RW
Reviewed: Aug 28, 2019

This is natural forest with intense trees on large scale and high number of birds good looks, and number of wild life is not high because its climate and physical manner.

Full Review

Moses Nezehose  –  
Rwanda RW
Reviewed: Aug 9, 2019

The Best place for Bird watching and chimpanzees tracking with it's famous Canopy walk was incredible still think of it.

Full Review