Primates in the Wild (Special interest)

Angolan black-and-white Colobus Monkey (Nyungwe Rwanda)

Journey to meet Man’s closest wild relatives!

This special interest safari is an adventure for people who would like experience Rwanda Forests and see the Primates in the wild. They will have incredible hiking opportunities with trails throughout the forests of Nyungwe and Gishwati-Mukura. There are 15 species of Primates to discover including the gorillas and golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park. This tour offers an opportunity to learn about the different conservation challenges and their developments in the visited National Parks.

Book this tour in the months between November and May, and get a discount of 30% on each gorilla permit. Conditions Apply: you must spend at least 3 days visiting any of the other two national parks; Nyungwe Forest or Akagera with activities in addition to gorilla trekking. Contact us for more Information!



Parks & Places
Discover Kigali
Discover Nyungwe
Discover Gishwati-Mukura
Discover Volcanoes National Park

Activities & Special Intrest
Guided Nature walks
Habituation of Primates
Iby'iwachu Village
Virunga Gorilla Experience
Golden Monkeys
Dian Fossey


BUDGET(***): Hotel Chez Lando, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Gishwati Camp, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.
MIDRANGE(***): Hotel des Mille Collines, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Gishwati Camp, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel
HIGH-END(****): Kigali Serena Hotel, One & Only Nyungwe House, Gishwati Guesthouse, One & Only Gorilla’s Nest

More information on Rwanda Recommended Accommodations

ROAD MAP (Estimates): 

Kigali - Nyungwe Forest NP: 240 Km - 5h00
Nyungwe Forest NP – Gishwati: 140 Km - 3h00
Gishwati – Musanze: 80 Km – 1h40
Musanze – Kigali: 105 Km - 2h30

  • Itinerary
    Primates in the Wild

    Day 01: Arrival in Kigali
    Day 02: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest NP & Canopy Walk
    Day 03: Trek Nyungwe forest in seach of the large troops of Angolan Colobus Monkeys
    Day 04: Chimpanzees trek at Cyamudongo (Nyungwe NP)
    Day 05: Primate trekking in Gishwati-Mukura NP – Transfer to Musanze
    Day 06: Gorilla Trekking (Volcanoes National Park)
    Day 07: Golden monkey trekking – Kigali & departure

  • Day 01
    Arrival in Kigali

    You will be met by your driver-guide who will transfer you to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, your driver-guide may propose you a visit of Kigali city which includes the Genocide Memorial centre at Gisozi, the museums of Kigali, the art galleries or the markets.

    Dinner & overnight at your accommodation

  • Day 02
    Transfer to Nyungwe Forest NP & Canopy Walk

    After an early breakfast, you depart for Nyungwe Forest NP, one of the oldest rain forests in Africa. 

    You will arrive at your lodge in time for lunch and then later in the afternoon, you will visit the Uwinka Information Center to have the last updates on the location of the habituated groups of chimps and colobus monkeys. This will help to prepare your activities of the next day. 
    The Canopy walk is not far from the Uwinka Information Center. It's accessible as part of a specialized guided tour along the Igishigishigi trail (1h30). The walkway is 60 meters above the ground level, and 200 meters long. The dizzying platform is above a steep and deep valley across a massive forest. Enjoy the sights and the sounds of the Forest!

    Meals & overnight at your accommodation.

    Nyungwe Canopy Walkway (Rwanda)
    Nyungwe Canopy Walkway (Rwanda)
    Nyungwe Forest (Rwanda)
    Nyungwe Forest (Rwanda)
  • Day 03
    Trek Nyungwe forest in search of the large troops of Angolan Colobus Monkeys

    Nyungwe is one of the oldest rainforests in Africa, covering 1,019 km2 of dense Afromontane forests, bamboo-covered slopes, grasslands and wetlands. The park feeds two of the world’s largest rivers, the Congo and the Nile, and provides 70% of the country’s freshwater. 

    The terrain is rugged and steep, and you will be at relatively high elevation. Wear good hiking shoes and bring warm clothing!

    Your day will start with an early breakfast and a briefing at Uwinka tourist information centre.

    Of a particular interest are the large social groups of Angolan colobus (Colobus angolensis), which may be over 300 individuals. These are the largest troops of this species known in the world!  Nyungwe forest counts 25% of the African Primates!

    One of these groups is habituated and we recommend to start your exploration with a guided primate walk in search of the Angolan colobus monkeys. Rangers will tell you approximately where the group is located and the hiking times may vary as the group is travelling continuously looking for food. Be prepared to have a more strenuous hiking! Alternatively if the troop is too far you might go for the chimpanzees habituated close to the Uwinka Centre. Find out more about the habituation process.

    In case you tracked and missed the wide group of Angolan colobus after a long and strenuous hiking in the forest, you can have another try in a small forest near to the tea factory where an easier-to-see but resident troop is hosted.

    Dinner & overnight at your accommodation

    Nyungwe Angolan Colobus (Rwanda)
    Nyungwe Angolan Colobus (Rwanda)
    Nyungwe Angolan Colobus (Rwanda)
    Nyungwe Angolan Colobus (Rwanda)
    Nyungwe Angolan Colobus (Rwanda)
    Nyungwe Angolan Colobus (Rwanda)
  • Day 04
    Trek the Chimpanzees at Cyamudongo (Nyungwe NP)

    Some considerable efforts have been made to habituate the chimpanzees at Nyungwe Forest NP.  The best habituated group is at Cyamudongo. Cyamudongo is a fragment of rainforest (4 km²) located at the outside boundaries of Nyungwe part of the National Park. The excursion will take about 3 hours.  
    The reporting time on site is at 6 a.m. latest! 

    If you prefer you can have one of the hikes on the well-maintained trails or have another but short and easy guided primate walk. There are L’Hoest monkeys and blue monkeys present and often observed around Uwinka, requiring less strenuous hiking. 

    After lunch you set off for Gishwati-Mukura NP. This is Rwanda’s youngest national park.
    Dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

    According to the UNESCO Bulletin of November 2020, This young national park is a global biodiversity hotspot, including a variety of endemic and endangered species. The area is strategically known for the Eastern Chimpanzee and the Golden monkey”. Find out more about Gishwati-Mukura National Park.

    Dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

  • Day 05
    Primate trekking in Gishwati-Mukura NP – Transfer to Musanze

    After breakfast, you have a guided primate trekking where you will see chimpanzees, monkeys and, there is also a little chance, of seeing some other mammals that call this beautiful forest home such as side-striped jackal and serval to name a few. 

    You will have your packed lunch in the forest and then continue your trip to Musanze (Volcanoes National Park).
    Enjoy the beautiful views as you drive through the winding roads.  If time allows, on arrival you will visit the Iby’Iwacu Cultural village.  In this village, you get to meet the local people in their traditional environment. This visit will allow you to interact with them and learn about their lifestyles, heritage treasures, and activities.  During the visit, you will embark on a banana brewing process, pottery, meet the traditional healer and of course the spectacular dance performance.

    Dinner & overnight at your accommodation.

    Cyamudongo Chimapnzee (Rwanda)
    Cyamudongo Chimapnzee (Rwanda)
    Nyungwe Ranger-guide (Rwanda)
  • Day 06
    Gorilla Trekking

    After breakfast you will report at the Park headquarters where your driver-guide will complete the required formalities for you. You will meet the ranger guide(s) for a briefing about the greatest animal experience ever.  Your driver-guide will drive you to the slopes of one of The Virunga volcanoes for your trekking. More Information about the Rwanda Gorilla Experience.

    On return from the gorilla trekking, later in the afternoon, you will visit the new "Ellen Degeneres campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund".  The new Campus is a milestone in Gorilla Conservation and home of the Karisoke Research Center created by Dian Fossey in 1967.

    Dinner and Overnight at your accommodation.

    "The Ellen Fund" is supporting The Fossey Fund to create a campus that will support : the longterm health and care of the Dian Fossey Fund,  gorilla science, responsible tourism, and the needs of the local population. This campus will enhance the gorilla conservation efforts and the work started by Dian Fossey in 1967. This campus is the new home for the Karisoke Research Centre.

  • Day 07
    Golden monkey trekking – Kigali & departure

    After breakfast you will report at the Park headquarters where your driver-guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. The Golden Monkey (cercopithecus mitis kandti) is listed as “endangered”, these magnificent primates are habituated in groups of about 30 - 40 individuals on the Rwanda side of the Virunga regions.

    The golden monkeys are fast and ever on the move as they feed. Once located, you may have to keep moving with them as your ranger-guide explains their characteristics and specific behaviours. After this visit, you have a hot lunch at your accommodation and then drive to Kigali where you have time (depending on your departure flight time) for a city tour.

    This is the end of what we hope has been a memorable primate experience!

    Golden Monkey (Volcanoes National Park Rwanda)
    Golden Monkey (Volcanoes National Park Rwanda)
    Golden Monkey (Volcanoes National Park Rwanda)

Your lifetime experience

This safari idea can be tailor-made to create a unique holiday for you. With our intimate knowledge of both Rwanda and Uganda, we look forward to designing and organizing a personalised and memorable holiday.

Contact us for a free quote

The Tour package includes: Return ticket for domestic flight, Airport transfers, accommodation, all meals, plenty of mineral water, the services of a driver-guide, all park and entry fees, all activities as per programme: guided primates walks (Chimps) in Nyungwe, Canopy Walk, 1 Chimp trekking in Gishwati-Mukura, 1 gorilla trekking, Another Activity (option).

It Excludes: International airline ticket, the domestice flight Kisoro-Entebbe, beverages, tips, visas and personal expenses. 

What to bring with you? Money for your personal expenses, outfit with adapted colours for wildlife observation, good walking shoes, raingear, a few long-sleeve shirts, slippers, sweater for cool evenings, sun protection: hat, sunglasses, sun cream, video/photo camera, a 200 mm or longer telepholens is very usefull, reserve batteries, films and a torch.

Rwanda Visa & Travel Requirments: Find out more.

And there is nothing more beautiful than the moment which precedes the trip, the moment when the horizon of tomorrow comes to visit us and tell us its promises
Milan Kundera
Czech writer