Nyungwe National Park is East Africa’s oldest and largest Afro-Montane Forest. This magnificent area is composed of lush green tracts of rainforest, cover- ing the multitude of high mountain sides that fill the horizon- a result from past years of explosive volcanic activity. Many of the species found in this park are endemic to the Albertine Rift region. .
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR COLOBUS TREK
The Colobus monkey is easy to recognize with a mainly black body, accented with contrastingly white features on their face, back and tail. You will also see white infants clinging onto their mothers underbelly. These monkeys are the rock stars of the primate world, who’s V-shaped white back fur will flap in the wind as they perform gravity defying jumps from branch to branch in the high tree tops. They are an arboreal species, so you will rarely if ever see them on the ground. Visitors are certain to see playful interactions by this very social breed. The name 'colobus' derives from the Greek word to mean 'maimed', as unlike other monkeys, they do not have thumbs. There are two Colobus monkey troops that can be trekked in Nyungwe Forest. They have not been allocated names but are easy to distinguish purely by their numbers of members and the areas within which they live. The smaller group has 30 - 40 members and can be trekked every day. Treks to this family take 2 -2.5 hours, including your time spent observing them. Be prepared for steep terrain that can also be muddy. If you are trekking this group, you need to check in at the RDB (Rwandan Development Board) office in Gisakura.
The larger group has an astonishing 400 members, the largest troop found throughout Africa. As they are only semi-habituated and tend to move great distances it cannot be guaranteed that you can trek them. On days when it is possible, expect treks to take between 2- 5 hours and for the terrain to be both steep and muddy. While trekking through the dense forest in search of the Colobus, you may be lucky enough to see one of the other 12 primates that dwell within the same area, such as the silver monkey, red-tailed monkey or one of the bush baby species. Don’t forget to keep a watch out for one of the many mammals including bush buck, hyrax, mongooses, duiker and golden cats too.
HELPFUL FACTS ABOUT COLOBUS TRACKING
- Treks are between 08:00am - 15:00pm
- You will be accompanied by 1 guide and 2 - 3 trackers during your trek
- You will be allowed a maximum 1 hour with the monkeys once you reach them
- Porters available if arranged in advance for US$10, carryig a maximum of 15kgs each
- There is no maximum limit to the group size trekking
*GISAKURA check in point is a 10 minutes’ drive from your accommodation
*UWINKA check in point is a 45 minutes’ drive from your accommodation