I’m living in Rwanda for 6 months, so I decided to plan a visit to Nyungwe without using a tour company.
I was given the number of the head of tourism at Nyungwe (+250788436763), who is the person to call if you want to book Chimpanzee trekking, other treks, primate visits and entry to the national park – all of which tourist information now suggests that you book ahead. He was very helpful and answered the billion and one questions that I had to ask him.
So this is what I found out:
Chimpanzee trekking is $90 per person, which includes the cost if the entry fee. You can’t trek chimps if you’re less than 16 years old.
For the other treks, it is $40 for treks less than 5km and $50 for longer treks. This price includes the guide and entry fee and it pays for you to do as many treks as you can fit in on that day. There is an added $20 for 2-3 days worth of treks and an added $40 for 4-7 days of treks. You don’t have to pick which specific treks you want to do when you book – you can choose these when you arrive. There are information centres to help with your choices.
Trekking other primates costs $70 and does not include other treks in that price.
The canopy walkway costs an extra $20 on top of the trekking fee. Some of the reviews talk about vertigo, so if some people in your group don’t fancy it, then they can just do the trail without doing the canopy walkway – and without paying the extra $20. But you don’t have to decide whether you want to do it or not until the day.
So you just book with this guy, but he doesn’t take any cash off you – he just takes your names. You pick your permits up at the reception centre when you arrive. If you want to pay in cash, you pay at the reception centre also. They will take dollars, rwandan francs or euros. The prices in francs and euros are worked out at the exchange rate for that day. If you want to pay by card, it’s a little more complicated. You have to stop and pay at the entrance – they don’t take card at the reception centre.