A Brief About Chimpanzee Trekking in Virunga National Park – Congo Safari News
Since the Cost of Permits for Gorilla Trekking in Congo is considered to be highly priced, compared to Chimpanzee Trekking Permits, some tourists on a Safari to Congo revert to chimpanzee Trekking as an alternative.
The history of Chimpanzee trekking in Congo, specifically in Virunga National Park Congo dates back in 1987s when Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) began a two-year process of habituating chimpanzees to the presence of humans through developing an 80 km network of trails inside the Tongo forest.
Fortunately, by 1989, approximately 50 chimpanzees had been habituated. Treks soon began, and until 1992, these treks provided an important source of tourism revenue for the park and the small community of Tongo.
Unfortunately, from 1992-2001, civil unrest put an end to chimpanzee tourism. Despite this prolonged period of conflict, Virunga National Park Rangers steadfastly protected and monitored the forest’s chimpanzees.
There was no peace until 2010 when FZS and a team of 35 people from the local community were able to re-launch the Chimpanzee habituation process.
In February 2014, a Congolese team trained by FZS began habituating a group of chimpanzees living in the forests around park headquarters in Rumangabo.
For Some of the other guests on a Congo Safari Tour staying at some lodges like Mikeno Lodge can join the Chimp Trekking team on their daily visits to see the chimpanzees as the day begins with a group of local trackers leaving their camp at 4:30 am to locate where the chimpanzees spent the previous night.
Chimpanzee Trekking can also be done in other parts of the East African region – that is in Kibale National Park Uganda, while on a Safari to Uganda. Kibale Park is mostly referred to as the Primate capital of the World, because of its great number of Apes.
Guests set out at 6:00 am to find the chimpanzees. Groups are limited to 4 people and time with the chimpanzees is restricted to one hour.
N.B: A Chimpanzee trekking permit in Congo per day is US$100 for internationals and US$25 for Congolese.
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