Common mistakes tourists make on Rwanda primate safaris. Like other safaris, there are many common mistakes that tourists make while planning gorilla safaris. In Rwanda, there are 3 places to be visited for primate trekking in Rwanda. These include Volcanoes National Park for mountain gorillas & golden monkey safaris; two chimpanzee parks- Gishwati-Mukura National Park & Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Here are the common mistakes tourists make on Rwanda primate safaris:
Choosing the wrong destination
Before you embark on a primate safari, first you must have an idea of the destination to visit depending on the primate species you wish to see. Rwanda hosts variety of primates each surviving in the different destination. Often, tourists make a huge mistake choosing wrong parks/destination thinking they can find the primates they want there.
If it is mountain gorillas, there is only one place in Rwanda where you can find them in the wild and that is Volcanoes National Park. It is still in Volcanoes NP where golden monkeys can be tracked on Rwanda safaris. Visitors who would like to track chimpanzees, you have two options; either visit Gishwati-Mukura National Park or Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Tourists visiting Rwanda for the big five game viewing safaris, there is one place to visit and that is Akagera National Park. Akagera is the biggest of the 4 parks in Rwanda, spanning up to 1122 sq.km. This park holds diversity of animal species including the African bush elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, elands, lions, leopards, topis, roan antelopes, the Masai giraffes, and more.
Booking the primate safari with the wrong tour company/operator
Being first time trip or even repeat tour, there are higher chances that you may land on wrong elements. It is one of the commonest mistakes most tourists make when planning or on Rwanda primate safari. Rwanda is a compact destination, but with many tour operators organizing safaris to its different destinations. First before you consider booking chimpanzee tracking or gorilla trekking/golden monkey tracking, the tour operator/company that you wish/would like to deal with must be recognized –this means, it should be licensed or registered by authorities in Rwanda. A long list of tour operators or companies are available on line once you browse and taking your time searching for them allows you have some insight about the company you will be dealing if indeed it is genuine.
Visiting Rwanda for primate trek during the wrong season
While Rwanda is regarded as an all year round destination, the best time to travel to the country is during the dry season. The dry months of the year record favorable weather conditions that are ideal for visitors to enjoy most primate adventures including golden monkey tracking, chimpanzee trekking, & mountain gorilla trekking and more.
The dry months are also peak months/seasons of the year. These are experienced from June, July, August to September & December, January to February. The months most travelers often avoid are the wet or rainy months: March, April, May; October, & November.
Getting the wrong accommodation
Not any accommodation facility must be booked while on primate safari tour in Rwanda. Book the right lodge or hotel well-knowing the kind of activity you will be planning to engage. If you are visiting Rwanda for chimpanzee tracking, consider reserving lodges at Nyungwe Forest NP or around Gishwati-Mukura National Park not again in Akagera National Park.
Failure to observe the chimpanzee tracking rules
All primate trekking adventure require you to observe the set guidelines whether you will be tracking chimpanzees or gorillas. Unfortunately, often most tourists ignore or fail to observe the rules & regulations set. There are common rules/guidelines that must be followed on almost all primate safaris, especially maintaining a distance of 8-10 meters away from chimps, gorillas or golden monkeys; no tracking primates if sick or feeling sick.
Over estimating your level of physical fitness
Before seeing any primates in Rwanda, especially golden monkeys, chimpanzees & mountain gorillas, you must track through the forest or steep slopes. This means you should have some fitness levels, unfortunately, most trekkers over estimate their physical fitness. Tracking mountain gorillas for instance takes hours, about 2 to 6 hours before you come across a gorilla group.