Facts About Chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park
Facts About Chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park: Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest national park are one of the primate species highly sought after by tourists visiting the park. The national park, which is located in the western part of the Republic of Rwanda, is home to over 400 chimpanzees. Here are some interesting facts to know about chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest national park;
- Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest national park are habituated with visitors able to track some of its 60 habituated chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe national park in Rwanda is conducted in small groups of a maximum of six members per group.
- Trekking chimpanzees in Nyungwe national park can take between 4 to 6 hours of more depending on the location of the chimpanzees.
- According to primatologists, chimpanzees are believed to share approximately 98 percent of their DNA with human beings. This means that chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park are perceptible to contracting or spreading diseases to/from human beings such as; Ebola, Flu, Cough, Pneumonia, or even the deadly Corona virus.
- Chimpanzees are omnivorous creatures in that they feed on plants, fruits, leaves, buds, blossoms, flowers, seeds, insects, hunting small mammals like monkeys, bushbucks among others. While feeding, chimpanzees eat seeds, berries from the stem with their lips and pick fruits and flowers with their hands. their diet consists of up to 80 different plants and use tools like rocks to crack nuts, sticks to gather termites from anthills, defend themselves from enemies and also make sponges from leaves which they soak up in water while drinking water from tree holes.
Physical Characteristics of Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Chimpanzees in Nyungwe national park, just like other chimpanzees, have a body covered with long black hair; have long arms and hands which enable them to pick up objects, short legs with no tail. The male chimpanzees weigh around 150 pounds while the females weigh around 110 to 115 pounds. Chimpanzees live in groups of 30 to 80 individuals and the groups are made up of males, females, young ones and they have a life span of 50 years in the wild and up to 60 years in captivity. Chimpanzees become sexually mature at the age of 8 to 12 years of age, female chimpanzees experience an estrus cycle of about 34 to 35 days and during this period they experience body changes for example the skin on the bottom become pink, bare and swollen. They also have a gestation period of about 8 months, give birth every 4 to 5 years and give birth to one baby which will stay with its mother until about 3 years of age. Chimpanzees are quick and fast climbers hence they build their nests high in the trees and these nests are constructed by bending tree branches, lining tree edges with twigs and forming a platform.
How do Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park Communicate.
Just like other chimpanzees, Chimpanzees in Nyungwe national park are very loud and noisy primates. Chimpanzees can communicate to one another using facial expressions, body language, and numerous sounds like hooting, screaming, grunting, and drumming to mention but a few.
What are some of the threats to Chimpanzees in Nyungwe national park?
Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park are also considered an endangered species due to several facts which lead to their decline including;
- Diseases; chimpanzees that live at the edges of the protected areas can be exposed to human diseases which sometimes lead to death if not treated.
- Accidental snaring in wire snares which are set out for antelopes and end up killing or injuring the chimpanzees
- Poaching; chimpanzees are hunted for trade, killed for meat by local communities while others are killed due to crop-raiding.
- Habitat loss of the chimpanzees due to deforestation in the Nyungwe forest which acts as a habitat for the endangered chimpanzees and encroachment of land due to population increase.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest national park costs a fee of USD 90 dollars per person. Tracking chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park can take about 4 to 6 hours or more given the location of the chimpanzees in the forest.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park in Rwanda is available for visitors aged 15 years and above. Visitors with conical health problems are advised to get proper recommendations from their doctors prior to their visit to Rwanda.