Visit the Great Apes on Rwanda wildlife Safari : The great apes are some of the most interesting and popular creatures on earth. For travelers like you, visiting the great apes of Rwanda is a must-do experience. The Rwanda National Park is home to several species of great apes, including the mountain gorilla, eastern lowland gorilla, chimpanzee, and bonobo. Read on to learn more about the different species and how to see them in their natural habitats.
- Mountain Gorillas – A critically endangered species, mountain gorillas are the largest of the great apes. They are endangered due to poaching and habitat destruction. There are about 880 mountain gorillas left in the world and they are only found in Africa. Trekking through the mountains to get to these gorillas is an exhilarating experience. You can spot mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, located in southwest Rwanda near the borders of Uganda and Congo. The park is home to the volcanoes Virunga Mountains, which are a popular trekking destination for tourists who want to see the wildlife in the area. Visitors to the park spend a few days exploring the area on foot before setting off for the trek to find the gorillas. 2. Eastern Lowland Gorillas – Found mainly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and neighboring nations, the eastern lowland gorilla shares 98% of its DNA with humans! They are a critically endangered species with fewer than 5,000 individuals left in the wild. Poaching and deforestation pose significant threats to the survival of this species, Visit the Great Apes on Rwanda wildlife Safari
- Chimpanzees – One of the most well-known primate species in the world, chimpanzees can be found throughout equatorial Africa. There are several sub-species of chimpanzees, each with its distinctive traits and unique appearance. These intelligent primates live in social groups and communicate using complex language. Approximately 170,000 chimps are living in the wild. In Rwanda, they can be spotted in Nyungwe Forest National Park in the southwestern part of the country.
- Bonobos – These small-bodied apes have large, protruding ears that give them their “bonobo” name. They can be found in central and western Africa in forested areas near the Congo River. Bonobos are endangered and are threatened by habitat loss and hunting. Scientists have identified three sub-species of bonobos: the bonobo, pan paniscus, and the pygmy chimpanzee. The bonobo is the most socially complex of the three sub-species and is often referred to as a “humanzee.” Like humans, bonobos form lifelong bonds with their companions, take care of each other’s’ children, and share the responsibility of raising orphaned babies. They are also the only non-human animals known to be bisexual. Bonobos demonstrate a high level of intelligence and are skilled hunters. They often use primitive tools and build shelters to sleep in at night.
Gorillas are one of Rwanda’s top tourist attractions and feature prominently on the country’s national emblem. An interactive experience allows visitors to learn about the challenges facing these magnificent creatures and learn about conservation efforts to protect the wild population from extinction. Be sure to visit these amazing apes on your next Rwanda Safari tour in their natural habitats!