Chimpanzee trekking in Congo just like Gorilla trekking is done in the beautiful Virunga national park that is home to beautiful forest, savannah and mountains. The chimpanzees were habituated more recently as most of the tourism in the park was focused on gorilla trekking.
The chimpanzee habituation for tourism still ongoing but currently there is a group available for chimpanzee trekking at the Mahura forest in Virunga national park. Only 6 people are allowed per groups to trek the Chimps. Unlike the gorillas, chimp trekking start much earlier in the morning to have better chances of sighting them as they start the day before they scatter in search of food especially fruits which they enjoy immensely.
The chimpanzees are more swift in their movements as they feed covering large ground compared to gorillas that tend to eat in the same area for a while. You will need to start early to get the most of this experience before you start the journey out of the forest back to your lodge or another activity. Just like gorillas, you are not allowed to go for a chimpanzee trek if you have a communicable disease – you are advised to cancel or postpone your trip. Just like in gorilla trekking, you are expected to be 15 years and above to be allowed on a chimp trek.
Throughout the trek you are advise to listen to the ranger guide and not get off the trail. You are also not allowed to eat, drink or smoke in the presence of the chimpanzees. There will be designated times and place for this activities. Should you need to take a short or long call, please inform your ranger guide and he will advise on where to – you will be required to dig a hole which you will cover after you finish your business.
Things to carry for a chimpanzee trek
Long sleeved shirt
Hiking/walking boots (preferably water proof and one you have worn before and are comfortable)
Long socks to tuck in trousers against red ants
Day pack with snacks and water