Uganda Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris
Where to go for Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda? Best time for Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. All you need to know about Chimp tracking in East Africa! Kibale’s most popular trail departs from the Kanjanchi Visitor Center at 08:00 and 15:00 and takes 2 to 3 hours. Chimpanzees are the primates most sought after by tourists, but you should look out for black and white monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, or gray mangabeys. Your guide will be able to show you pita and various birds and give traditional details about plant species in the forest. This walk is 6 people in a group. It is very important to book in advance, especially during high waves.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking is one of the best activities requested by many tourists coming to Uganda. Similar to gorilla trekking, it involves trekking through forests in search of chimpanzees constantly swinging from tree to tree. The trek can last a few hours or less, but once you get to the chimpanzees, each group can spend an hour with them before heading back to camp. There are several chimpanzee destinations in Uganda, each with a chimpanzee colony that you can trek through.
Where to Go for Chimp Tracking in Uganda?
Chimpanzee trekking mainly takes place in Kibale Forest National Park, other destinations where chimpanzee trekking is possible include Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semuliki Wildlife Reserve, and Kalinzu Forest located in Busenyi. Chimpanzee treks start early in the morning and guides provide visitors with instructions and rules to follow for each trek. During the hike, you will be able to see other primates and wildlife such as red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, various birds, and more.
Trekking Permit for Chimpanzee in Uganda
A chimpanzee trekking permit is a legal document that allows access to chimpanzees. They are handled by the Uganda Wildlife Service and remain the property of the Republic of Uganda even after they are issued to you. Like gorilla trekking permits, limited permits are printed daily and are only valid on the date of printing. The reason there are so few printed licenses is to minimize interactions between chimpanzees and humans to protect them. Chimpanzees are prone to disease, so interactions are limited.
How to Get a Chimp Permit?
The best way to get a chimpanzee trekking permit is to book through a trusted travel agency. Local travel agents are more knowledgeable about the booking process and other related costs, so it’s best to involve them in the planning process.
The tour operator will order a permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and after payment, you will be sent a scanned copy showing the time of your trip, your name, passport details, and the unique serial number that makes it different. Note that these licenses are non-exchangeable and if you don’t, it will be difficult for you to get a refund.
Price for a Chimpanzee Trekking Permit
The price of a Uganda chimpanzee trekking permit varies depending on the season. There are two seasons, the high season (dry season) and the low season (rainy season), and in both cases, many different tourists come for chimpanzee trekking. Chimpanzee trekking permits cost $200 per person per day in high season, while off-season permits can be as low as $195 per person per day in Kibale Forest National Park. A chimpanzee permit costs $130 in high season and low season in Budongo and $50 in Kyambura Gorge.
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Where to Go for Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda?
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park, located in the southwest of the country, is home to a significant chimpanzee population of approximately 1,500 chimpanzees, of which 120 are domesticated. Chimpanzees here are easy to find due to their large numbers and walks take place twice a day, morning and afternoon. Kibale’s chimpanzee trekking permit is $1,500 in high season and $100 in low season. The chimps’ habit also takes place in the Kibale National Park, and here visitors spend more time with primates, such as 6 hours or throughout the day.
The park is recognized as the best chimpanzee hike destination in Uganda, and in addition to chimpanzees, you see other primates, including various types of monkeys, such as Colobus monkeys, red tail monkeys, a variety of bird species, and other things wildlife. Kibale National Park has several accommodation options for chimpanzee tracking including Primate Lodge, and Kyaninga Lodge.
When to Go for Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest?
The most popular activity in the park is chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. Starts at Kanyanchu Visitor Center at 08:00 and ends at 15:00 and lasts 2-3 hours. During the tracking, visitors looked for primates. These include black-and-white colobus monkeys, gray-cheeked mangabeys, and red-tailed monkeys. Your guide will show pittas and other birds and explain the traditions of the different plant species in the forest. The walking distance of each tour group is 6 people. During peak times it is important to book in advance:
Chimpanzee Trekking at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Located on Lake Victoria and easily accessible by speedboat from Entebbe, Ngamba Island is one of the places to enjoy a chimpanzee safari in Uganda. Chimpanzee Island was created by Goodell to protect the primates and was partially fenced to allow the chimpanzees to roam freely without harming their neighbors. The speedboat to Ngamba has two shifts, a half shift in the morning and a full shift at 5 pm.
The cost of visiting the island depends on the size of the group. The smaller the group, the higher the cost, and the larger the group, the lower the cost. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 always pay the half price before entering the temple. The shelter began with about 13 chimps. Several locals rescued these chimpanzees by Dr. Jane Gudal and Dr. Jane Goodall. As the chimpanzee number increased to more than 50 chimpanzees is rescued or increased in orphanages. Chimpanzees can be seen at different stages, communicate closely, and do other activities such as fishing, swimming, and village and bird watching.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is home to several forests including Budongo Forest, Kanjopabidi Forest, and Bubongo Forest for chimpanzee trekking. The Three Forests are home to over 600 chimpanzees, making Murchison a great place for chimpanzee trekking. Home to more than 500 species of birds and wildlife, Murchison Falls National Park is the destination of choice for many tourists who come to Uganda on safari. The best time for chimpanzee trekking is from October to January as chimpanzees are more likely to see them when they are looking for food. Murchison’s chimpanzee walks take place twice a day, first in the morning and another in the afternoon.
Brief About Budongo Forest Reserve
- Budongo Forest, also found in Murchison and a place for hiking. The hiking route is not defined, but with the help of a guide you will be able to go into the forest to look for chimpanzees and after finding them you will spend an hour with them. However, Bubongo Forest has fewer chimpanzee families compared to Budongo Forest.
- Budongo Forest, a preferred destination for chimpanzee treks, Budongo Forest is home to a large number of primates. The trek is easy with the help of a guide and you can see other primates such as monkeys, olive baboons, and red-tailed monkeys and you can watch birds among others.
- Kaniyo Pabidi Forest, home to chimpanzees, a wide variety of bird species, insects, and other primates, the forest is one of the few in the country that has remained in its natural state without any human manipulation.
Accommodation in Murchison Falls National Park is divided into three parts namely Para and Victoria Nile, Albert Nile, and Kaniyo Pabidi. There are luxury, mid-range, and budget accommodation options available and you can choose from your travel agent to find out what suits you best.
Chimpanzees Trekking in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the top national parks sought by many tourists and has around 17 chimpanzees. Chimps’ hiking trips are also known as Kyambura’s Gorge Kyambura Game Reserve. This action best ends in the morning, which requires approx. 1 to 2 hours. You will be accompanied by an experienced guide, and after the hike, you can also enjoy a game drive through the national park. Some of the lodges you can check out in Kiambura are Kyambura Gorge safari lodge, KingFisher camp, Mweya safari lodge, jacana lodge, and Katara lodge.
What to Pack for A Chimpanzee Trek in Uganda?
No one wants to travel with extra luggage because it makes it difficult to enjoy the trip with extra luggage. You should make sure that you bring items that are considered essential on your chimp trek, including:
- Mosquito balm
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Bottled drinking water
- Shirts and pants with long sleeves to avoid scratching the body.
- Canes for easy walking
- Camera and binoculars
- A small backpack to carry a few essentials such as a camera and extra batteries while hiking.
- Sun hat and sunscreen.
Rules and Regulations of The Hikes
To have a good chimpanzee trekking experience, you should follow some rules and guidelines. They were established by the Uganda Wildlife Service to protect primates and tourists. Some of the rules you must follow include:
- Do not hike if you are unwell, especially if you have a cold and cough
- Keep a distance of 8 meters between you and the chimpanzees
- You must always follow all instructions in the guide
- No one is allowed to feed the chimpanzees
- Visitors must not eat or drink near the chimpanzees.
- Do not urinate or defecate in the park, as this can make the animals sick. If you want to pee, dig a hole about 12 inches deep and bury everything, including the toilet paper.
- The minimum age for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is 15 years.
- The only person who can help you into the park on a walking tour is the guide
- Make sure you are using a camera without a flashlight
- Do not make noise during walks as this may stimulate the chimpanzees and they will eventually migrate to another location.
The Habituation of The Chimpanzee
Chimp habituation involves close contact with the chimpanzees for several hours. Chimpanzee habituation refers to the process of training chimpanzees to be habituated to the presence of humans at all times, even when tracked. Habituation of a chimpanzee takes quite a long time which is about 2 to 3 years and in Uganda, this has been achieved in Kibale Forest National Park. After 3 years of training, the habituated chimpanzees are released to begin interacting with humans. There is a special chimpanzee habitat permit that costs about $150 for foreign residents, $70 for East Africans, and $220 for foreigners. Permits must be ordered in advance to enjoy your customized experience.
Chimpanzee Trekking Vs Gorilla Trekking
Chimp trekking is on the rise and popular with tourists. With a variety of destinations like Kibale National Park, Budongo, and Queen Elizabeth National Park, chimpanzee tracking is an activity you’ll want to try while in Uganda. A chimpanzee trekking permit costs $150 and can be as high as $100 per person per day in the low season. On the trek, you can spend an hour with the primates and watch them play, swing from tree to tree, and go about their daily activities.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda takes place in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Gorilla trekking has its own rules and regulations that you must follow, such as keeping your distance from the primates, not feeding them, and not using cameras with flashlights. You can also spend an hour with the gorillas, which is done with the help of a guide. Compared to $1,500 per person per day for a chimpanzee trekking permit, the gorilla permit is at the top end. Chimpanzee trekking with.
The Habituation Process of The Chimpanzee
Visitors can spend more time with the primates during chimpanzee habituation, as they have about 6 hours with the primates, and some can spend a whole day with the chimpanzees. Uganda is known to be a great place to enjoy taming and tracking chimpanzees at the same time. When comparing chimpanzee migration and habituation, the first thing you need to consider is time with the chimpanzees.
Chimpanzee treks usually involve trekking through the national park until you see the chimpanzees, which can take 2 to 3 hours. After the hike, each group spent at least an hour with the chimpanzees. However, during chimpanzee fitting, visitors can spend at least 6 hours with the chimpanzees and sometimes a whole day. A Chimpanzee Trek Permit costs $200 and a Chimpanzee Habituation Permit costs $250.
What do You need To Know About Chimpanzees?
Chimpanzees are thought to have the closest DNA to humans at 98%. Chimps are known to be very playful and constantly moving from one place to another, but be aware that they can also become aggressive if provoked. The weight of an adult chimpanzee varies by sex: an average adult female chimpanzee weighs 30 to 50 kilograms and is 2 to 4 feet tall, while an adult male chimpanzee weighs 35 to 75 kilograms and is 3 meters tall. They relatively stay in groups of 10 to 100, with a dominant male serving as a leader. With their high intelligence, they can look after each other, hold hands, find food and take care of young people with the same ease as humans. When baby chimpanzees reach the age of 4, they tend to become independent and start looking for their food.
Chimps living in the wild can live up to 40 years, while those kept in zoos can live up to 60 years. They are highly social and can easily and effectively communicate with each other, find food and build their nests, skills that are passed down from one chimpanzee to another. Chimpanzees are known to spend most of their time on the ground, but when they eat and sleep, it is in the trees. The government, with the help of the Goodall Foundation, is doing everything it can to protect the lives of chimpanzees by imposing severe penalties on those caught poaching or harming them.
Chimpanzee Behavioral Patterns
Chimpanzees usually live on the ground and spend most of their time in trees, especially at night and when eating. They are known to climb trees quickly and can make tree climbing easier and faster with both hands and toes. When on the ground, they walk with half-bent fingers and toes due to their extra weight. They usually live in groups and also migrate in groups. There is always only one dominant male, and if another male wants to take over, he has to fight for that position.
What can Chimpanzees Eat?
Chimps are mainly eaten with fruits and leaves. However, they only feed on ripe fruit, which they continue to pick up early in the morning. They also feed on flowers, insects, and fresh meat. Chimpanzees use a variety of tools to gather food, poke anthills with twigs in search of insects, and sometimes check for insects hidden under rocks. After chewing the leaves, they clean themselves with them, then dip the leaves in water to drink.
Where Else Can I Go Chimpanzee Trekking?
Apart from chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, you can also enjoy chimpanzee trekking in neighboring countries like Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. Chimpanzee trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo can be done in Virunga National Park in Tanzania, Gombe, Mahale, and Rwanda, and chimpanzee trekking is best done in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
How hard is it for chimpanzees to walk in Uganda? Hiking with chimpanzees is not difficult as the treks are usually on flat paths in the forest. Since chimpanzees live at a relatively low altitude, this makes trekking easy, unlike gorilla trekking. Note that it can be very difficult during the rainy season as the path is slippery.
When is the Best Time to See Chimpanzees in Uganda?
Chimpanzee trekking is available year-round, but the best time for chimpanzee trekking is during the dry season between June-September and December-January. This is also known as the high season as many tourists come to the country for chimpanzee trekking. During the dry season, hiking trails are accessible and chimpanzees are more likely to be seen in the dry season, as opposed to the wet season with slippery roads and dense vegetation. Chimpanzee trekking can also be done in the rainy season as chimpanzees have plenty of food and are easy to spot.