Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda

Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda is one of the top tourist activities in the country that engages quite a number of travelers as they take in their Uganda safaris. Uganda which was nicknamed as the pearl of Africa is the capital of primates with over 13 species of primate species distributed across the country. The country is famous not only in Africa but the entire world as the primate capital of the world. The number of Chimpanzees are overwhelming with over 5000 chimpanzees found in the Country which are distributed to different Forests across the country protected areas. The chimpanzee trekking can be done in 3 protected parks and Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary found in Lake Victoria.  Chimpanzees are the members of primate species that are believed to be the human close relatives. We share almost 90% of the DNA with the primate families, they are very intelligent animals. Their actions apart from the mode of communication is the same as humans. It is in Uganda that over 13 primate species are a site like Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Red-tailed monkey, Black, and white Columbus Monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, Blue monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, olive baboon, Golden Monkey, vervate Monkey and many more.

Chimpanzee Trekking

Primate tours are the key safari packages that are best done in Uganda. However much there are other destinations where one can do Chimpanzee trekking like Gombe stream national park in Tanzania, Nyungwe national park in Rwanda but Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is excellent. Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda can be done in any of the 3 national parks those are Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park and Kibale forest national park also known as the primate capital of the world.  Soon Semuliki Game reserve is also coming up as the Habituation process is successful with 60% done.

Chimpanzee trekking just like any other primate trekking in Uganda, a traveller has to book the Chimpanzee permit early enough. Chimpanzee trekking is done always in two or three swifts those are Morning, Mid-morning and Afternoon chimp trekking. All chimpanzee trekking permits are booked from the Uganda wildlife Authority the body that is in charge of all national parks and other protected areas in Uganda. When talking of Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda guests think of Kibale Forest national park as its worldwide famous as a home of Chimpanzees with over 1500 chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking starts early in the morning with a briefing before the tourists are led into the forest for chimpanzee trekking. After meeting these apes the guests are allowed only to spend 1 hour with the chimpanzees before you return back to the park headquarters.

The perennially primate walk gives you a chance to view and observe the Chimpanzees in their natural habitants in any of the national parks where Chimpanzee trekking is done in Uganda. The chimpanzees are stubborn and playful than the gorillas hence encountering them in their natural homes makes you enjoy. Sometimes they are fast-moving especially if the two families meet accidentally. The leader of the family has to engage in the fight before they separate. They like to spend most of their time on the tree branches swinging on the canopy of the forest.  Kibale forest National park is the best chimpanzee trekking destination not only in Uganda but the entire world. It is only in Kibale that Chimpanzee habituation can be done with more chimpanzee families found in the forest. Other chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda include: Budongo Forest found in Murchison falls conservation area in the Northern part of Uganda. Kyambura Gorge which is found in the centre of Queen Elizabeth national park and Kalinzu Forest which is under National Forest Authority.

Chimpanzee trekking like gorilla trekking needs a chimpanzee trekking permit which is booked in advance. The permits are booked in Uganda wildlife Authority offices in Kampala, the chimpanzee permits are not all at the same level as Gorilla permits. 

In Kibale national park Chimpanzee permits costs 150 USD though by July 2020 it will be 200 USD. Kibale has over 1500 chimpanzees making it the highest number in the entire country. The forests home more than 13 species of primates which all share the same habitat that is why the park is named as the capital of the primate world. The rate of success during Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest is 99%.  Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale are done in three swifts that is Morning, Mid-morning and afternoon chimpanzee trekking.

In Queen Elizabeth national park, chimpanzee permits cost 50 USD which covers both Kyambura Gorge and Kalinzu. Kalinzu and Kyambura gorge chimpanzee trekking are done only once a day that is in the morning. The chances of seeing the chimpanzees in any of the Queen Elizabeth destinations is 60% since few chimpanzees are fully habituated though the forests have over 200 chimpanzees on them less than 50 are fully habituated. The only added advantage with these sites are that you will enjoy other wildlife alongside Chimpanzee trekking.  You have to pay park entry fees of 40 USD separate if you have to do Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura. This park entry fee opens you to do even game drives in the park and pay for other private activities like Chimpanzee trekking, Boat cruise, lion tracking experience, and others.

Chimpanzee Trekking
Chimpanzee in the Kibale Forests

In Budongo forest at Murchison falls Conservation Area located in Kaniyo Pabidi part.  The forests inhabit more Chimpanzees than habituated ones. Not even half of the chimpanzees are habituated though the program of habituation is still ongoing. For the guests with limited time and need half-day or one-day Chimpanzee trekking then you can visit Uganda Education Centre in Entebbe or Ngamba Sanctuary which is found in the Island in Lake Victoria where the orphanage chimpanzees are found.

Semuliki wildlife reserve chimpanzee trekking is the least popular since it is still under habituation. The walk is more rewarding with great chances of viewing other games inside the forest which is an extension of the Congo Ituri forest. Thanks go to Indiana University who are habituating the chimpanzees at Semuliki. 

Chimpanzee trekking is a great experience one can ever enjoy while in Uganda. Uganda is much famous for its primates. If you need true primate experience come do a combined Uganda safari of Chimpanzee trekking and Mountain Gorilla safari in Uganda.

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