Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda; Uganda is a home of over 5,000 chimpanzees which makes it the best destination for chimpanzee trekking in East Africa. Chimpanzee trekking is the second most popular activity in Uganda after gorilla trekking it involves moving deep into the forest in search of the habituated chimpanzee families and once found spend one hour with them in their natural environment.
Where to go for chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking is an exceptional and interesting activity in Uganda and its done in various destinations including,
Kibale national park
Kibale national park also known as the primate capital is located in western Uganda and it’s the best chimpanzee trekking destination in Uganda in that it harbors the highest population of chimpanzees which is equivalent to 1,500 individuals. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park is done in three sessions for example the morning session which starts at around 8:00am, the mid day session which starts at around 12:00pm and the afternoon session which starts at around 2:00pm. Kibale national park also offers the adventurous chimpanzee habituation experience a process where the wild chimpanzees are trained to get used to human presence for trekking.
Kalinzu forest is the second best chimpanzee trekking destination in Uganda after Kibale national park. The forest is located in western Uganda Bushenyi district and it’s a home of about 290 chimpanzees and other primates such as black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons among others.
Budongo forest is the third best destination for chimpanzee trekking after Kibale national park. Budongo forest is located in Murchison falls national park and it’s the biggest mahogany forest in East Africa. Budongo forest is a home of over 800 chimpanzees and also harbors other primates like black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, variety of bird species and trees which will be viewed during your chimpanzee trekking activity.
Kyambura gorge also known as the valley of apes is another chimpanzee trekking destination in Uganda. Kyambura gorge is a home of over 30 chimpanzees and it’s located in the eastern part of Queen Elizabeth national park which is the second largest and one of the most visited national parks in Uganda.
Chimpanzee trekking experience
Chimpanzee trekking is an interesting activity that starts very early in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing you will be divided into groups of 8 people where each group will be allocated an experienced park guide who is well conversant with chimpanzee trekking trails. Trekking of chimpanzees in Uganda takes about 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. During trekking you will be able to view variety of bird species, other primate species such as red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus monkeys, view different plant and tree species among others. Once the chimpanzees are found you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you a chance to learn about their habitat, behaviors, take photos, record videos, watch the chimpanzees carry out their daily activities which involve feeding, hunting, breastfeeding, grooming young ones, fighting, mating, playing, resting among others.
If you wish to spend more time with the chimpanzees can engage in chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale national park and spend four hours in the presence of the chimpanzees under the habituation process.
Cost of a chimpanzee trekking permit
In order to engage in the adventurous chimpanzee trekking activity, you have to first acquire a chimpanzee trekking permit which is a legal card or document issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority to any visitor above the age of 15 years allowing him or her to visit a habituated chimpanzee family in either Kibale national park, Kalinzu forest, Budongo forest or kyambura gorge.
Chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda vary depending on the destination you wish to visit for example a single chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale national park costs 200USD per person for foreign non residents, 150 USD per person for foreign residents and 150,000 UGX per person for East African citizens. A chimpanzee trekking permit in Budongo forest costs 100 USD per person for foreign non residents and foreign residents while a chimpanzee trekking permit in Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest costs 50 USD per person for foreign non residents, 50 USD per person for foreign residents and 30,000 UGX per person for East African citizens.
Chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda can either be booked directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted tour operator. When booking through a tour operator you will contact us at Achieve Global Safaris with your name, date, month, year and the destination that you wish to visit. After contacting us we will check for permit availability and once the permits are available you will be asked to make a deposit for the permit. Once we receive the payment we will purchase the chimpanzee trekking permit on your behalf and send you a scanned copy of the receipts as confirmation.
Best time to go for chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda can be done anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the forests therefore access roads and chimpanzee trekking trails will be dry and passable hence making trekking much easier.
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda can also be done during the wet season in the months of march to may and November for destinations like Budongo forest, Kalizu forest and Kyambura gorge because during the wet season there is plenty of food in the forests due to heavy rainfall therefore chimpanzees will easily be located compared to the dry season when the chimpanzees move deep into the forest to look for food which makes trekking difficult.
Chimpanzee trekking is an exciting and interesting activity that shouldn’t be missed during your safari in Uganda, for more information you can contact us at Achieve Global Safaris or visit our website for chimpanzee trekking packages.