Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda
Uganda provides the best chimpanzee tracking experience than any other country in East Africa. This is so because the country is a home to over 5000 chimpanzees. This makes the Pearl of Africa the only place with more chimpanzees in the whole of East Africa thus without doubt, Uganda is the best destination for primate-lovers. Chimpanzees are one of Uganda’s main attractions along with the Mountain Gorillas. Chimpanzee Tracking is one of the most popular activities in Uganda that brings you closer to these primates as they live their daily life, eating fruit, watching and grooming each other.
Chimpanzees are referred to as our closest living relatives as they share 98% of human genes. However a chimpanzee trek must be led by trained ranger guides as chimpanzees though habituated may still not be welcoming to complete strangers if they do not see a familiar face of the guides. Kibale forest national park, Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Kyambura Gorge, Kalinzu forest, Tooro-Semliki wildlife reserve and Budongo forest are among the places to trek chimpanzees in the wild.
Kibale Forest is the best destination in Uganda to conduct Chimpanzee Habituation Experience and in Budongo Forest near Murchison Falls National Park during the off-season. Chimpanzee habituation is the process where the researchers get chimpanzees used to living their daily lives freely in the presence of the human beings. This process can take years before a group of chimpanzees can be safe to view by the tourists. After gorillas, chimpanzees are the most exciting animals to see on your trip in Uganda.
Why the Habituation Experience?
Uganda provides a full day Chimpanzee Habituation experience to any primate-lover that visits the country. The travelers get chance to see chimpanzees from their previous night nests between 6:00 am to 6:30 am before they start feeding, hunting, breastfeeding, resting, patrolling, until it is time to build new nests for overnight which starts at around 7:00 pm.
Price of the Permit?
The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience permit costs $220 and is guided by researchers and armed rangers and guides from Uganda Wildlife Authority while Uganda chimpanzee tracking costs $150 per person in Kibale Forest National Park.
Places where to go.
There are many parks and places in Uganda where you can track and see the chimpanzees with Kibale forest being the premier destination for the activity.
- Kibale Forest
- Kalinzu Forest
- Budongo Forest
- Kyambura Gorge near Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
- Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve
Many chimpanzee trekking sites in Uganda give travelers two sessions of being with these primates. Each chimpanzee trekking session must not have more than 8 tourists. The first session is in the morning from 7am and the second is done in the afternoon from 2pm. With this, the traveler is given chance to choose on which session to take depending on his or her schedule. However one must take note that in the morning the chimpanzees are usually mobile and up in the trees because it is their time to feed and hunt while in the afternoon they at times come down to the ground for resting, grooming each other and mating.