Chimpanzee Trekking, Uganda Primate Safari
Chimpanzees are among the most fascinating wildlife creatures to encounter on a Uganda Safari Holiday. They come second to the mountain gorillas as the most visited primates by tourists visiting the country. Today, there are approximately 5000 chimpanzees living in Uganda’s different forests and national parks. The chimpanzee population in Uganda was previously larger than it is today. so many years ago, these numbers were in tens of thousands however the illegal hunting, encroachment on their habitat by humans and political as well as tribal wars resulted into a decline in their overall population across the country.
Unfortunately some heartless people sold these chimps as pets or killed them for their meat. Previously, when there was no civil and political trouble in the country, the people of Uganda did not at any time eat chimpanzee meat or even keep them as pets. They adopted these unbecoming behaviors from people who relocated into the country, to escape the political unrest from the neighboring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Also we won’t fail to mention that the chimps have occasionally been captured in traps laid by hunters meant for other wild animals such as antelopes and many of these booby traps are very deadly that they can kill the chimps.
Chimpanzees in Africa
Chimpanzees living in their natural habitat can only be found in just twenty one (21) Africa countries. Among those is Uganda which is in fact ranked as the best place to see the chimpanzees in East Africa. When you analyze Central and Western Africa, you will learn that there is so much encroachment on the chimps’ habitat by humans, as well as uncontrolled hunting of these primates for their meat. Experts say that unless these activities become regulated by the concerned authorities in the respective countries, the chimpanzee population is going to reduce to very threatening numbers in those regions.
To make your Safari in Uganda more adventurous, chimpanzee trekking can be combined with other safari activities like game watching, gorilla trekking, birding or even any of the water adventure activities. Our team of experts can tour very exciting combined trips like the 5 Days Gorilla & Chimpanzees Safari, to offer you a memorable safari experience.
Where Can You See Chimpanzees In Uganda?
In Uganda there are so many forests and game parks that offer habitat to chimpanzees. You have an option of either going chimpanzee tracking, or take part in the chimpanzee habituation experience. In fact, in some places you can enjoy both activities.
Below are some of the places where you can see chimpanzees.
- The Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National park
- Kibale national park
- Budongo forest in Murchison Falls national park
in areas surrounding chimpanzee sanctuaries such as Bwindi impenetrable forest, the Bigodi wetlands sanctuary as well as the Buniga forest, sightings of c chimpanzee outside the park’s boundaries have From time to time been reported.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda
The best places to have a chimpanzee tracking adventure or a chimp habituation experience is within the national parks. These parks have groups of habituated chimpanzees which are open for tourism. the chimps are used to people being around them and will not disappear into the bushes when they notice you coming closer, but will stay in place and continue with their daily activities as though there is no one observing them .You can watch them and even take pictures.
Chimpanzee Tracking Permit
In order to go on any chimpanzee tracking adventure in the country, you must have a chimpanzee tracking permit and these are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority the regulatory body that manages all national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the country. we can actually help you reserve the trekking permits on your behalf, however due to the limited number of permits and high demand of tourists interested in taking part in this activity, it is better that you book your permit at least three months prior to your safari day.
Cost of Chimpanzee Tracking Permit
Currently the costs of permits to track Chimpanzees in Uganda are as follows: US $200 in Kibale National Park and $50 in Kyambura Gorge. The chimpanzee habituation cost is US$250.
The Chimpanzee experience in Kibale Forest National Park
in this park you can enjoy both chimpanzee trekking plus the habituation experience. Chimpanzee trekking involves you following the chimpanzees up to where they are within the forest. The journey itself is fun and you get to observe some other wildlife along the way. the forests of Kibale are habitat to 12 other species of primates. At the time you find the chimps, you will send an hour in their presence.
Conversely, the habituation experience is where you get to spend a day with the researchers that are involved in the chimpanzee familiarization process. The Habituation takes two year, so you get to enjoy the entire day observing the researchers how they habituate the chimps.
The habituation process in Budongo forest is available during the off-peak tourist season while in Kibale forest its available throughout the entire year.
The Kyambura gorge which is found in the Queen Elizabeth Park is also an excellent place to track Uganda’s chimpanzees. The internationally renowned BBC named this breathtaking gorge as the ‘lost Valley’’ while some other international bodies refer to it as the ‘’Valley of the Apes’’. The Gorge is a section of the Western Rift-Valley and it offers such an extraordinary environment and a background for chimpanzee trekking. The landscape may somewhat be difficult involving crossing of streams and rivers making the trek more adventurous and exciting. The cost of chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge is lower compared to that in Kibale National Park. The activity generally takes around three (3) hours.
Budongo Forest in Murchison falls NP
The Budongo Forest is found in Uganda’s largest national Park the Murchison falls NP and it is another place where chimpanzee can be trekked in Uganda. You can equally. The forest is located just 4 hours from the capital city Kampala so you can actually do a one day chimpanzee trek safari. All you have to do is depart from Kampala as early as 7:00am and by 7:00pm you will be back in Kampala. you will also get a chance to visit the rhino sanctuary to track rhinos.