kibale forest national park

Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda – Primate Trekking

Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda
An encounter with chimpanzees in the jungle is undeniably an exceptional experience you must not miss on your Uganda safari. With over 1500 chimpanzees residing in Uganda, the pearl of Africa is the best destination to see and interact with these endangered species. Chimpanzees share 99.8% of human DNA hence the closer relatives to human beings and their human like characters in their social life and responsibilities make them distinct from other primates. Chimpanzee trekking is the second most done activity in Uganda after gorilla safaris in the rain forest of Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla national park in southwestern Uganda. Just like in gorilla trekking, travelers to see chimpanzees are obliged to follow trekking rules and regulations which among others include keeping a distance of seven meters, speaking at a low tone, and not littering any trash in the chimpanzee habitat. For those interested in chimpanzee trekking, Uganda has various chimpanzee destinations, which among others include:

Kibale forest national park
Shared by kabarole and kamwengye district, kibale forest is a home to the highest population of chimpanzees in Uganda. The tropical rain forest is a home to 13 primates hence the best place e to see and interact with these primates among which are the endangered species. Three chimpanzee communities have been habituated for trekking in kibale and all trekking starts at kanyanchu information center after a briefing. Besides chimpanzees, kibale forest national park is a shelter to Vervet monkeys, Cush babies, Colubus monkeys, Blue monkeys, olive baboons, grey cheeked Mangabey, red tailed monkeys, Pottos, black and white colobuses and L’Hoest monkeys among others. Additionally, kibale offers the exceptional chimpanzee habituation experience, which allow travelers to spend extended time with their close relatives. All travelers must have a valid permit, which costs 150usd for foreign non-residents, 100usd for foreign residents and 100,000ush. On the other hand, a habituation permit is quite expensive costing 200usd for foreign residents, 200usd for foreign residents and 150,000ush for east African residents. Both trekking and habituation are life changing and worth doing.

Kyambura gorge
Also known as the “valley of apes” kyambura gorge is in the eastern section of Queen Elizabeth national park. kyambura gorge is roughly 100 meters deep and home to the great chimpanzees. Interestingly, chimpanzee trekking in kyambura gorge is quite easy and takers limited time to meet these apes unlike in kibale forest national park. Trekking chimpanzees in kyambura also require a permit, which costs 50usd for foreign non-residents, 50usd for foreign residents and 30,000ush for east African residents. Other activities in kyambura gorge include nature walks and bird watching which all make a safari to the gorge an experience for lifetime.

Budongo forest
Budongo forest is a yet a best place for chimpanzees trekking situated in Murchison falls national park. For those who have trekked chimpanzees before, Buongo is ranked the second after Kibale forest in offering memorable chimpanzee trekking experiences. A visit to Budongo forest for chimpanzees is a not miss on your safari to Murchison falls national park and is surely worth doing. A permit of a chimpanzee permit costs 80usd in high season and 75usd in the low season while east African residents pay 40usd. Budongo forest is Uganda’s biggest mahogany forest, which comprise of 465 tree species and is a home to over 24 mammals, 290 butterflies and 140 species of moths. Kaniyo pabidi and Busingiro ecotourism sites are also interesting to visit on your visit o Budongo Forest. Besides chimpanzee trekking, Budongo forest is good for bird watching and nature walks, which make it a best place to visit.

Kalinzu forest
Kalinzu forest is yet another place to see the famous chimpanzees and is visited along with Queen Elizabeth national park. Kalinzu forest compromise of over 414 tree species hosting over 378 bird species among which include black casket, great blue Turaco, sunbirds, and white caskets among others. Also, kalinzu is a home to blue monkeys, black and white colubuses and vervet monkeys among others. You should also expect to see over 250 butterflies, 100 moths and various reptiles and flowers all at your disposal. Chimpanzee trekking in kalinzu is done at a cost of 40usd hence the best option for budget travelers.
Other places to see chimpanzees in Uganda include Kagombe, Itwara, Kasyoha-Kitoma, Otzi, Muhangi and Wambabya all offering you a close encounter with these amazing apes.

How to access the permits
Chimpanzee trekking permits can be booked direct from Uganda wildlife authority (UWA) a responsible government body for tourism and wildlife conservation in Uganda. Alternatively, a traveler can book a permit through any trusted tour operator who offers chimpanzee trekking safaris to kibale forest, Budongo, kyambura and other chimpanzee destinations.

How to dress
Just like mountain gorillas, chimpanzees live in rain forest, which become muddy and slippery especially in rainy seasons. Travelers are therefore reminded to dress in hiking boots for easy movements, hand gloves to grab on forest branches, long sleeved shirts and pants to protect from thorny bushes, hats and sun glasses to deal with direct sun and rain jackets for the unpredictable weather conditions.
In conclusion, chimpanzee trekking is the best wildlife experience you should not miss on your safari to Uganda. Book now and visit any one of chimpanzee destinations and meet face to face with the close relatives to human beings.