Chimpanzees have a DNA of about 98% human and live freely in the jungles of Uganda. Although chimpanzees are wild have been habituated to be in the presence of humans for at least 1 hour. They live in communities under the leadership of an Alpha male that is not dictatorial. He is democratically elected by the community members.
During the Alpha male chimpanzee campaigns, the candidates try to lure the females into supporting them as these play a big role in the community.
Chimpanzees are generally vegetarian but can grab some monkey flesh during the harsh arid conditions.
A number of forest Uganda wildlife habitats are home to the chimpanzees and at a friendly cost, you get a permit to be part of the chimpanzee trekking team for the day.
Where Is To Do Chimpanzee Trekking Tours In Uganda
Kibale National Park For Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking has the biggest number of habituated chimpanzees in Africa living on 795 Square kilometers of land. This tropical forest lies in the western side of Uganda at the periphery of the Western rift valley.
Kibale National Park is habitat to over 13 primate species of which over 1500 are chimpanzees. More primates like Bush babies, L’Hoest, blue monkeys, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys to mention but a few.
In terms of altitude, Kibale National Park’s northern tip stands at about 1590m above sea level. It also the wettest area receiving about 1700mm of annual rain.
Its southern sector is neighbored by Queen Elizabeth National Park driving a corridor of about 180 km that wild animals use to cross into Kibale National park. Some of the stray animals that you may come across in Kibale Forest include buffaloes, elephants, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, leopards and so much more.
Two sessions of chimpanzee trekking happen daily that is the morning and afternoon session. You need to book a chimpanzee trekking permit for Kibale National park which costs $200 per person per trek as of this year.
Chimpanzee habituation In Kibale National Park
Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale National park is one of the most interesting encounter with semi wild chimpanzees. You move with researchers to get chimpanzees familiar with the presence of human beings. During this moment, you get time with the chimpanzees for a longer time starting about 0500hours as they are de-nesting up to 1900hrs when they re-nest.
You need a chimpanzee habituation permit which costs currently $250 per person per trek
Kyambura Gorge Chimpanzee Trekking In Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda
Right at the bottom of the rift valley floor is Kyambura gorge curved by Kyambura River 100 meters deep that flows to Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
This gorge also harbors other interesting primates like olive baboons, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus and many others.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge start from Kyambura’s Fig Tree Camp from about 0800hr and 1400 hours every day.
A ranger guide briefs you about the regulations of chimpanzee trekking like no feeding the chimpanzees, littering the forest is forbidden, provoking the chimpanzees is prohibited and so much more. You can buy at chimpanzee trekking permit for Kyambura gorge from Uganda wildlife Authority costing about $50per person per trek
You can overnight in any lodges in Queen Elizabeth National Park and trek the chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge. No need to change your accommodation in case you also have a wildlife safari with game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
From the main highway, you drive about 3 km to get Kyambura gorge.
Adding game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park may give you chance to see lions, elephants, topis, leopards, water bucks, bush bucks, cape buffaloes, hyenas, giant forest hogs to mention but a few.
Kaniyo Pabidi Chimpanzee Trekking in Murchison falls National park Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking in Kaniyo Pabidi forest is amazing going 8km from Kichumbanyobo gate in Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls is celebrated for being a biosphere reserve with River Nile as its main water supplier. The Victoria Nile vigorously squeezes through a 6 meters wide narrow bend and bursts out to produce a thunderous sound before getting down a 44 meters long ridge.
Two chimpanzee trekking sessions can be booked for chimpanzee trekking that is morning and afternoon session.
Including a game drive in Murchison Falls National Park the Southern banks using Buligi trail gives you chance to seeing more wildlife. Some of the wild animals to see include Rothschild’s giraffes, elephants, leopards, lions, oribi, hartebeests, warthogs, Uganda Kobs and so many riverine birds
Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a project aimed at giving a new home to rescued chimpanzees which cannot get back to there communities. Some of the chimpanzees are rescued from snares, abandoned, poached to mention but a few. At the moment over 40 chimpanzees are residents of this Koome Island. This project is under chimpanzee Sanctuary And wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT).
Some of the activities you can be part of while on this Ngamba Island includes chimpanzee integration. You walk hand in hand with young chimpanzees through the forest. You get accompanied by a chimpanzee care giver. You need to go through inoculation so that you do not transmit any communicable infection to the chimpanzees as they are highly susceptible to human diseases.
Chimpanzee care giver is a 24 hour experience where you get to experience what happens behind the scenes.
Day Feeding from the visitor platform where you get to give the chimpanzees there meals starting with breakfast at 1100hrs and lunch at 1430hours. You are advised to arrive at the island at least an hour in advance for briefing. You get to watch chimpanzees as they play, interact with each other and so much more.
You can make arrangements to visit this chimpanzee sanctuary before or after any Uganda Safari activity even gorilla trekking. This is as long as your departure flight is late night or the following day
Other activities you can do on Ngamba Island include Kayaking, Sunset cruise, volleyball, Island shopping and so many others.
Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC)
Some chimpanzees live in Uganda wildlife Education center the former Entebbe Zoo. This is located just a few meters from The Entebbe Airport so before boarding your departure flight, you can take a guided walk in the zoo to the chimpanzee section.
You can also arrange for activities like care giving, chimpanzee up close and so many others that the center authorities offer.
What are the requirements for Chimpanzee Trekking?
Presenting a chimpanzee trekking permit is top on the list of requirements as it’s the entry ticket. You can reserve the permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority at currently a cost of $ 200 for Kibale national park.
You must be communicable disease free especially diseases like flu, covid 19, and so many others.
What is the age limit for Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda
For the sake of the conditions in the forest, a person from the age of 12 years and above is allowed to trek the chimpanzees in Uganda. This is because of the nature of the forest and the unknown time of meeting the chimpanzees.
The chimpanzees easily get scared of unfamiliar noise in the wilderness. A child below this age may not withstand the teasing juveniles chimpanzees. The jungle is rough at times which may not go well with a child below these years.
What To Pack for chimpanzee trekking In Uganda
First aid box in case you get an injury while in the wilderness searching for the chimpanzees.
Trekking boots to wear and save your feet from pricking surfaces that may harm you when your feet are bare.
Smear with an Insect repellants to protect your skin protected from bugs in the wilderness that may want to harm you.
Sun screen to protect your skin from sun burns.
Energy snacks to munch on and will keep you moving because the time of locating the chimpanzees is not known depending on there mobility and presence of food.
A foldable drinking bottle to carry water and quench thirst while in the wilderness.
Safari hat with a large brim to protect your hair from getting wet as dew drips from the leaf surfaces.
A flash less camera to take photos will keep memories of your chimpanzee trekking experience alive
Sun glasses will protect your eyes from flying insects in the wilderness.
Carry some hard cash will assist you to do on ground purchased, buy some souvenirs or make payments for some assistance rendered.
A light back pack to carry your belonging while in the wilderness so that they don’t get scattered.
Fleece or A poncho or rain coat to protect yourself from getting so wet especially when it rains while on your way or returning from chimpanzee trekking.
Another fully charged battery to exchange with when one runs low.
Chimpanzee Trekking Regulations
Chimpanzees are vulnerable to human infections so in order to protect them and there wild space, keep up with the rules and regulations below.
Avoid smoking when in front of the chimpanzees because they may grab what you are sipping or burn them selves
After locating the chimpanzees keep a gap of about 8 meters because they are still wild animals despite the fact that they have been habituated for human viewing. For health reasons keep that distance to reduce on the chances of spread any contagious disease or you may also do the same.
Do not surround the chimpanzees because they feel ambushed by your presence.
Save the chimpanzees from catching any communicable disease, volunteer to stay behind because the chimpanzees are susceptible to human infections which may cause them to fall ill and die. Chimpanzee protection has been on for along time so a pandemic can easily turn it around in one go.
Avoid chewing anything while in front of the chimpanzees as these are tempting to the chimpanzees which at times may try to grab what you are chewing yet they are wild animals that must look for there own food.
Age limit for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is 12 year and above so those below are not permitted to view the chimpanzees for safety reasons. They have children activities like pond dipping, cyanotype, photography, batik making and so many others.
Never enter the park with no company of a ranger guide as the forest also contains other animals that may not be good to you.
Do not dump any garbage in the forest as this alters the nature of the forest where chimpanzees reside
Ask the ranger guide for assistance In case you wish to have a long call while trekking to see the chimpanzees, ask the ranger to excavate a hole for you and cover beyond recognition so that the environment is kept clean and the animals are not tempted to dig it out.
Never try to scare the chimpanzees or provoke them because they are very keen with protecting there community against intruders.
Flash photography is strictly forbidden.
During briefing follow the instructions of your guide because he or she knows more information about the forest and any mistake done may send the chimps into a rampage.