Safari by Activity: Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda

Chimpanzee Safari Uganda, Chimp Trekking in Kibale National Park Uganda Chimp Tracking tour, Chimpanzees in Uganda Kibale, Ngamba Island tours Uganda trip. Chimpanzee Safari Uganda, Chimp Trekking in Kibale Chimp Tracking tour

One of the most interesting primates to trek while on safaris in Uganda are the Chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is almost the second popular tracking activity after gorilla trekking. Uganda has a high population of chimpanzees with close to 5000 of them in the county most of them in their natural habitats. The population of chimpanzees decreased due to poaching and political unrest.

Chimpanzees share about 98.7% of their DNA content with humans which makes them man’s closest relatives after Bonobos. They have the ability to adapt to their environments and learn new behaviors just like humans. 

Tracking chimpanzees in Uganda is a top Uganda safari activity due to the high population and different habitats that offer different Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari experiences. Several chimpanzee families are habituated to ensure they are familiar with human presence and behave normally hence displaying all of their characters lively during a trek. 

Chimpanzee trekking safaris Uganda can be customized as part of a long safari in Uganda or as a single trip just for chimpanzee trekking. With several chimp tracking destinations, out of the 21 African countries with chimpanzees, Uganda is the best of them all.

What are the Best Chimpanzee Trekking spots in Uganda?

  • Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park has the highest population of chimpanzees in Uganda therefore the slogan “world’s primate capital”.  Kibale Forest is host to more than 1,500 chimpanzees mostly tracked along the Kanyanchu primate walk trails.

The trek is fun as you move through a tropical forest coming along several forest species. The activity lasts an unpredictable time of about 2-4hours depending on where the chimpanzees are found. Upon finding the chimpanzees you spend a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the chimps for photography and interactions. 

Some of the other primate species that can be spotted here include the vervet monkeys, red colobus monkeys and many more. Chimpanzee trekking can be done either in the morning, mid-morning or in the afternoon depending on what time you find favorable.

With the high chimpanzee population, you have about 99.9% chances of seeing the chimpanzees at play at any time of the day. If you are planning to take a chimpanzee trekking safari to Kibale Forest always ensure to pay early and permit booking done prior the trek. 

  • Budongo Forest

Budongo Forest is just adjacent to Murchison Falls National Park covering about 825 sq km and hosting more than 600 chimpanzees. From Kampala-Uganda’s capital, Budongo forest is the closest chimpanzee trekking destination about 4 hours drive from the capital. 

About 80 chimpanzee individuals have been habituated for chimpanzee trekking on an extensive trail of about 115km length. The forest offers an extremely rich biodiversity that includes 24 species of small mammals, 9 primate species, 465 plant species and 270 butterflies. All year round, the forest can be visited for a trekking experience. 

  • Kyambura Gorge 

Kyambura Gorge is a unique forest about 100m below sea level at its deepest point within Queen Elizabeth National Park a reason it’s also referred to as the valley of apes. The Kyambura Gorge is a great place for Uganda chimpanzee trekking tours though its home to fewer chimpanzees, about with a few chimpanzees habituated for trekking compared to other chimp habitats.

The chimpanzee trekking experience in Kyambura Gorge is amazing with priceless moments as you walk in a valley in search of the primates in Queen Elizabeth National Park. For a trek in the kyambura Gorge this can be tailored into a long wildlife safari in Uganda.

Important tips for chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda

    • For easy preparations, early permit booking is recommended. This is best done by your tour operator. 
    • Before the trek, you are required to arrival to the park early to allow enough time for registration and briefing. 
    • A maximum of 1 hour is spent in the presence of the chimpanzees after meeting them on the trek. 
    • A total of 6 people are allowed to trek a single chimpanzee family. 
    • A minimum age of 16 years is allowed to trek chimpanzees. 

Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda

Chimpanzee Habituation offers more time with the chimps and this can be done in Kibale Forest National Park. Chimp habituation is the process of making chimpanzees get used to human presence. You go alongside rangers and spend about 4 hours.

Chimpanzee trekking and habituation prices

Chimpanzee trekking 

Foreign non residents Foreign residents East Africans
2019 -1st July 2020
Kibale Forest National Park 150 USD 100 USD 150,000 UGX
Kyambura Gorge 50 USD 50 USD 30,000 UGX
1st July 2020 onwards 200 USD 150USD 150,000 UGX

Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale Forest National Park

Foreign non residents Foreign residents East Africans
2019 -1st July 2020- Full day 200 USD 200 USD 150,000 UGX
Half day 100 USD 100 USD 75,000 UGX
1st July 2020 onwards
Full day 250 USD 250USD 150,000 UGX

Visiting Chimpanzees at Ngamba Island 

Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary is one of the serene islands on Lake Victoria-Africa’s largest fresh water lake. The Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is an island where rescued chimpanzees are relocated and taken care of by a nonprofit organization,

A tour to Ngamba Island can be done in just a single day. With the latest birth by Natasha, the world’s most intelligent chimpanzee, Ngamba Island is home to 50 chimps. At the Island you learn a lot about chimpanzees as well as interact with the chimps. For tourists on short trips, this can be the best option.

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