Hiking and Safaris with African Chimpanzees
East Africa is made up of five countries: Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania, however, chimp trekking in East Africa is usually done in two of them: Uganda and Rwanda, due to the high concentration of these primates in the various parks. Uganda is home to around 5000 chimps, making it a popular trekking destination. Nevertheless, if you want to enjoy your chimp trekking experience, you will need to book early and avoid peak seasons, since permits will be expensive and the parks will be overcrowded.
Chimpanzees are the closest cousins to humans, accounting for 98.7% of the total. The majority of the habitual areas where one may view chimps and enjoy the various chimp treks are situated in the two nations of Rwanda and Uganda. You will be able to watch these primates and learn more about them with the aid of the various trackers.
While going on a chimp trekking adventure, there are various things that you must bring with you, some of which are as follows:
- Wear long-sleeved clothing to protect yourself from tree scratches when walking and bug bites from tropical insects, especially during the rainy season.
- Permission will be required after paying a certain amount of money, which will be provided by the game park where you wish to trek.
- A wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen, especially during the dry season when the heat may be terrible.
- Hiking shoes, you will need robust trekking shoes to avoid slipping, especially when the trekking trails are a little slick.
- Garden gloves, which will allow you to correctly hold the trees without getting your fingers scratched.
Hiking with Chimpanzees in Uganda
Uganda is a fascinating nation with many things to see and do, and one of the finest things to do is go chimp trekking. In most parks, the minimum age for individuals who wish to undertake chimp trekking is fifteen years old, except in Kalinzu Forest, where it is twelve years. It is done in specified locations, and some of the locations where chimp trekking is done include the following.
Hiking with Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park is the ideal place in East Africa to go chimp trekking. Kibale National Park is located in western Uganda and is home to 1500 chimps as well as other primates. Kibale National Park is home to thirteen distinct chimp species as well as other primates. There are many other wild creatures that may be spotted in the park, such as a variety of bird species.
Trekking in Kibale Park is usually done for one hour for each group of tourists who go trekking, and the group consists of five to six people who are always escorted by an experienced tour guide, and there can be more than six groups that go trekking in a day because the trekking process only takes one hour for each group.
Most visitors to Kibale are encouraged to wear long-sleeved clothing because the park is thickly forested, in order to avoid tree branch scrapes and bug bites. The chimp trekking in Kibale is divided into two sessions: one in the morning at 7:00 a.m. and another at lunchtime.
Chimp trekking is not as difficult as it may appear in Kibale since the chimpanzees may be spotted up in the trees eating fruits and as long as you follow the rules and regulations that are provided.
Budongo Forest Chimpanzee Trek
Budongo woodland is located near the famed Murchison falls in northern Uganda, and you may combine a Murchison safari with a Budongo monkey trekking safari. Budongo is a big forest that has been protected and is densely forested with mahogany trees.
You would be able to go for chimp and habituation after you visit the Budongo jungle. Habituation is the process of acclimating chimps to people who visit the region on a regular basis, and the two activities can be combined.
There are so many chimps that they will be the first thing you encounter when you arrive in Budongo, and the trekking is generally done in the mornings. If you are going to Budongo for trekking, it is advisable to stay the night at a nearby lodge so that you can get an early start.
Hiking with Chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura Gorge is located in Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda and is regarded as one of the best chimp trekking sites in Uganda and East Africa. It is known locally as the Valley of the Apes because it is home to a small family of chimpanzees, approximately twelve of them. You will be accompanied on the trip by a guide, and you will be able to interact with the chimps due to habituation in the Kyambura gorge. Hiking is also mainly done in the mornings, and it may be combined with other activities in the park.
Kalinzu Forest Chimpanzee Trekking
Kalinzu Forest is also located in Queen Elizabeth National Park and is a popular and unusual location for chimp trekkers. The forest is home to around 300 chimps, 40 of whom are habituated, and all of these may be viewed with a simple visit. Several species present in the park, including a variety of bird species, call the Kalinzu forest home. The permits in Kalinzu are a little cheaper than in other areas, and if you can’t acquire one, simply tell the park authorities when you’ll be able to go hiking and you’ll be OK. You may also observe other primates when trekking in Kalinzu, and the minimum age for people to participate in trekking is twelve years old.
Semiliki Game Reserve
Semiliki Wildlife Reserve Chimp trekking is another location where you may enjoy chimp trekking in the vicinity. It is a gazetted area that was established to protect the Kobs and other wild species that were fleeing the region. It is nestled in a valley and is covered with acacia forest, which is home to the majority of the Reserve’s chimps. The chimp trekking takes three to four hours in the reserve and takes place in the morning.
Chimpanzee trekking is becoming popular as one of East Africa’s top safari sites. These human-like primates behave like humans, which is why most people are drawn to come and witness how they appear physically, their various mannerisms, and how they care for one another. Note that they dwell in groups, and it is quite difficult for these groups to sleep in the same location repeatedly. They continue to move to other locations in quest of food and water.
As a result, you should not pass up the opportunity to learn more about these amazing primates. Get a ticket and a permit and come enjoy chimp trekking in East Africa this is an experience you don’t want to be told about, but you must come and experience it for yourself.
Hiking with Chimpanzees Rwanda
Chimpanzee trekking takes place at Nyungwe National Park and Cyamudongo National Park, both of which are located in Uganda’s southwestern region. The minimum age to participate in Rwanda trekking is sixteen years old, and each of these parks has a tour guide who will accompany you on this fantastic excursion.
Nyungwe National Park
The chimp population in Nyungwe National Park is significant, with 500 recorded chimps and one habituated colony. Because chimps change their resting spots every night, when you go chimp trekking in Nyungwe, a tracker will go ahead of your party to find out precisely where they spent the night so that you do not travel in the incorrect direction.
The park offers three visitor centers where visitors may congregate before going on a hike around 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. These centers are the Gisakura, Kitabi, and Uwinka. Because of the deep jungle, it is practically hard to view the chimps, although you will be able to spot a few of them.
Forest of Cyamudongo
Cyamudongo National Park is located in Rwanda’s southwestern region, close to Nyungwe National Park. The Cyamudongo is considerably simpler to travel the chimps than Nyungwe since it is not highly forested, yet the number of chimps here is rather restricted. One of the habituated chimp groups is located in the Cyamudongo forest, where you may engage with them and learn more about the chimpanzees.
Tanzania Chimpanzee Trekking
Tanzania may not be the most popular site for chimp trekking, but that does not imply that visitors to the country cannot enjoy a chimp trek safari. Tanzanian chimp trekking is generally done from.
Mahale Mountains National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park is located near Lake Tanganyika and is regarded as one of Tanzania’s most picturesque wildlife parks. The Park is already accessible by boat, and it is home to 800 chimpanzees organized into several groups. The greatest season to go trekking in Mahale Park is between October and March, and it is a great experience that can only be had on foot. Because some of them are habituated, you may get a closer look at these monkeys when you visit Tanzania.
National Park of Gombe
Gombe National Park is Tanzania’s smallest national park, located near Kigoma and accessible via air from Arusha. Gombe Park, which can only be reached by boat, is well-known for being the site of Jane Goodall’s chimp study. The Kasakela troop is the most prevalent troop of chimps in the region, and it was on this population that the study was conducted, and there are multiple publications that recount her experiences with these monkeys.
It has a large number of chimps in the region, and trekking usually takes place in the mornings and mid-afternoons. Some of the chimps are also habituated, allowing guests to get a closer look at the monkeys and learn more about their behaviors firsthand.
Hiking with Chimpanzees in Nairobi, Kenya
Although chimps are not native to Kenya, a handful of them may be seen in the Sweetwater Chimpanzee Sanctuary. It was founded in 1993 when Jane Goodall saved six chimps from Burundi and sent them to Kenya to be protected. Since then, numerous chimps have arrived in Kenya injured or near death, but they are nursed back to health so that they do not become extinct.
There are now 37 chimps in the sanctuary, and during the chimp trekking, you will get to meet them all and learn more about them and how they may be preserved from poachers.