Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda
The gorillas’ support act, Uganda’s chimps, are a draw in their own right. Although they live in different ecosystems than gorillas and have diverse social structures, chimpanzees are genetically related to us. They have a dark side that is equally captivating as their more endearing qualities.
Uganda is one of the few countries that can provide such a wide range of wildlife and safari activities on a single trip. Chimp tracking in Uganda is one of the most extraordinary wildlife encounters on the continent.
Kibale Forest National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park are the three main chimp trekking sites in Uganda. Kibale Forest is the finest area for chimp trekking because of its high population density and frequent encounters.
What is chimpanzee trekking?
Chimpanzee trekking, one of Uganda’s most popular wildlife activities, allowing you to enter the world of chimps in the wild. Interpretive Rangers from the Uganda Wildlife Authority lead a small group (maximum of 8) into the world of the chimps.
The hikes run around three hours and involve a maximum of one hour with the chimpanzees, who may be seen from a safe yet intimate distance of 8-10 meters. Discover the beauty, intellect, and social dynamics of chimps up close and personal.
What is chimpanzee habituation?
Chimpanzee habituation is an all-encompassing experience. You can join the habituation team’s researchers for a half or full-day journey deep into the forest. Because these chimps are less used to human contact, the encounter is more unexpected.
While following the example of these nimble primates might be difficult, the experience is extremely gratifying.
The primary distinction between ordinary chimp treks and habituation experiences is the amount of time spent with the chimps. The habituation experience allows you to spend considerably more time with the chimps.
Where can I go chimpanzee trekking in Uganda?
Kibale National Park
Kibale Forest National Park, which is home to around 1,500 chimps, is Uganda’s principal chimp trekking destination.
The rainforest is located in South-West Uganda and is easily accessible from Kampala or Entebbe.
The forest is home to healthy chimp populations, and the park has become synonymous with them. The odds of seeing animals here are 90% or higher, and the park is located along the southwestern safari circuit, making it simple to combine with other activities.
The tracking trips leave twice a day at 08:00 and 14:00, with the morning excursions being busier because many itineraries combine it with a visit to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary in the afternoon.
Budongo Forest Reserve, Murchison Falls National Park
The greatest safari spot in Uganda is Murchison Falls National Park.
The sheer variety of activities available here is remarkable. Game drives, boat cruises, chimp trekking, treks to magnificent waterfalls and vistas, and sundowners at boutique lodges overlooking the savannah may all be combined in a single visit.
The Budongo Forest Reserve, located in the woodland south of the gorgeous park, is a good area for chimp tracking.
Budongo has a greater contact rate than Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is around 80%. While sightings are more likely at Kibale, the smaller visitor numbers make the encounter more personal. Tracking permissions can be obtained from the National Forestry Authority.
Uganda Chimpanzee Trekking Sit with the chimps on their territory.
The leading is especially outstanding at Budongo, where up to six led groups of three people track the chimps each morning and afternoon.
Because of the center’s historical connection with the Jane Goodall Institute, the informative guides are superb at conveying the larger tale of the chimps and the forest.
A typical tracking trip lasts around three hours, with contact generally made after only an hour of walking. A full-day habituation session is also offered for travelers who want to spend more time with the chimps.
Kyambura Gorge, Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kyambura Gorge, a pleasantly hidden gash in the surface of the generally flat grassland bordering Queen Elizabeth National Park, is Uganda’s third most popular chimp trekking site.
Kyambura Gorge, located in the extreme east of Queen Elizabeth National Park, is known as “the Valley of the Apes.” The lush forest that covers the gorge walls is a great home for chimps due to years of erosion by the Kyambura River.
You will feel as if you have entered another universe when an expert Ugandan Wildlife Authority guide guides you into this secret jungle.
The gorge is home to only 17 chimpanzees, with a 60% chance of spotting one. The sights and sounds of the forest create anticipation and enhance the enjoyment of a sighting. The Uganda Wildlife Authority can book tracking permits (if you book with us all of this is taken care of for you).
Kyambura Gorge is frequently added as an add-on to a Queens safari since the park has high bio-diversity and is usually visited for game drives, boat cruises, and the tree-climbing lions in the park’s Ishasha Sector.
Semiliki Wildlife Reserve
The Semliki Valley, located in western Uganda, is home to a tiny population of chimps.
Expect it to be difficult to locate the chimps in Semliki. Because of the dry and scarce woodland habitat, they must travel far and wide to get enough food.
The study program here is cutting-edge, with the goal of determining the link between chimps walking on two legs and the evolution of our own species.
When is the best time to go chimpanzee trekking in Uganda?
The dry seasons of June to September and December to February are ideal for chimp trekking in Uganda.
Uganda is an all-year destination. Temperatures are stable throughout the year due to its tropical environment. The seasons in Uganda are distinguished by varied quantities of rainfall. The long rainy season lasts from March to May, while the short rainy season lasts from October to November.
Trekking conditions are best from June to September and from December to February. The bright, sunny weather should make your walk more pleasurable, although due to Uganda’s tropical environment, downpours are still possible.
The main tourist season in Uganda is from June to September, and hotel prices rise to accommodate the increased demand. If you are not afraid of severe hiking conditions, traveling during the rainy season might help you save money.
Because of the decreased demand, permits are less expensive and easier to get during the wet season.
How difficult is chimpanzee trekking in Uganda?
Because the excursions are roughly three hours long, chimp trekking in Uganda demands a reasonable degree of physical condition.
Chimpanzees, unlike gorillas, normally dwell at low heights, and the soft terrain will allow you to concentrate on the chimps. Chimpanzees, on the other hand, are extremely active and may dash across the jungle. To stay up with them, you should be able to move rapidly on short notice.
The journey will primarily follow forest routes, but if the chimps are situated away from the trails, you should be prepared to cross the undergrowth. The pathways will be more treacherous and the vegetation will be thicker during the wet season. This will make the journey more challenging.