Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.
Chimpanzee trekking is a unique breathtaking and remarkable experience. Uganda has 3 major chimpanzee trekking destinations: Kibale forest national park, Budongo forest in Murchison falls national park and kyambura in Queen Elizabeth national park.
Kibale forest is the leading chimpanzee trekking destination in Uganda.
About chimpanzee trekking.
Chimpanzee trekking is among the popular wildlife activities in Uganda, It gives you a chance to meet chimps in their natural habitats.
A group of 8 people is led by a ranger guide into the jungle to look for the chimps, this involves hiking and the distance is determined by the movement of the chimps. After finding them a group has one hour of enjoying the lifestyle of these gentle giants, enjoying their beauty and intelligence, taking pictures, and watching them at a distance of 8-10 meters.
During chimpanzee habituation, you join researchers who work on habituation for half or a full day deep in the jungle. Chimpanzee habituation is done on chimps to make them feel free in presence of humans meaning during this process you will deal with chimps that are not used to human presence and this makes the experience unpredictable but rewarding since you spend more time with chimps during habituation than during trekking.
Chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda.
Kibale forest national park.
It is located in southwestern Uganda 3-4 hours drive from Kampala. Kibale forest national park is a haven for over 1500 chimpanzees making it the leading chimpanzee trekking destination in Uganda.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale is done twice a day at 8:00 am and at 2:00 pm. The choice is yours but the morning shift is preferable in case you want to combine trekking with the Bigodi wetland visit.
Trekking permits are the major requirement booked through Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Budongo forest reserve in Murchison falls National Park.
Chimpanzee trekking and big five safaris take you to Murchison falls.
In Budongo forest, a classic chimpanzee trekking excursion lasts about 3 hours of hiking, getting to know wider stories about the chimps and forest, and these are narrated guides from the Jane Goodall institute. For an extended encounter with the chimps, you can choose chimpanzee habituation and stay with these beautiful giants for a full day.
Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park.
Kyambura gorge is a secret cleft bordering Queen Elizabeth and it’s also known as the valley of apes.
The gorge is a habitat for 17 chimps with a 60% chance of seeing them during trekking. To make the safari more rewarding you can combine it with a game safari to Queen Elizabeth national park for game drives, a boat cruise on the kazinga channel, and many more.
Semiliki wildlife reserve.
Semuliki wildlife reserve is suited in western Uganda and it harbors a small number of chimpanzees, here seeing chimps is difficult however a chimpanzee trekking safari to semiliki wildlife reserve can be combined with a visit to the hot springs in semuliki valley national park.
Best time for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.
Uganda has an equatorial climate which makes its temperatures consistent however June to September and December to February are the best, October to November is short rain, and March to May is heavy rain season.
Trekking is easier during the dry seasons whereby you enjoy more due to clear and sunny weather.
During peak seasons, there are many tourists and this leads to an increase in accommodation costs in order to meet the demand.
Rainy seasons tend to make trekking difficult though there are advantages of discounted permits and accommodation costs.
The best time to visit depends on your schedule the parks are open all year round
What to pack for a chimpanzee trekking safari in Uganda.
Hiking boots. Hiking boots will keep your feet from danger and support you during hiking.
Garden gloves to protect your hands from getting damaged since trekking is done in thick tropical rain forests.
Waterproof rain jacket. In Uganda, drops can fall anytime making a rain jacket necessary on a gorilla trekking safari.
Long-sleeved shirt and trousers to keep you warm and keep your body from scratches.
Insect repellent to keep yourself safe from biting insects like mosquitoes.
Energy snacks and drinking water.
Sunglasses to protect you from direct sunlight.
A walking stick to make hiking a bit easier mostly during rainy seasons.
Where to stay while in Kibale forest national park.
Accommodation on your safari is available irrespective of your budget. The accommodations available vary from budget, to midrange to luxury.
- Chimpanzee forest guest house.
- Fort motel.
- Isunga lodge
- Kibale forest camp
- Kibale guest cottages
- Kibale safari lodge
- Kyaninga lodge.
Chimpanzee trekking rules and regulations.
Chimpanzees are like humans however they are wildlife and due to this, there are rules and regulations put in place to protect both the chimpanzees and the tourists and give the tourists a delightful experience.
A group of 6 people should visit the chimpanzees at a time with two guides and this is a way to protect the chimpanzees from human interference.
You are allowed to stay with the chimpanzees for only one hour and this is intended to make chimpanzees comfortable by spending less time in human presence.
Do not use flash in the presence of chimpanzees since this may get them stressed.
Do not eat in the presence of chimps. Chimpanzees are wild animals and they leave in the wilderness where most things are by force, seeing you eating may lead them to attack you in order to take the food and they may end up hurting you as well since they are strong.
Sick people are not allowed to track chimpanzees since the chimps can easily get diseases like the flu from humans.
Keep your voice low always during the chimpanzee tracking process.