Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda gives you an opportunity to see man’s closest relatives because they share about 98.7% of the DNA with man. They have human like characteristics such as adapting to their environments over time, they develope tools for survival much like humans. You will be able to spend an hour with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat by visiting the areas where the trekking happens in Uganda. The ranger guides will lead you to where they are and you will be able to take great pictures.
Where to do Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda
Kibale National Park offers a large chimpanzee population with over 120 habituated chimps and 1400 in the forest. The success rate of locating chimps while trekking is about 95%. Because of the huge chimpanze population, there are opportunities for Chimpanzee trekking twice each day – morning session starts at 7 am and afternoon at 12 pm with as many as 6 groups tracking each day each with 6 individuals. The forest is home to about 13 different primates including; black & white colobus, red-tailed monkey, red colobus monkeys, baboons which you get to meet while doing the chimpanzee trek.
Kalinzu forest is also another habitat and destination for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, with about 40 Chimps habituated for visitors though the forest is home to over 300 individuals. Because of the chimp population here the rate of Chimps sighting while on a trek is about 60% but the forest has a lot to offer in addition to the chimpanzee trekking. You will get to enjoy the beautiful scenery and flowing streams while on this chimpanzee trekking safari. This trek is usually long and and therefore good fitness levels are recommended.
Budongo forest at the Kaniyo Pabidi section in Murchison falls national park offers a fulfilling chimpanzee trekking experience in Uganda. The forest has a large population of Chimpanzees but only a few are habituated for tourism. Unlike Kibale National Park where you need to book permits earlier, at Kaniyo Pabidi the process is very flexible, all you need to do is inform the park rangers the day before your chimp trek.
Kyambura gorge is a remarkable forest in the middle of the Savannah park – the famous Queen Elizabeth national park. The forest has few chimpanzees that are sometimes difficult to spot. This forest is not recommended for chimpanzee trekking, but the forest walk is rewarding and priceless. There are chances for one to come across Hippos and elephants and on rare occasions you could spot lions.
For travellers with limited time you can visit Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary for an up-close experience with Chimpanzees. The sanctuary is 45 minutes away from the Entebbe pier on Lake Victoria on a speed boat and 1.5 hours on a motorized traditional canoe.
Chimpanzee trekking tips
- Chimpanzee trekking is for people who are 15 years of age and above.
- Trousers and long sleeved shirts are recommended because of the creppers in the forest.
- Water proof boots or hiking shoes.
- Insect repellent
- Carry bottled water for drinking.