Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda

If you’ve ever seen a chimpanzee swing from a limb, fold its fingers, turn its eyes or scoop ants from their hole with grass, you’ll want to go on a chimp trekking safari in Uganda. Sit with the chimpanzees on their own turf in Uganda, listen to their laughter and observe their unique feeding, playing, nesting and other behaviors.

Chimpanzees are close relatives of humans, having around 98 percent human-like DNA, according to research. They abandon their social lives in favor of fruits, leaves, stems, ants and other edibles.

Chimpanzee trekking is done on foot deep in the jungles, under the supervision of trained ranger guides. The cost of a permit varies based on where you are going and your nationality.

Where to go for Chimpanzee trekking?

Chimpanzees can be found in a variety of places throughout the country, from sanctuaries, wildlife reserves and national parks. However, if you want to go chimpanzee trekking, there are three options:

Kibale National Park

This is the world’s primate capital, with around 13 different primate species co-existing. It is a home of around 1500 individual chimpanzees and the country’s main chimpanzee trekking attraction. The park is located in the south-western part of Uganda, with a portion near the tourism city of Fort Portal. It is accessible by air and road from Entebbe International Airport, Kajjansi Airstrip or Kampala Capital City.

The lush forest cover is used as a research centre for botanical species and more. There is a variety of birds, forest elephants, Buffaloes and more. It is an excellent trekking destination, with over 90% chances of spotting these creatures. The gates open at about 06:00 am, and close at 19:00 hours when the apes retire to their nests.

There are two trekking schedules; the first and busiest is in the morning hours, from 6:30 am, and the other from 14:00 hours during afternoon hours. The activity starts with a pre-trekking briefing and document verification at the park headquarters. About six groups of chimps are tracked per day, each by a team of about 8 people. The hiking exercise is simple and fun and takes roughly 2-4 hours depending on how far the apes have moved, plus an additional hour for watching, taking photos and making inquiries in regards to the characteristics of these apes. From trekking, it is advisable to visit either Isunga cultural community or the Bigodi wetland sanctuary.

To access the park, a valid trekking permit is required from all members intending to encounter the apes. This document can be got from Uganda wildlife Authority or through a tour company. It is issued to persons aged 15 years and above.  The permit costs about $200 for foreign non-residents.

Budongo Forest Reserve In Murchison Falls Conservation Area.

This is situated in the southern part of Uganda’s largest and oldest national park, Murchison Falls. The reserve has the highest concentration of Mahogany forest in East Africa, providing a fantastic opportunity to see these apes. Visitors have an 80% chance of seeing the chimpanzees and the encounter is highly personal because the area is less crowded and secure.

Any professional tour operator can help you get a trekking permit. There are two trekking sessions at the destination; the first begins at 8:00 a.m. and the second begins at 14:00 p.m. local time in the afternoon.

Kyambura Gorge In Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area.

This is an optional stop for visitors to Queen Elizabeth National Park’s kaleidoscope of wonders. Although there are just a few Chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge, there is up to 90% probability of seeing one. The spectacular cleft in the base may be found in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s eastern section. The area is known as the “Valley of Ape”.  It’s as if you’ve arrived on another planet when you reach the gorge, with stunning sound and beauty all around you. Uganda Wildlife Authority and professional tour operators provide chimpanzee trekking permits in Kyambura gorge.

When Is The Best Time To Go For Chimpanzee Trekking?

Chimpanzee trekking is available all year in Uganda. Then there are months when the weather is ideal for hiking. These are the driest seasons, which also happen to be the busiest. June to September and December to February are the best months to visit. March to May, when there is a lot of rain, and October to November, when there is a lot of rain.

The wet season is the low season for tourism, with fewer visitors and discounts on lodging and other services. It can be excellent if you are at ease with it.

Chimpanzee trekking is a top safari option in the world, and it is one of the wild experiences that one should undertake. Book ahead of time to be able to enjoy this safari adventure and avoid last minute bookings.



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