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Spellbinding Chimpanzee Tracking Experience in East Africa – Uganda & Rwanda

April 22, 2020


Chimpanzee Trekking is on One of the most thrilling great apes to see on a safari in Uganda, gorillas, these are the most prevalent primate species among tourists. Uganda has a population of near to 5000 chimpanzees disseminated in the numerous jungles and game parks. The chimpanzee residents in Uganda used to be much higher than it is today. It used to sum in tens of thousands but poaching and unstable political atmosphere led to the perpetual deterioration in population. Chimpanzees were even hunted for survival or vended as pets.

Chimpanzee in Kibale forest

Previously the civil and political turbulence in the region, Ugandans never ate chimpanzees as food or even nurtured them as pets, but they derived these behaviors from people who fled the political volatility in the Democratic Republic of Congo into Uganda. Occasionally chimpanzees have been trapped in snares destined for other animals such as antelopes, and many of these nooses are deadly enough to kill the clueless chimpanzees.

Which are the finest places to see chimpanzees?

There are only 21 countries in Africa where you can discover chimpanzees in the wild. Uganda is one of those countries. It is actually one of the best places in East Africa to see chimpanzees. In the west and central Africa, there is a lot of human attack on chimpanzee habitats, and hunting of chimpanzees for meat, which will eventually bring down the number of states that have chimpanzees in the wild if those activities are not measured. If you are planning to see chimpanzees in East Africa, Uganda is the best choice you could ever make. With various forests and national parks, there are several places where you can see chimpanzees in Uganda and has numerous forests and national parks in which chimpanzees can be tracked. You can either select to go for chimpanzee tracking, or a chimpanzee habituation experience, although some parks offer one both options.

Here are some of the national parks and forests you can visit if you are interested in seeing chimpanzees in Uganda.

Kibale national park, Budongo forest in Murchison Falls national park, and Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National park are the best places that give you a chance to track chimpanzees in Uganda. Sometimes, you might come across a chimpanzee outside a national park such as in the Buniga forest, the Bigodi wetlands sanctuary, and the Bwindi impenetrable forest.

The best places for chimpanzee tracking or habituation experiences is the national parks. Habituated chimpanzees are familiar to human existence and will not run away when they sense or see you approach, but will stay set and you can see them and take pictures, from a distance. To organize for a chimp adventure in Uganda, you need a chimpanzee permit, for each park you visit. Permit fees differ with each park.

The Chimpanzee experience in Kibale Forest – Kibale forest bids both chimpanzee tracking and habituation experiences. With chimpanzee trekking, you track up to where they have settled in the forest. The trek alone is fun and in Kibale forest, you get an opportunity to see a few other animals and some other primates along the way. Kibale forest is home to approximately 12 other primates. When you finally land on the chimps, you have one hour of observing before you head back.

The chimpanzee habituation experience, on the other hand, is where you get an opportunity to experience a day with researchers who are dealing in the chimpanzee habituation process. Habituation takes nearly two years, turning it to be a long process, so you get to spend the day viewing the researchers go about habituating some chimpanzees.

The habituation experience is an available selection in Kibale forest all year round, but in Budongo forest it is during the off-season months.

Kyambura Gorge

The Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth Park is another decent place to track chimpanzees in Uganda. This charming gorge has been labeled as “the lost Valley” by BBC and the Valley of the Apes by others. Kyambura Gorge is part of the Western Rift Valley and it delivers such a unique scenery and backdrop for chimpanzee tracking. The landscape can be a bit on the rough side, it means crossing creeks and rivers all part of the pleasure of being with the chimpanzees of Kyambura Gorge. Tracking chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge goes nearly for 3 hours, and the chimpanzee permits here are typically discounted than those for the Kibale forest.

Budongo Forest in Murchison falls national park is another place to go for chimpanzee tracking on your safari in Uganda. Budongo forest is only 4 hours from Kampala and is one of the nearest  chimpanzee tracking destination. So a one-day chimpanzee trekking experience is possible in Budongo forest. You just have to depart Kampala at about 6am, and you will probably be back in your room by 7 pm. But you can instead choose to make it a two, three- or four-day trip. This gives you sufficient time to explore the rest of the park, perhaps visit the rhino sanctuary and go rhino tracking too.

Speak To our Africa Travel Experts at GoExplore Safaris for more, but a chimp tracking experience in your itinerary is really worth it.


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Brian Ahereza

Safari Expert

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