Chimpanzee trekking and habituation experience in Uganda Uganda provides the greatest opportunities to watch various Chimpanzees activities in East African region including Chimpanzee habituation experience. Uganda is home to over 5,000 chimpanzees in protected and unprotected areas.
There are five main place in Uganda where apes can be watched in their natural habitats and these include: Kibale National Park, Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Forest and Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.
Chimp tracking/ Primates walk This start with briefing at the protected area/park headquarters about the dos and don’ts while with the man’s closest relative. It is available for an hour is the commonest chimpanzee activity.
At Kibale forest national park, the walks start from the Kanyanchu Visitor center at 08.00 & 15.00 and lasts 2 to 3 hours. Chimpanzee are the most sought after primate by visitors, but endower to look out for the black & white colobus, red tailed monkey or the grey cheeked mangabey. Your guides will be able to show you pittas & different bird species and will give details of the traditional plant species within the forest. This walk is for 6 people in a group. Advance booking is all-important especially during the peak sea.
Chimpanzee habituation experience (CHEX) This is a full-day activity which occur in the chimpanzee community that is undergoing habituation. The activity starts with an early breakfast, packed lunch taken from your lodge, meet your guide and set off to where the chimpanzees built nests the night before. Your day will be interesting and memorable as you watch an episode in a whole season of habituation for the chimpanzee group you are visiting. You will have an opportunity to watch chimps leaving their overnight nests between 6:00 – 6:30am before feeding, copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, resting, patrolling and displaying until it is time to build new nests around 7pm.
Chimpanzee habituation is aimed at getting the chimpanzees used to human presence and is a long process that can take up to two years before a group of chimpanzees can safely be considered habituated. Learn how to identify the different chimpanzees as individuals by their markings, sometimes scars and other unique features that make them stand apart from rest. Your eventful day finally comes to a close when the chimpanzees climb into their new nests for the night and you head back to your lodge with good memories, and the satisfaction of a day well spent. Don’t forget your camera, because during the activity, you will get very nice camera shots of chimpanzees doing various activities.
There is no better season for habituation experience, however, for convenience, it is best in the months of March, April, May and November, when there is less tourist congestion.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience, this is a lifetime experience that allows accompany Kibale’s researchers and habituation at chimpanzee during their daily activities, thereby getting used to human presence without changing their natural.
Don’ts for chimpanzee trekking and habituation experience
- Avoid eating near the chimpanzees.
- Children below the age of 12 are prohibited from entering the park.
- Guide is the only one to help get access to the forest.
- No provoking Chimps once you enter the park.
- Flash photography are not allowed in the park.
Note that, the number of chimpanzee trekking permits for each day is restricted, you are greatly advised to book in advance to your safari date.
Kibale national park, Budongo forest in Murchison Falls national park, and Kyambura gorge-Queen Elizabeth National park, are some of the places where you can see chimps in Uganda. Every now and then, you might come across a chimpanzee outside a national park such areas of the Buniga forest, the Bigodi wetlands sanctuary, and the Bwindi impenetrable forest.
The Chimpanzee experience in Kibale Forest Kibale forest offers both chimpanzee tacking and habituation experiences. With chimpanzee trekking, you track the chimpanzees up to where they have settled in the forest. The trek itself is fun and in Kibale forest you get to see a few other animals and some other primates along the way. Kibale forest is home to about 12 other primates. When you finally find the chimps, you have one hour of viewing before you head back.
The chimpanzee habituation experience on the other hand, is where you get to experience a day with researchers who are involved in the chimpanzee habituation process. Habituation is a two year long process, so you get to spend the day watching the researchers go about habituating some chimpanzees.
The best places to have a chimpanzee tracking experience or a habituation experience is in the parks. Habituated chimpanzees are accustomed to human presence and will not run off when they sense or see you approach, but will stay apart and you can see them as you take pictures from a distance of course.
The Chimpanzee experience in Kyambura Gorge The Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth Park is another very good place to track chimpanzees in Uganda. This scenic gorge has been called the lost Valley by BBC and the Valley of the Apes by others. Kyambura Gorge is part of the Western Rift Valley and it provides such a unique setting and backdrop for chimpanzee tracking.
The terrain can be a bit on the rough side, it means crossing creeks and rivers all part of the excitement of being with the chimpanzees of Kyambura Gorge. Tracking chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge is 3 hours well spent, and the chimpanzee permits here are usually cheaper than those for Kibale forest.
Budongo Forest It’s in Murchison falls National Park is another place to go chimpanzee tracking on your safari in Uganda. You can even do a one day chimpanzee tracking safari here. Budongo forest is only 4 hours from Kampala and is the nearest of the chimpanzee tracking destination. A one day chimpanzee trekking experience is possible in Budongo forest. You just have to leave Kampala at about 6am, and you will probably be back in your room by 7 pm.
Although you can instead choose to make it a two, three or four day trip. This gives you time to explore the rest of the park, perhaps visit the rhino sanctuary and go rhino tracking.