Chimpanzee tracking or chimpanzee trekking or the primate walk activity is more popular in Kibale forest National Park the primate capital of the world. The park is home to 1450 chimpanzees and half of the number has been habituated and those are the ones tracked by tourists. Chimpanzee tracking is a very fascinating activity as you watch man’s closest relatives feed, play and interact with one another. The chimpanzee tracking in Uganda is also found in other areas like Budongo forest, Kyambura gorge, Kalinzu reserve and Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
A chimpanzee tracking permit fees varies from where the activity is done as follows;
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience In Kibale Forest National Park
This activity is only done in Kibale N.P and is one of the lifetime experiences that will stay with you. As a guest you will go out with researchers at Sebitole center for the chimpanzee habituation daily activities. During the activity, chimpanzees are being introduced to the human presence without changing their natural environment. You will come across chimpanzees de-nesting and nesting. The habituation program starts between 05:30- 7:00pm (19:00 hrs.’) and the activity is available only in selected months of March, April, May and November.
What to expect during Chimpanzee Tracking?
In Kibale National Park, you will be expected to arrive at the Kanyanchu Visitor center by 08:00am for morning session and 15:00 hours (3pm) for the afternoon chimpanzee tracking activity. The tracking will last for 2 to 3 hours in Kibale forest in search for this specie where you will site other primates like Monkeys (Black & White Columbus monkeys), Baboons and Grey Cheeked Mangabeys.
Once you are at the visitor center the UWA rangers/ guides will take you through a briefing about the history of the park, wildlife species found in it and the dos & don’ts while Chimpanzee tracking. After you will be divided in groups of 6 people who will be given a ranger guide to lead you the forest through different routes. He will show you sights of different primates, tree species and bird species in the park. Once you find the chimpanzees you will be allowed at most 1 hour to spend or follow them as they swing from one tree to another.
Chimpanzee tracking is strenuous and you need to be physically fit to participate in the activity. Please note that chimpanzee permits are in demand and bookings should be done in advance to avoid disappointments.
How much is a chimpanzee safari?
A chimpanzee tracking safari will depend mainly on how much you can spend on your trip from budget to Midrange and luxury safari as per below;
We encourage you to book your Chimpanzee permit with an agent or tour operator since this helps you avoid disappointments and also explore more activities. It seems cheap but you will end up incurring more costs in transportation.
What to wear during a Chimpanzee Tracking Safari
How to reach Chimpanzee Tracking Areas?
Kibale national park the best place to participate in chimpanzee tracking can be reached via to routes by road; that is Mubende – Fortportal road and Mbarara- Kamwenge road to the Kanyanchu gate. While using air transport the park is accessed through Entebbe international airport and no domestic flights manning the route.
Budongo Forest reserve is another place in Uganda to track gorillas and it’s accessed via Masindi Highway on your way to Murchison falls National park. It will take you approximately 4 hours by road to get there. The reserve is also accessed by air via Pakuba airstrip in Murchison falls national park
Kyambura gorge is found in queen Elizabeth National park and accessed through 5 districts Kasese, Mbarara, Fortportal, Ntungumo and Bushenyi by road and only via Kasese by Air.
What is the best time for tracking Chimpanzees?
The time of visit varies depending on the seasons that’s wet or dry, however, chimpanzee tracking is open all year long. The best months for Chimpanzee tracking are December- February and June- August with less slippery trails and great photography moments.
Below are the rules and regulations which all guests should abide with if they wish to participate in Chimpanzee tracking.
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