Where are the best chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda? : Uganda is one of the best chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda, this amazing country dubbed as the pearl of Africa hosts 5 habitats (destinations) where chimpanzee tracking is done and these are Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge, Kalinzu forest, and Toro Semliki wildlife reserve.
Here are the details for each of the amazing Uganda chimpanzee trekking destinations, this article will help you make great choices when planning to visit Uganda for a chimpanzee trekking safari experience. All the chimpanzee trekking spots to choose from your next trek are as below.
Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest national park is the most popular Uganda Chimpanzee trekking safari destination, the park is referred to as the Primate capital of Uganda as it is a home to the highest population of chimpanzees in Uganda and Africa as well with more than 1,500 chimpanzee which have been habituated for tracking along the Kanyanchu primate walk trails.
Kibale Forest national park hosts a huge numbers of chimpanzees and because of this, chimpanzee tracking can be done either in the morning, mid- morning or afternoon rather than 2 times in other destinations around Uganda.
The high population of chimpanzees in Kibale Forest national park guarantees a 99.9% chance of seeing chimpanzees in Uganda, during the trek in the forests of Kibale there are also chances of seeing primates like the vervet monkeys, red colobus monkey, black and white colobus, Ugandan red colobus, Uganda mangabey, and blue monkey and many birds.
You will also have thrilling photography moments with the unending surprising acts from the chimps.
Kalinzu Forest – Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kalinzu Forest is another amazing chimpanzee trekking destination in Uganda as it is a home to over 220 chimpanzees with almost half of them already habituated for chimpanzee trekking experience with 95% chances of seeing the chimps.
Tracking chimpanzees in the Kalinzu forest can be done as an all- day activity or half – day depending on the time you would love to spend with the primate forest. Kalinzu Forest is also a home to several other primates like vervet monkeys and colobus monkeys which you will spot during chimpanzee trekking experience.
Budongo Forest – Murchison Falls National Park
Budongo Forest is the second – best spot for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, this beautiful forest is situated adjacent to Murchison Falls national park covering about 825 square kilometers and is a home to more than 600 chimpanzees with 4 habituated chimpanzee families.
Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest can be done as a short trip on a 115 kilometers long trail offering an extensive chance to see chimpanzees and other primates. During chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest expect to see several species of flora and fauna species, other 8 primate species including black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, Olive baboons, 24 species of small mammals, 465 plant species and over 270 butterflies.
Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kyambura Gorge is an amazing and unique chimpanzee tracking spot of its kind in the world, Kyambura Gorge is dubbed as the Valley of Apes as it is about 100 m deep below sea level.
Kyambura Gorge is a home to fewer chimpanzees habituated for trekking, though its sightings are not as amazing as in other spots. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge is possible any time of the day depending on your preferred time.
To have a once – in a life time experience, you can add your Uganda safari tailored along with Queen Elizabeth national park.
Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve
Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve is one of the first reserves to be gazetted in Uganda gazetted in 1926, the reserve was established to protect the many kobs within the area, primates including chimpanzees, the hot springs in the adjacent Semliki National Park and the local communities.
Chimpanzee trekking are seen during a primate walk in the park however sightings are rare as they are mostly semi- habituated, the chimpanzees in the riverine forest of Mugiri have been studied by the University of Indiana and therefore have a good chances to spot the chimpanzees.
The Cost of Chimpanzee Trekking Permit
Similar to Gorilla trekking in Uganda, chimpanzee trekking requires a permit that is purchased at a set price by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the prices for the chimpanzee trekking permit depends on the park and the chimpanzee trekking location. Here are the prices for chimpanzee trekking permit.
Foreign nonresidents Foreign residents East Africans
Budongo Forest 90 USD 90 USD 35,000 UGX
Kibale Forest National Park 200 USD 150 USD 150,000 UGX
Kyambura Gorge 50 USD 40 USD 30,000 UGX
Note: The costs exclude park entrance fees
What are the Rules and Regulations for Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda?
To trek chimpanzees, you must have a chimp trekking permit that can be booked by your tour operator before the trek date.
- All intending chimp tracking visitors must attend the briefing session in the morning.
- Strictly a maximum of 1 hour is spent in the presence of the chimpanzees.
- Each chimpanzee family is trekked by a total of 6 people per trek.
- 12 years is the minimum age for chimp trekking in Uganda
- Do not track chimpanzees if you are sick, they can easily catch human diseases.
- Do not litter in the forest during tracking
- If you need to urinate or defecate do so off the trail. Bury your waste in a hole (30cm deep) along with any toilet paper.
- Do not eat near
- Do not chase the chimpanzees
- Do not mimic chimpanzee vocalization
- Do not use flash photography
- Keep as quiet as possible, you will see more
- Keep at least 8m (25ft) from the chimpanzees at all times