The Chimpanzee – an inhabitant of the western rain forests is a species among the Primates world. Also known as human’s closest living relative which shares about 98% of our DNA. In Uganda, Chimpanzee Tracking is one of the most popular tourist activities with the other being gorilla trekking. The experience involves you trekking into the forested areas with an experienced guide in search of the chimps which live in communities.
At Kibale National park, you will see 15 primate species including the chimpanzees and that’s why it’s also known as the primate capital of the world. A total of 1450 chimpanzees are found here – according to a recent census. Chimp tracking is best in the morning hours when chimps are leaving their nests or in the evening hours. The chances of seeing the chimpanzees during your chimp tour are 90% and tourists allowed to spend a maximum of 1 hour once with the chimps. The Kanyanchu primate walk which is the most recommended will get you to see many primate species including monkeys.
While in Queen Elizabeth National park on your Wild Game Safari, you have chances of seeing chimps as well at the Kyambura gorge. The Chimpanzee tracking experience in Kyambura Gorge teaches visitors more it’s ecosystems. The chances of seeing the chimps are not as good as Kibale’s but you will obviously hear and see the habituated chimps. The tracking takes about 1 to 3 hours depending on how easily it is to find the primates. You can decide to track either in the morning hours at 8:00 am or in the afternoon at 2:00 pm.
Tourists can also enjoy Chimpanzee tracking at Uganda’s oldest wildlife reserve. The Semliki reserve also has a diversity of wildlife, which includes the forest mammals and a variety of birdlife. The Mugiri forest river in semliki is remarkably rich in primates especially chimpanzees with over 70 individuals. Guided nature walks around Ntoroko are also available.
The Budongo central forest reserve is another place tourists can get to see the chimpanzees in Uganda. It is located near Masindi town towards Murchison falls national park. The forest has trails crisscrossing to ease access for researchers and eco-tourists who frequent here. The tracking here also starts at 8am in the morning and 2:00pm in the afternoon with 80% chances of seeing the chimps.
Chimpanzee Tracking is a worth adventure experience for any visitor in Uganda. It is advisable to book the permit weeks before your tour to allow ease of planning. Also the permits to places like Kibale national park are limited when it’s a high season since only a limited number of visitors can see the chimps on each day.
The chimpanzee permits costs in Uganda are as below;
|Foreign Nationals (USD)||Foreign Residents (USD)||East African Citizens (UGX)|
|Kyambura Gorge||$ 50||$ 50||30,000|
|Semliki||$ 30||$ 30||20,000|
Recommended Chimpanzee Tracking Safaris & Tours
Uganda’s seasons keep changing but expect some rain in the forested areas for most of the year. However the drier months would be the best times to enjoy your chimpanzee tracking experience in Uganda. These include; January, February, June, July & August. Other months of March, October and December include a little rain but you can still get to enjoy chimp tracking at any of the places around Uganda.