Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda : Chimpanzee trekking is one of the most incredible activities done in Uganda that allows you to meet up with our closest related cousins the unique chimpanzees that still exist in the wild. The activity is done with help of Uganda Wildlife Authority Interpretive Rangers lead a small group into their natural habitat. The trek can last about 30 to 5 hours including a maximum of one hour with the chimps, during the time of trekking expect to see chimps from a safe but intimate distance of 8 – 10 meters. You will get up close to discover their amazing lifestyle, intelligence, and social structures.
The chimpanzee trekking experience is rewarding and memorable though there is the main difference between the standard chimp treks and the habituation experience. Both activities identify how long you spend with the chimpanzees. Despite this fact, the habituation experience permits you to spend much longer time with chimpanzees in the company of the park rangers.
Where to go for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda?
Kibale National Park; This is the most popular visited destination for both chimpanzee trekking and habituation experience. This is because the park harbors over 1,500 individual chimpanzees thus making it the most outstanding chimpanzee destination not only in Uganda but the entire world. The park is located in the western regions of Uganda, estimated to be about a 5 to 6 hours drives right from Kampala or Entebbe via Fort port to the main destination.
Well, the possibility of seeing chimpanzees is high around ‘’90%’’ and the park lies along the southwestern safari circuit so is easy to combine chimpanzee trekking with other stunning experiences.
In Kibale, chimpanzee trekking excursions are done in two sessions a day in the morning and afternoon. Morning activity starts at 08 am and afternoon starts at 2 pm, although the morning excursions are busier since many itineraries combine it with an afternoon visit to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.
One to be able to trek these great apes, you’re required to obtain a permit which can be booked through the Uganda Wildlife Authority Offices.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park costs USD200 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, Foreign residents pay USD150 per person per trip.
Chimp habituation experience is also available at Kibale. This is a full-day experience that involves 4 hours to spend with chimps and can be done in the company of researchers, and park ranger guides among others. So, the activity starts early in the morning at about 7 am until they nest again for the night at about 19:00.
Chimpanzee habituation permits costs USD250 per person per trek for foreign nonresident and foreign resident goes at USD200 per person per day.
Budongo Forest Reserve –Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s oldest and largest game park that harbors a diversity of wildlife species that remarks it the best safari destination. Activities that can be combined with chimpanzee trekking include game drives, boat cruises, chimp trekking and hikes on the top of the falls, and sundowners at boutique lodges as you overlook the savannah grassland. However, Budongo Forest Reserve is one of the ultimate locations for chimpanzee tracking /trekking and there is the highest chance of seeing them about 80% than that of Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Note, Chimpanzee permits in Budongo can be booked through the National Forestry Authority. The Centre’s historical association with the Jane Goodall Institute was built to research the chimps and the forest.
The full-day habituation experience is also available in Budongo forest, where tourists who seek to stay long hours with Chimpanzees can engage in this activity.
Peak season; A chimpanzee trekking permit prices vary on seasons during peak /high season costs 130 USD per person for foreign nonresidents, 120 USD per person for foreign residents, and about USD85 per person for East African Citizens.
Chimpanzee habituation permits in the Budongo forest cost 230 USD per person for foreign nonresidents,160 for foreign residents, and 90 USD per person for East African Citizens. You shouldn’t hesitate to book with us Kibale Tours to arrange your affordable tour package.
Low season; Chimpanzee permits turn low season costs 120 USD per person for foreign nonresidents,110 USD for foreign residents, and 80 USD per person for East African Citizens.
Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park
This beautiful gorge is home to chimpanzee species and sits in the far East of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura Gorge is identified as the valley of the apes. The product of centuries of erosion by the Kyambura River in the dense forest which covers the gorge’s part which is a prime habitat for chimpanzees.
The chimpanzee trekking activity is experienced by the escort of the Uganda Wildlife Authority guide who leads you into this thick forest where you will feel like you have entered a new world. The possibility of seeing chimps is about 60%. The chimp trekking permits can be booked through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or with help of trust worth tour operators. Other activities to combine with chimpanzee trekking include; Game drive, a Natural walk, Birding, a Boat cruise, and adventuring the tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park.
Chimpanzee permits in Kyambura gorge cost USD50 per person per day for foreign nonresidents and foreign residents USD40 per person per day.
Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
Semiliki Wildlife Reserve is the western region of Uganda, approximately a 5 to 6 hours’ drive from Kampala and it is comprised of Semliki Valley home to a small population of chimpanzees.
However, the reserve has got research program that sits on the edge as they try to work out the relationship between the chimps walking on two legs and the evolution of our species.
Chimpanzee trekking in Semuliki is a rewarding and unforgettable experience.
What is the best time to go for Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda?
Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda can be done all year round although the best time is during the dry season which starts June to September and December to February best time to trek with less rain that allows you to experience the activity.