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Common Chimpanzees In Kibale Forest National Park

Seeing Chimps/Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park on your Uganda safari is a great memorable experience and a must not miss!

Just after Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees are among the prominent tourist attractions in Uganda for the last few years.

Uganda boasts over 5000 Chimpanzee population total in different forests. However, over 1500 Chimpanzees are found in Kibale, living in 4 communities. Kibale Forest is not only a paradise for Chimpanzee safaris in Uganda but also in the whole world!

Several Chimpanzee groups in Kibale forest national park have been successfully habituated: Some for research and others like the Kanyantale group for Chimpanzee trekking Uganda tours.

Note: When you choose to have Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, it’s recommended that you get to know some facts about these intelligent beings.

For those interested in knowing much about Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park, here we go:

Chimpanzees Definition (Chimpanzees Meaning)- What Is A Chimpanzee?

A Chimpanzee is one of 4 types of “great apes”. Great apes include Chimpanzees, bonobos, Gorillas, and Orangutans.

The chimpanzee’s scientific name is called Pan troglodytes.

Along with Bonobos, chimps share over 98-99% of man’s DNA thus, scientifically considered humans’ closest genetic relatives.

Science believes that, between 7-13 million years ago,    Chimpanzees and humans had a common ancestor. This is because these cousins of man have amazing human-like behaviors e.g. Chimpanzees using tools while hunting for food.

What Are Some Facts About Chimpanzees In Kibale National Park?

There’re various interesting facts about Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park. These will help you get to know much about these adorable endangered apes.

Below are some fun facts about Chimpanzees in Kibale Uganda for you to know:

  1. Chimps share about 98-99 % DNA of man. Therefore, man and chimps are closely related, the only difference between their DNA is just 2%.
  2. Worldwide, chimps in the wild only live in Africa. They inhabit tropical and lowland rainforests, plus the montane forests in western and Central Africa.
  3. Just like humans, chimps use tools to hunt for food e.g. Using stones (as hummers) to open hard nuts and can modify sticks to spear out their prey.
  4. Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park are omnivores.
  5. Common Chimpanzees are highly social creatures, living in large communities each led by a dominant alpha male.
  6. Female chimps generally give birth to one young star every after 5 years.
  7. The Chimpanzee lifespan can go over 80 years, especially while in captivity.
  8. Chimps can walk on two legs, though on rare occasions.

Physical Description Of Chimpanzees (Chimpanzees Description) In Kibale National Park

Numerous travelers on Chimpanzees safaris in Uganda usually wonder about what a Chimpanzee looks like!

Well, Chimpanzees are black-coated apes with bodies covered in coarse hair, except for the face, fingers, toes, hand palms, and feet soles. Sometimes, the hair of chimpanzees can be brown or ginger.

Infants have pinkish or whitish faces. A white or grey patch can appear, especially on the chin as chimps get older.

Chimpanzees are bigger than Bonobos, however, smaller than Gorillas. Note their incredibly long arms which are 1.5 times longer than their height, extending beyond their knees.

Chimps’ hands have long fingers with short thumbs and flat fingernails adapted for grasping.

A chimp’s head is rounded with a prominent and prognathous face and a conspicuous brow ridge. It has forward-facing eyes, a short and small nose, rounded-non-lobed ears, long-mobile upper lip.

Chimpanzees’ teeth are very sharp, especially the canine teeth of the adult male.

Chimpanzees Size (Chimpanzees Weight) | Chimpanzees Height In Kibale Forest

How much do Chimpanzees weigh? On average, wild adult male Chimpanzees weigh 40-70kg while females about 27-50kg.

The average standing height of an adult Chimpanzee is over 1-1.7m or 3-5.5ft.

Note that, in exceptional cases, some Chimpanzees can exceed the above measurements.  They can go over 168cm or 5ft while standing on two legs and can weigh up to 136kg in captivity.

Chimpanzees Location In Kibale National Park

On your Uganda Chimpanzee safaris in Kibale National Park, these great apes live in different locations including:

  1. Kanyanchu Area

The Kanyanchu area is the main region for spotting Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park. It’s otherwise where Uganda Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Kibale park take place from!

The area holds the Kanyantale chimp community, first tracked by tourists in 1993. Currently, this fully habituated group has over 90 members.

  1. Sebitoli Region

In Kibale Forest, the Sebitoli expanse (in the northern section of the park) holds the Sebitoli Chimpanzee community. This group is mainly used for research purposes.

  1. Other Areas

Other 2 Chimpanzee communities in Kibale include the Kanywara Group in the northwestern section of the park having 50-60 members. The other community is found in the middle of the park holding over 200 individuals.

Chimpanzee Diets In Kibale Forest- What Do Chimpanzees Eat In The Wild?

Many visitors undertaking Uganda Chimpanzee safaris are usually inquisitive about whether are Chimpanzees omnivores.

Chimpanzees’ diets in Kibale National Park consist mainly of fruits. However, leaves and leaf buds, seeds, blossoms, stems, pith, bark, and resin are eaten also.

Fruits make up about 64.5% of the Chimpanzee diet and they enjoy taking ripe ones. 19% of the feeding is on arboreal foliage, usually Broussonetia papyrifera and Celtis mildbraedii.

Do Chimpanzees eat meat? Although Chimpanzees are mostly herbivorous, they can eat honey, soil, and insects such as termites & weaver ants.

Chimpanzees’ food can also include birds and their eggs, small to medium-sized mammals, and primates. Infant and juvenile Yellow Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, Bushbabies, Blue Duikers, and Warthogs can be eaten.

The Red colobus is the most preferred prey. Chimpanzees eat monkeys!

Note that, meat makes up less than 3% of the chimpanzee diet in the wild, therefore it’s barely taken.

Chimpanzees Hunting In Kibale Forest

Do Chimpanzees hunt? Yes, on rare occasions Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park do hunt for meat.

While hunting for small monkeys like the Red Colobus, Chimpanzees hunt where the forest canopy is irregular. This allows them to corner the monkeys in the appropriate direction.

Chimpanzees’ hunting is teamwork and sometimes they can corner their prey even in an unbroken canopy.

During an arboreal hunt, each Chimpanzee has a role. “Drivers” help to keep the prey running in a certain direction and follow it without attempting to make a catch.

Blockers” are stationed at the bottom of the trees and climb up to block prey that takes off in a different direction. “Chasers” move quickly and try to make a catch. Finally, “Ambushers” hide and rush out when a monkey nears.

Although both adults and juveniles are taken, adult male Colobus Monkeys will attack the hunting chimps. Male Chimpanzees hunt more than females.

When caught and killed, the meal is distributed to all hunting party members and even bystanders.

Social Structure Of Chimpanzees In Kibale Forest National Park

Chimpanzees in Kibale forest national park live in communities (extended families) of about 20-150 individuals. The group consists of a dominant male (the alpha), adult females, subordinate males, and juveniles.

Note that chimps have a fission-fusion social organization in which they split into smaller interchangeable groups and periodically come together.

The hunter-gatherer way of life of early human communities is thought to resemble that of chimpanzees.

The role of a dominant alpha male ChimpanzeeWhat do alpha chimps do?

An alpha male in the chimpanzee community is responsible for:

  • Mating
  • Patrolling the territory and,
  • Stopping up fights

Chimpanzees Locomotion In Kibale Forest?

Many visitors undertaking primate safaris in Uganda Kibale National Park usually wonder how do Chimpanzees move or walk. Well, Chimpanzees are adapted for both arboreal and terrestrial locomotion.

Arboreal locomotion consists of vertical climbing and brachiation, swinging from one tree branch to another. Their hands have a higher content of fast-twitch muscle fibers that enables them to easily climb and swing in trees.

Note that, the gripping power of an adult Common Chimpanzee is over 200kg. Other sources claim that it’s about 330kg.

Chimpanzees walking on the ground can go both quadrupedally (on all fours) or bipedally (on two legs).

Just like Bonobos and Gorillas, chimps move quadrupedally by knuckle-walking on their hands thus, called knuckle walkers.

Chimpanzee’s Life Cycle In Kibale National Park

The Chimpanzee’s life cycle covers its life from birth to death plus, all the different stages in between.

Note that regarding reproduction, chimps can mate all year round. However, chimpanzee mating depends on food sources. Much mating takes place when there’s abundant food.

The gestation period of Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest is 8 months, relatively similar to that of humans. In most cases, they give birth to one baby at a time. Their baby can weigh about 4 pounds (1.8kg).

Chimp babies are born helpless and have to survive by their mothers just like human babies.

When they’re over 6 months, chimp babies start riding on the mother’s back. They do this till they’re almost 2 years old.

Please note that female chimpanzees can breastfeed their young ones until about 5 yrs.

Males reach adulthood at about 16 years old while females at 13 years. Around these years, they’re able to reproduce. However, females usually leave their group and join another group. Males stay in the group they’re born from.

Chimpanzees Lifespan (How Long Does A Chimpanzee Live?) In Kibale National Park

Some people usually wonder how long do Chimpanzees live. The Chimps’ lifespan in the wild is about 15-30. However, on rare occasions, some individuals may live over 25-60 years according to the IUCN.

Note: The average chimp’s lifespan in the wild is relatively shorter than those in captivity.

Those in captivity on average can live for 31.7 (males) and 38.7 years for females. Little Mama (the oldest chimp on earth), died in her  70s.

Chimpanzees’ Strength- What Is The Strength Of Chimpanzees In Kibale Forest?

Usually, many people wonder whether are Chimpanzees stronger than humans.

Research proves that the muscular performance of Chimpanzees is over 1.5 times greater than that of humans. Several studies carried out over the decades have proven that chimps are stronger than humans. They’re 3 to nearly 5 times stronger than a well-built human!

Note: Most studies on Chimpanzees’ strength have been based on a chimp trying to move a heavy mass, and then having a human do so.

Chimpanzees Vs Monkeys In Uganda Kibale National Park

On a Uganda tour, some visitors can be puzzled about differentiating chimps from Monkeys. Well, these can look the same (to an untrained eye). However, the two have many differences, no matter how they can look the same.

If closely observed, you’ll notice that these two have many differences and these include:

  1. Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park have no tails while Monkeys do.
  2. In look, chimps are generally bigger and have broader chests than Monkeys.
  3. Chimps belong to the Ape family while monkeys are of the Monkey family.
  4. Though Apes are frugivores, at times they can be carnivorous. Monkeys are typically omnivores.
  5. Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest have bigger brains than Monkeys, therefore, tend to be more intelligent than monkeys.
  6. Research proves that chimps can modify and use tools while feeding e.g. Using a stick to fetch ants from their mound, Monkeys have never been recorded using any tool.
  7. Research shows that man’s close relatives (the chimps) have more advanced cognitive and language skills than Monkeys.

Are Chimpanzees Dangerous To People? | Do Chimpanzees Attack People?

Are Chimpanzees aggressive? Numerous tourists on Chimpanzee safaris in Uganda are always inquisitive about whether do Chimpanzees attack people (humans).

Yes, chimps can attack people! However, wild Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park are generally fearful of humans, they’ll always keep a distance from man.

Regardless of the above fact, incidents of chimps attacking and killing people have been recorded for example:

  • Chimpanzees have attacked more than 20 people in western Uganda in the last 20 years. Over 3 human infants have been killed since 2014, according to a National Geographic report of 2019.
  • Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest usually display aggression and predatory behaviors towards children. This is because, they’re more fearful of superior human adults, especially men.
  • Chimps have been reported snatching and killing human babies. Most of the time, these are isolated and seemingly reckless attacks by individual chimps. One Chimpanzee in the 1990s killed 7 children before he was slain by humans, National Geographic reported.

Can Chimps Be Pets?  

Yes, chimps have been kept as pets, especially in the Western world.

Are Chimpanzees dangerous pets? It’s on record that captive or pet chimpanzees have attacked people far more than those in the wild. This is because they lose their fear of people completely.

During an attack, a chimp will target a person’s face, hands, feet, and genitals. Remember its sharp deadly canine teeth!

Jane Goodall Institute UK noted that pet Chimpanzees are destructive and very dangerous to be kept as part of the family. It’s difficult to keep them stimulated and happy in a human environment.

For example:

In 2009 in Stamford- Connecticut, a 90kg, 13-year-old pet chimp named Travis attacked his owner’s friend. He lost her hands, eyes, nose, and part of her maxilla from the attack.

In 2005, former NASCAR driver St. James Davis was attacked nearly to death by 2 escaped chimpanzees. He and his wife were celebrating the birthday of their former pet chimpanzee. This man lost his nose and eyes, fingers, and part of his torso. He recuperated, though uses a wheelchair now.

Measures To Minimise Chimpanzee Attacks In Kibale National Park

  1. You’re advised to keep a reasonable distance from chimpanzees. A 7m distance is recommended.
  2. You’re cautioned against making chimps pets. Chimpanzees aren’t supposed to be pets.
  3. Never mimic a chimpanzee because you might turn up becoming its threat thus, turning in mad!
  4. Please, mind about your outfit, some clothes do irritate chimps. You’re advised to put on eco-friendly clothes and avoid anything shiny.
  5. Keep an eye on the Chimpanzee. Its body language means a lot. If it’s throwing tree branches and raises its hair, this indicates that it feels threatened. Therefore, in this case, standstill.
  6. Avoid making weird gestures while in front of chimpanzees as these might be a threat to a chimp.
  7. Always avoid making direct eye contact with chimps, and don’t smile at them.
  8. Always follow the ranger’s guidelines while in the jungle.

What To Do When Attacked By A Chimpanzee In Kibale National Park?

For decades Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale  has been carried out, there’s no record of a chimp attacking a person.

However, here is the advice if attacked by a Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park.

  1. If attacked, don’t run away or show fear. Running will show the chimp that you’re inferior and their violence might increase.

Move back slowly, don’t turn your back on the chimp. However, avoid making eye contact.

  1. Don’t panic. Stay calm and walk away, the Chimp will lose interest in you if you proceed in this manner.
  2. Don’t shout or try to fight off a chimp.
  3. If a Chimpanzee tries to steal something from you, let them have it. It’s likely that once they’ve it, they’ll drop it and you’ll be able to recover your property.

Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest are curious and mischievous by nature so anything loose or with straps is at risk.  Of particular interest include bags, sunglasses, jewelry, and cameras.

  1. If injured, wash the wound with soap and water and without delay, medical attention.

Chimps usually carry life-threatening illnesses such as Rabies.

Tool Use In Chimpanzees- Do Chimpanzees Use Tools?

A lot of people wonder whether Do Chimpanzees use tools. Yes, Chimpanzees can modify tools!

Before this finding, scientists believed that only humans manufactured and used tools. This ability was what separated humans from other animals!

However, in 1990, it was claimed the only primate to manufacture tools in the wild was a Chimpanzee. Though since then, numerous primates have been reported to use tools.

Below are the different ways how chimps use tools:

  1. Chimps Sharpen Sticks To Spear Mammals

In 2007 research carried out on a savannah in Senegal, 22 wild Chimpanzees were observed sharpening sticks using their teeth. After, they could jab it into hollows in tree trunks where bush babies sleep.

  1. Chimps Open Up Hard Nuts Using Rocks

Tai Chimpanzees were observed using rocks to open up hard nuts. After opening the nuts by hammering, parts of the nuts may be too difficult to reach with the teeth or fingernails.

Therefore, some may use sticks to remove the remaining, instead of pounding the nut further.

  1. Chimps Can Collect Water

When chimps can’t reach water found inside tree hollows, they’ve been observed taking a handful of leaves, chewing them, and dipping this “sponge” into the pool to obtainable water.

  1. Chimpanzees Use Small Sticks To Eat Bone Marrows

Chimps use sticks to eat the marrow of the long bones of Colobus Monkeys.

  1. Fish Out Termites Using Grasses

In Gombe National Park in 1960, Jane Goodall saw a Chimpanzee, poking pieces of grass into a termite mound and then raising the grass to the mouth.

After the chimp left, Goodall approached the mound and repeated the behavior because she was unsure what it was doing.

She found that the termites bit onto the grass with their jaws. The chimp was using the grass as a tool to “fish for termites”.

Chimpanzees Communication (How Do Chimpanzees Communicate?) In Kibale Park

Are you wondering how do Chimpanzees communicate in Kibale park? Just like humans communicate with each other, Chimpanzees’ communication also exists.

Although chimps can’t talk like humans, they communicate using hand gestures, body posture, facial expressions, and making various noises.

A combination of gestures and vocals helps chimps to convey a wide variety of messages and emotions to one another.

Some include:

  1. Food calls: These include a mixture of grunts, barks, and pant-hoots, which alert other chimpanzees to the whereabouts of food sources.
  2. When angry: Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest may stand upright, swagger, wave their arms, and throw branches or rocks.

Note the bristling hair and screaming sometimes with lips bunched in fierce scowls.

  1. When frightened or nervous: A chimp may be seen smiling.
  2. Proclaiming dominance among male Chimpanzees: They’ll slap their hands, stamp with their feet, drag branches as they run, or hurl rocks.

Note: Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park not only communicate like humans, but they also demonstrate a range of emotions. Some of these include emotions of joy, sadness, fear, and even empathy for each other.

Predators Of Chimpanzees In Kibale National Park

What are Chimpanzees’ predators? The natural predators of Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park mainly include:

  • Leopards
  • Other large hunting Cats
  • Snakes as well as,
  • Large Eagles that hunt small baby Chimps.

Note: Despite the existence of natural Chimpanzee predators, man has been the greatest threat to Chimpanzees in the wild. This has been a result of poaching, pet smuggling, & disease transmission to chimps.

The high rates of habitat loss (encroachment) through deforestation, bushfires, and mining are also a big threat to our close cousins.


On your African safari in Uganda, encountering Chimpanzees in their natural environment is a memorable travel experience a must not miss!

This exciting encounter will truly make you believe that chimps are the closest living relatives of man.

Please, Feel Free To Contact Us For Any Inquiries About Chimpanzees.

FAQS About Chimpanzees In Kibale National Park

  1. Are Chimpanzees Monkeys? | Is Chimpanzee A Monkey?

Chimps are not monkeys at all! Chimpanzees belong to the Ape family a different group of primates, further classified as the Great Apes. They belong to a family of mammals called Hominidae. Other hominids include Gorillas, Orangutans, Bonobos, and Humans.

Please note that Monkeys possess tails while Chimpanzees don’t.

  1. Where Do Chimpanzees Live? | Where Are Chimpanzees Found In The World?

Chimpanzees in the wild only live in 21 African countries. They typically live in tropical forests and woodland savannahs of West and Central Africa.

The highest population of Chimpanzees globally dwells in Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cameroon.

Note that Uganda- the Pearl of Africa offers the best Chimpanzee safaris in Africa in its Kibale National Park.

Over 1500 Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park have been recorded and most are spotted in the Kanyanchu area.

Are Chimpanzees Endangered?

According to IUCN, Chimpanzees are an endangered species. Currently, about 170,000-300,000 Chimpanzee population lives on earth. This is a decrease from about a million chimpanzees in the early 1900s.

Their numbers are decreasing due to habitat loss, diseases, and poaching for commercial bush meat plus illegal wildlife trade.

  1. Are Chimpanzees Apes? | Is A Chimpanzee An Ape?

Chimpanzees are great apes generally living in Central and West Africa. Among the apes, chimps and Bonobos are the closest living relatives of man sharing over 98-99% of DNA.

Science has it that, the human race and these awesome apes are thought to share a common ancestor who might have lived 7-13 million years ago.

Note that, after humans, Chimpanzees are the most intelligent of all apes on earth.

  1. How Many Chimpanzees Are Left In The World?

Only 170,000- 300,000 Chimpanzees are remaining in the world, mostly dwelling in the tropical forests of West and Central Africa.

Since the early 19th century, the populations of our close cousins went on declining. This was due to habitat loss, hunting and capture for use in zoos, and medical research. Some measures are being done to conserve our hairy cousins.

  1. How Many Chimpanzees Are In Kibale National Park?

Over 1500 Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park have been recorded. In Uganda, Kibale holds the highest population of chimps thus, the best place for Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.

  1. Are Chimpanzees Monogamous?

Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park and those found elsewhere are not monogamous. They don’t form mating pairs however, they’re also not polygamous. Males don’t create lasting bonds with multiple mating partners!

Please note that, if the female chimp goes on heat, it will mate with several males. This ensures that multiple males think they own her offspring thus, protecting her offspring.

  1. Are Chimps Friendly To Humans?

Habituated Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park are always friendly to visitors. The habituation process makes them used to people.

Please note that chimps remain with some wild instincts however much they might be habituated. Therefore you’re advised to be vigilant while on your Chimpanzee safari by:

  • Maintaining a 7m distance from chimps
  • Avoid making weird gestures in front of chimps
  • Don’t mimic chimpanzees
  • Always follow the rangers’ rules and guidelines
  1. How Do Chimpanzees Sleep?

Chimpanzees are truly intelligent, they know how to make beds. Every night, chimps climb up in trees where they build up nests on tree branches by coiling leaves.

They sleep in the treetops to avoid the night-time predators like leopards.

  1. When Were Chimpanzees Discovered?

The first Common Chimpanzee got discovered in the 17th century, during the time of scouting missions by Europeans in Angola.

After this discovery, chimps turned into objects of curiosity and were brought to Europe as gifts to royals and elites.

 In 1698, Edward Tyson, a famous British scientist, and physician commonly, dissected a Chimpanzee that died upon arrival from Angola.

This rose scientific and philosophical discourse on the connection between chimpanzees and humans.

  1. Why Do Chimpanzees Eat Monkeys?

According to research, probably chimps eat monkeys to get important nutrients they can’t get from plants. Some of them include Vitamin A and B12, Zinc, Copper, and Iron.

Their enthusiasm for meaty meals shows how vital flesh and fat are for their diet. Brains, specifically mammal brains, are particularly rich in fat.

  1. How Many Species (Types) Of Chimpanzees Are There?

A Chimpanzee is one of the 2 species that belong to the genus Pan holding members: The common Chimpanzees and the Bonobos.

These species of great apes are only found in Africa. The Common Chimpanzees are divided into 4 subspecies named according to their location. These include:

  1. The Eastern Chimpanzees: These are found in Uganda Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Sudan, and DRC. This species has been extensively studied by Jane Goodall at the Gombe National Park.

The Eastern Chimpanzee is classified as endangered by the IUCN.

  1. Western Chimpanzees: As its name suggests, it lives in western Africa. Their biggest population is Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire.

They’re classified as endangered since they’ve suffered a rapid decline due to habitat loss and killing for bush meat. Today, they’re only about 21,300- 55,600 wild Western Chimpanzees living in Africa

  • Central Chimpanzees: The Central Chimpanzee predominantly lives in Africa in the Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, and Gabon.

Some population also exists in Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic, DRC, and a few other countries.

It’s listed as endangered according to the IUCN. Only about 47,000-78,000 individuals of this species survive today. Habitat destruction, poaching for bush meat, and the Ebola virus have adversely affected its populations.

  1. Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees: This chimpanzee species inhabit rainforests of Africa that cover parts of the border of Nigeria and Cameroon. These can weigh over 70kg and attain a body height of 1.6m.
  2. Who Discovered Chimpanzees?

Jane Goodall (born on 3 April 1934)- is an English primatologist and anthropologist praised as the world’s prime expert on chimpanzees.

Goodall got best known for her 60-year study on the social interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe NP of Tanzania. She found that it’s not only humans who can modify tools, chimps also could e.g. Using a stick to fetch termites from the termite mound, etc.

Jane also came up with numerous findings on Chimpanzee behaviors and language plus even their emotions.

Her findings suggested that the comparisons between humans and chimps exist in more than genes alone. But it goes up to emotions, family, and social relationships.

  1. What IQ Do Chimpanzees Have?

According to the various cognitive research carried out on chimps, Chimpanzee IQ is estimated to be between 20- 25.

This range is an average of a human toddler whose brain is still developing the ability to use various cognitive capabilities.

  1. How Often Do Chimpanzees Eat Meat?

Though Chimpanzees’ diet mainly consists of fruits, they’ve been recorded hunting for meat e.g. Small mammals and primates including:

  • Infant and juvenile Yellow Baboons.
  • Red-tailed Monkeys
  • Bushbabies
  • Blue Duikers and,

Note that, meat only makes up about 3% of the chimp’s diet, and they barely take it.

  1. Why Do Chimpanzees Eat Their Poop?

Though some people have it that Chimpanzees eat their poop, this habit is rare in chimps.

However, the main reason behind this, is that some of the seeds they eat “are partly digested” therefore, chimps eat them again to harvest those nutrients”, said Hunt- a coprophagist in chimpanzees.

  1. How Often Do Chimpanzees Mate?

Chimpanzees have no season for mating, therefore, they breed all year round i.e. Whenever a female chimp in the community comes into heat.

Please note that the menstrual cycle of a female Chimpanzee is just like that of humans. They come into oestrus every 36 days, unless when pregnant.

  1. Do Chimpanzees Kill Each Other? | Why Do Chimpanzees Kill Each Other?

Yes, chimps can indeed kill each other. The killings can happen, especially done by male chimps for example:

  • Due to the infanticide effect, a male chimp can kill and eat the infants of another female, usually in another community to establish its offspring.
  • Also, another cause for killing among chimps can be due to territorial battles. Note that, when chimpanzees kill adults from the other community while in a fight, they don’t eat their bodies.
  1. What Monkeys Do Chimpanzees Eat?

Despite the fact chimps depend on fruits as their diet, they have been recorded hunting some small mammals and monkeys.

Monkeys eaten the most by chimps include the Red colobus monkeys and the Colobus badius.

Remember that meat only makes up 3% of the chimp diet.

  1. How Often Do Chimpanzees Eat? | How Often Does A Chimpanzee Eat?

Common Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest actively feed in the morning and late afternoon hours either up trees or on the ground. Research has it that, in a day, chimps feed for about 6-8 hours.

Note that, after an early morning hunt, chimpanzees will become less active and just rest in the tree canopy or on the ground.

  1. How Often Do Chimpanzees Reproduce?

Please note that Chimpanzees have a relatively slow reproductive rate, e.g. On average, every 5 years, chimps give birth to one single offspring per pregnancy.

  1. How Much Do Chimpanzees Eat A Day?

Depending on the age and gender of a Chimpanzee, on average each chimp can eat between 1-4km of food per day. The male Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park can eat over this gauge.

  1. Are Chimpanzees In Danger Of Extinction?

The man’s closest relatives “the Chimpanzees” are truly in danger of extinction. Most of the threats to Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest  have been caused by man and some of them include:

  1. Habitat loss: The high rates of forest exploitation for timber, especially in West Africa have led to the destruction of the chimp habitat.
  2. Disease: Since man shares the same DNA with the chimps, diseases that can attack humans can be a threat to them e.g. In the 1980s, Ebola killed over 14% in West Africa.
  • Poaching, for bush meat: This has been the biggest threat to Chimpanzees in the wild for example:

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), over 22,218 wild great apes were lost to illegal trade between 2005- 2011, and over 64% of these were chimpanzees.

Note: If an adult Chimpanzee is killed, it takes over 13-14 years on average to replace it with a new individual.

  1. What To Pack While Visiting Chimpanzees In Kibale National Park?
  1. Since Chimpanzees in the wild generally dwell in tropical rainforests, visitors are advised to have the following:
  2. Insect repellents: This will help to protect you from any possibility of biting insects including, mosquitoes.
  • Garden gloves: Gloves will safeguard your hands from touching dirt and also getting injured.
  1. A camera: This one is a must not miss! It will help you take photos for remembrance of this lifetime encounter.
  2. A rain jacket: It will help you in case it rains. Note that, rainforests receive rainfall all year round.
  3. Sunglasses and a hat: These will help you from strong tropical sun rays.
  • Long-sleeved shirts and trousers: Please note that these help to protect your skin from any cutting vegetation of the jungle.
  1. What Are The Importance Of Chimpanzees In Kibale National Park?

Chimpanzees in Kibale National park are of great importance both ecologically, biologically, and economically.

Ecologically: Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park help in dispersal of fruits from one place to another. This happens as they forage on fruits in tree canopies, and some end up falling on the ground.

Biologically: Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest have been used for sturdy purposes. For example, the wild Chimpanzee community in the Kanywara area is being monitored by Kibale Chimpanzee Project.

Economically: Chimpanzees in Kibale forest national park have promoted the growth of tourism in Uganda. For instance, the existence of chimps in Kibale has promoted Chimpanzee safaris in Uganda.

  1. How Can We Conserve Chimpanzees In Kibale National Park?

There’re various ways in which Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park can be conserved. However, remember man is a great threat to chimps regardless of the occurrence of their natural predators.

Chimp’s great threat is habitat loss! Others include the need for bush meat and diseases from humans like Ebola.

Here is how you can contribute to the conservation of Chimpanzees in the Kibale Forest:

  • Always buy sustainable wood and paper products. This will help in conserving the habitats of Chimpanzees.
  • Sick visitors aren’t allowed to track chimps in Kibale. Please, you should always volunteer and stay behind if you have flu or cough! These diseases are so fatal to Chimpanzees.
  • You should avoid buying souvenirs made out of animal products however gorgeous they might look! This can help to reduce poaching.
  • Avoid all deals related to chimp trafficking!
  • Always share information related to Chimpanzee conservation with friends and all your social media platforms.
  • Lastly, always support organizations that work diligently to conserve Chimpanzeesour close cousins”, for example, WWF.

Want to visit Kibale Forest?

Want to visit Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda's best chimpanzee trekking destination?