Home » Uganda Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris | Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda Tours
Among African safari destinations, Uganda Chimpanzee trekking safaris/ Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda tours offer one of the best experiences! This is so because Uganda boasts a fascinating population of Chimpanzees in Africa totaling over 5,000 chimps.
Note that, this charming chimpanzee trekking Uganda safari adventure offers you a memorable encounter with the endangered Chimpanzees in their charming natural habitat!
During your chimp trekking in Uganda safari, you’ll watch these intelligent apes feeding, and learn about their exciting behaviors! After this stimulating experience, you’ll agree that chimps are man’s close cousins only living in the jungle!
Most Uganda chimpanzee tours are done in Kibale National Park as it holds the highest population of chimps in Uganda.
However, there’re other destinations in Uganda for chimpanzee trips like Kalinzu Forest and Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The other site for chimp trekking Uganda safaris is Budongo, just near Murchison Falls National Park.
This remarkable adventure with man’s closest genetic relatives is limited to one magical hour! Among others, travelers are advised to have sturdy hiking boots, insect repellents, and a rain poncho while going on this safari.
For a thrilling experience on your holiday safari in Uganda, it’s ideal you combine this safari with a wildlife and gorilla trekking safari in Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga national park.
If interested in knowing much about chimp trekking tours in Uganda, here we go!
Sites for Chimpanzee Uganda Safaris-Where Can I See Chimpanzees in Uganda?
Frequently, many people wonder whether there are Chimpanzees in Uganda! Please note that Uganda boasts the highest population of Chimpanzees among the East African safari destinations. These chimps are found in various amazing destinations!
Below are the charming sites for chimp trekking Uganda tours:
a) Kibale National Park
Unquestionably, Kibale forest national park is not only a chimpanzee haven in Uganda but also in Africa!
This park holds the highest population of Uganda chimps! It holds the biggest population of the 5,000 chimps recorded in Uganda.
Kibale forest park chimp trekking has been done for over 30 years. Though this lush tropical rainforest has over 4 Chimpanzee communities, Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest takes place within the Kanyanyu area, on Kanyantale Chimpanzee Community.
Note that Chimpanzees live in communities of about 20-150 individuals led by a dominant alpha male.
Chimp tracking in Kibale Forest is possible in the morning and in the afternoon hours, 8 am and 2 pm respectively.
Also, note that the chimp trek/chimp trekking in Uganda Kibale forest park takes about 2-5 hours and this depends on the movement of a Chimpanzee community!
As you track chimpanzee in Kibale forest Uganda, you have over a 90% chance of spotting chimps.
While tracking chimps, expect to encounter several bird species and beautiful primate species in Kibale Forest counting:
- Olive Baboons
- Red tailed Monkeys
- Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys
- Vervet Monkeys and,
- L’Hoest’s Monkey
Other wildlife species (wild animals) that can be encountered while on Chimpanzee tracking include Forest Elephants, Buffalos, Bush Pigs, and Bushbucks.
Please note that for visitors interested in Chimpanzee Habituation Experience, Kibale forest park is the best place to go! And you should endeavor to visit the nearby Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary for a thrilling village walk on top of your Chimpanzee Habituation Experience adventure. Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a prominent birding destination!
FEES FOR CHIMPANZEE PERMIT IN KIBALE FOREST PARK- HOW MUCH IS CHIMPANZEE TREKKING IN KIBALE NATIONAL PARK?
- Non-Foreign Resident: 200 USD
- Foreign Residents: 150 USD
- East African Residents: 150,000 UGX
b) Kalinzu Forest
Furthermore, Kalinzu Forest is another ideal site place for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda tours. This bio-diverse tropical rainforest (Kalinzu Forest) is just adjacent to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Kalinzu holds over 300 Chimpanzees and out of these, about 100 are habituated Chimpanzees by Japanese specialists for over 20 years, open for tourism.
Chimpanzee safaris in Kalinzu take about 3-4 hours and visitors have about a 90% chance of spotting chimps here.
Chimp treks are possible at 8 am and 2 pm. On your Kalinzu chimp trekking, expect to encounter stunning wildlife species such as colorful butterflies, bird species, and amazing primates like Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, Olive Baboons, and the Red tailed Monkey.
Chimpanzee permits in Kalinzu cost 50 USD.
c) Budongo Forest
This is another great place for chimpanzee expeditions in Uganda. Budongo Forest is situated just close to Murchison Falls National Park- one of the most visited parks for Uganda wildlife safaris.
Therefore, you can combine a game-watching safari in Murchison falls park as well as a chimp trekking tour in Budongo.
This lush scenic forest is home to over 600 and about 100 individuals are habituated Chimpanzees for tracking. In Budongo, chimpanzee trekking takes place within the Kaniyo Pabidi section. Initially, this Chimpanzee community was under the management of Jane Goodall Institute but, changed to Budongo Eco Lodge.
Visitors undertaking chimp trekking here can go for a morning trekking session at 8 am or one at 2 pm. All treks take about 3-4 hours and you have over an 80% chance of spotting chimps. Red tailed Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, and Colobus Monkeys are common along the trail.
Also, visitors can undertake a chimp habituation experience in Budongo for a great experience.
The fee for Chimpanzee trekking permits in Budongo is 130 USD. Permits chimpanzee trekking in Budongo are bought from Budongo Eco-Lodge.
d) Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Normally, chimp trekking in Kyambura Gorge (Valley of Ape) is done by travelers on top of their wildlife safaris in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Kyambura Gorge is a breathtaking rainforest canyon amidst the dry savannah of Queen Elizabeth park boasting over 25 habituated Chimpanzees.
Visitors undertaking chimp trekking Uganda tours in Kyambura Gorge have about a 60% chance of spotting chimps.
However, the experience of walking on the cool floor of this 100-m-deep mysterious valley (Kyambura Gorge) is worth undertaking!
While tracking chimps in Kyambura Gorge, you’ll encounter numerous colorful bird species and primate species such as Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, and Red tailed Monkeys. Also here, chimp trekking is possible in the morning and afternoon.
Chimpanzee permit (Chimpanzee permits) in Kyambura Gorge cost 50 USD.
e) Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Situated in Lake Victoria, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is also a thrilling place for chimpanzee tours in Uganda.
This dazzling island (Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary) in Lake Victoria is prominently known for keeping orphaned Chimpanzees in Uganda. And, it’s one of the iconic primate sanctuaries in East Africa.
Ngamba Island boasts 52 Chimpanzees. Out of these, 46 are orphans rescued from poachers as well as illegal pet and bush meat trade. Six (6) chimps such as Easy and Surprise were born on the Island due to the ineffectiveness of the contraceptives!
Visitors to this captivating Chimpanzee sanctuary in Uganda can watch chimps these orphaned animals “chimps” from the viewing platform as they come out of the forest to feed!
Please note that this great sanctuary works in partnership with 6 other wildlife conservation organizations such as:
- Jane Goodall Institute
- The Uganda Wildlife Society and,
- Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, etc.
How Many Chimpanzees Are in Uganda?
In East Africa, Uganda holds the highest population of chimps totaling over 5,000 Chimpanzees. The highest population of chimps in Uganda dwells in Kibale Forest. Other sites for chimp tours in Uganda include Budongo and Kalinzu Forests as well as Kyambura Gorge.
Wild chimps in Uganda can be spotted in various protected areas, however, within the Albertine Rift Valley region. Some of these include Maramagambo Forest and Semuliki Wildlife Reserve. The Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is among the few game reserve in Uganda where you can spot wild chimps.
Note that, though chimps live in West Africa, chimpanzee safaris in Uganda offer the best chimpanzee tracking experience!
Chimp trekking safaris in Kibale forest national park offers the best experience in Africa!
Rules and Regulations for Chimp Trekking Uganda Safaris
During your chimp trekking Uganda adventure, there’re rules and regulations to follow. This help to secure your life as well as that of the chimps.
These guidelines include:
- Travelers with contagious diseases like flu and cough are not allowed to track chimpanzees. Chimps can easily get infectious human diseases. This applies while visiting Mountain gorilla groups.
- During the Chimpanzee trek or as you track Chimpanzee, it’s illegal to litter the forest. Visitors tracking chimps should leave the pack with any rubbish they came into the park with.
- Always maintain maximum silence along the trail as you track Chimpanzee.
- On encountering the endangered Chimpanzees, you must keep 8m from them all the time.
- You must not eat, drink or smoke near the endangered Chimpanzees.
- It’s illegal to use flash cameras while taking photos as you track Chimpanzees. This scares (irritates chimps).
- You’re not allowed to mimic Chimpanzee vocalization during your chimp trekking adventure. You don’t know what you might be saying. This might make a chimp troop (Chimpanzee community) attack you!
- If you’ll feel like easing yourself along the trail, you must go off the track! After, cover your waste 30cm deep with all tissue used.
- On encountering a chimp troop, visits to chimps are only limited to one hour.
- It’s illegal to chase Chimpanzees.
- Always follow the ranger’s instructions during the chimp trek.
- A group of 6 visitors is allowed to track chimps per session. And for a Chimpanzee Habituation Experience, strictly 4 participants are allowed to track Chimpanzee.
What Is the Minimum Age for Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda?
According to the rules and regulations of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the Minimum age for tracking Chimpanzees in Uganda is 12 years. This applies to all chimp trekking destinations under UWA like Kibale Forest, Kalinzu Forest, and Kyambura Gorge.
Please note that some exceptions can be made on proving that your child is old enough and fit, strong, as well as capable of following the instructions of the ranger guides!
In Budongo Forest, the minimum age for chimp tracking is 15 years. However, those below 15 years can be allowed to trek chimpanzees only if their guardians agree to sign a consent form.
Packing List for Chimp Trekking Uganda Safaris | Things to Carry for A Chimpanzee Tracking Safari in Uganda-H2
While intending to have a chimpanzee tour in Uganda you’re advised to have the following:
- A camera: This should have extra batteries and a big storage space to accommodate many pictures.
- Sturdy comfortable hiking boots: These are ideal on a Chimpanzee trek as you’ll be walking in the fairly challenging dense forest trails.
- A rain jacket having wood (a poncho): Tropical rainforests like Kibale Forest are prone to rainfall so, you never know!
- Insect repellents: To protect you from any possibility of biting insects like Mosquitoes during your chimp trekking expeditions in a tropical rainforest.
- Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts: These protect your body from cuts, and nettles while on a Chimpanzee trek.
- Long socking: Helps you tuck in your trousers and this safeguards you from safari aunts while on a chimp trekking trail in a tropical rainforest.
- Hardy cloves: Protect your hands from thorns during your chimp trekking adventure.
- Sunscreens, sunglasses as well as a sunhat: These will protect you from tropical sunshine.
- A waterproof bag pack: To keep all your essentials like a camera, extra clothes, documents, and toiletries safe.
- Energy-giving snacks.
- Enough drinking water as the 2-5 hours trek is always strenuous.
What to Wear on Your Chimpanzee Trekking Safari in Uganda?
Visitors undertaking chimp trekking tours in Uganda are encouraged to always put on environmentally friendly clothes.
These clothes easily blend in with nature and don’t stress up Chimpanzees! And among these:
- Khaki, brown, and grey.
- White as well as any other light color is not recommended as they easily absorb dirt.
During the chimp trek, you should put on:
- Comfortable waterproof hiking boots: These help in case you come across hilly and muddy points on your chimp trekking trail.
- Long socks that you’ll tuck in your pants to avoid safari ants along the trail in case of any.
Hotels (Safari Lodges) in Uganda to Use During Your Chimpanzee Safari in Uganda
As you plan to have a chimpanzee holiday safari in Uganda, you shouldn’t worry about where to stay! Uganda holds a range of accommodations ranging from budget to mid-range as well as luxury.
These are found in all sites for chimpanzee trips in Uganda.
a. Popular budget lodges include:-
- Rwenzori View Cottages in Kibale forest park
- Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Camp Site in Kibale Uganda
- Pumba Safari Cottages in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Red Chili Rest Camp in Murchison Falls National Park
- Mweya Hostels in Queen Elizabeth park
- Trackers Safari Lodge in Bwindi, commonly used by visitors undertaking gorilla trek expeditions in Bwindi park.
b. Best midrange lodges in Uganda
- Budongo Eco-Lodge in Budongo Forest
- Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Isunga Lodge in Kibale forest national park- Commonly used by visitors undertaking Chimpanzee tracking.
c. Recommended luxury lodges in Uganda
- Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Paraa Safari Lodge in Murchison falls park
- Primate Lodge in Kibale forest national park
- Murchison River Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park
Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park- an ideal eco-friendly lodge on your gorilla tracking expedition in Bwindi national park.
Best Time for Chimpanzee Trekking Uganda Safaris- When Is the Best Time for Chimpanzee Uganda Tours
Uganda chimp trekking safaris can take place all time of the year however, the best time is during the dry months.
Dry months include December-February and June-August.
Normally, in these months less rainfall is expected in rainforests. Therefore, the trails are often drier and mud free, and this makes hiking easier. This is also an ideal time for Uganda Mountain gorillas trekking safaris.
On the hand, undertaking a chimp trekking safari in Uganda during wet months (September-November and March-May) is a blessing in disguise!
In these months, there’s much food in the jungle thus, Chimpanzees in Uganda rarely move deeper in search of food. They’re always easily spotted!
What is the Best Time of the Day for Chimp Trekking in Uganda Tours?
Though Uganda chimp trekking holds two sessions that’s to say, the morning and the afternoon session.
As experts in chimpanzee safari trips in Uganda, we recommend a morning chimp trekking session. Normally, in the morning hours, Chimpanzees spend most of their time roaming, searching for food.
Therefore, as you track chimpanzees in the morning you’ll enjoy them actively playing, swinging in trees unlike in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, normally chimps spend most of the time resting under tree shades, they rarely move!
How Much Is Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda? | How Much Is Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda?
How much does chimpanzee trekking cost in Uganda? The cost for a chimpanzee trekking permit in Uganda varies, for example:
- Kibale forest park: 200 USD
- Budongo Forest: 130 USD
- Kalinzu Forest 50 USD
- Kyambura Gorge: 50 USD
Please note that, although the Chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale park is relatively higher, it offers the best experience!
Cost For Uganda Chimpanzee Habituation- How Much Is Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda?
In Uganda, chimp habituation experience can only be done in 2 (two) destinations, and below is its price:
- Kibale Forest park: 250 USD
- Budongo Forest: 230 USD
Chimpanzee Trekking Uganda Vs Gorilla Trekking
Though both chimp trekking and gorilla trekking are both adventure Uganda safari activities, they’re quite different, and below is how:
- Chimp trekking in Uganda normally takes about 2-5 hours while gorilla trekking (a gorilla trek) takes about 2-8 hours.
- In comparison, trekking Mountain gorillas is more challenging than chimpanzee tracking. This is because Mountain gorillas tend to live in mountainous areas over 8000-13000ft in elevation. While chimps generally live in lowland tropical rainforests
- Uganda gorilla tracking permits (gorilla permits) cost 700 USD while chimp trekking in Uganda costs 200 USD. Therefore, tracking chimpanzees is almost half the price of gorilla trekking/ gorilla treks. Your tour operator can book for you the gorilla permits.
- Only 8 people are allowed to visit Mountain gorillas (a habituated gorilla family) however, only 6 people can visit a chimp community.
- Visitors suffering from contagious diseases are not allowed to track Mountain gorillas and this applies to chimps.
- Both Chimpanzee and gorilla tours take place in the rainforests.
Is Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda Worth It?
Unquestionably, chimp trekking Uganda tours are worth undertaking for a remarkable experience on top of your African safari holiday!
Here are the reasons why you should undertake a chimp trekking trip in Uganda:
Uganda Holds the Highest Population of Chimpanzees in Africa
Over 5,000 chimps have been recorded in Uganda living in various areas. This makes Uganda offer plenty of chimp trekking permits more than its neighbors like Rwanda which has only one site for chimp tour (Nyungwe park)
Uganda Holds the Chimpanzee Haven in Africa
The Pearl of Africa (Uganda) boasts the Primate Capita of Africa (Kibale NP). This forest holds the highest diversity and concentration of primates in Africa counting over 1500 chimps. Some of the other 12 primates include Olive Baboons and Vervet Monkeys and Red tailed Monkeys.
Therefore, undertaking a chimp tour in this mythical dense forest is a memorable adventure worth undertaking!
Chimpanzee Trips in Uganda Can Easily Be Combined With Wildlife Safaris
Unlike other safari destinations like Rwanda which is limited to wildlife safari sites, Uganda boasts a variety!
In Uganda, you can easily combine your chimp tour with a wildlife safari by visiting incredible parks like Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Uganda gorilla trekking trips are also possible!
Is Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda Difficult? | How Difficult Is Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda?
Most of the Uganda chimp trekking trips are not so difficult however, they require some moderate level of fitness!
Unlike gorilla trekking in the mountainous Mgahinga Gorilla NP and the hilly Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, chimpanzee tracking adventures in Uganda mainly take place on fairly flat terrains of the forest.
Also, Chimpanzees live generally in low altitudes which are easier to trek, unlike gorillas (gorilla groups). Mountain gorillas inhabit over 8,000-13,000m above sea level.
Therefore, you should get to know that, chimp trekking in Uganda tours are ideal for all travelers, as there is no hiking difficulty.
Note that, only during the wet season, some trail points in the tropical rainforests become slippery. And thus, fairly challenging to hike!
Is Chimpanzee Trekking Safe in Uganda? | Is It Safe to Track Chimps on Your Uganda Holiday?
Is chimpanzee trekking safe? Normally, most visitors undertaking chimpanzee trips in Uganda get worried for their life!
Please note that all chimp trekking adventures in Uganda are generally safe and below are the reasons to prove this:
- All chimpanzee safaris in Uganda expeditions are done on fully habituated chimps. Therefore, don’t get anxious about being attacked by chimps, all these chimps are used to human presence.
- During the trek, you’re always accompanied by Uganda Wildlife Authority armed rangers. These ensure your safety in the jungle.
- Regularly, anti- poaching team makes patrols in the forest. Therefore, all forests are free from poachers.
- Also, the 8-10m distance rule from chimps ensures your safety.
How Much Is a Chimpanzee Safari in Uganda?
This is a common query for most visitors planning to undertake a chimpanzee safari holiday in Uganda! However, you should note there is no fixed price for a chimpanzee safari.
Usually, the cost of a chimpanzee tour in Uganda varies with several factors including:
- Accommodation to use on your Chimpanzee tour
This determines so much the cost of your chimpanzee trip in Uganda. Choosing to use luxury accommodation raises your safari price while budget accommodation minimizes the cost.
- Number of days you’ll spend on a safari
Generally, long safaris are more expensive than short trips. For example, a 2 days chimpanzee safari is relatively cheaper than a 5 days Uganda primate safari.
This is so because the more days, the higher the safari expenses like accommodation and fuel, etc.
- A safari vehicle you are to use on your tour
This is also a key factor in determining the safari price of your chimpanzee trip in Uganda. For example, using a 4×4 safari land cruiser is fairly expensive than using a safari van.
This is because they have different fuel consumption.
- Activities to undertake during your chimp trip-
Also, this affects the price of your chimp safari in Uganda. That’s to say, the more safari activities the higher the price!
For example, if interested in a gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Parks on top of your chimp tour, expect your safari price to be higher compared to one who will take a chimp trip only!
- Number of people on a Chimpanzee safari
In general, the safari cost increases with the increase in the number of people on a trip. This is so because each person calls for a safari service counting accommodation among others.
On the hand, many people call for reduced safari costs as it allows sharing costs like accommodation & transport costs.
Top Safari Companies to Travel with On Your Chimpanzee Trekking Uganda Safari
Choosing one of the reliable chimp trekking safari companies to travel with is always a challenge. This is due to many tour operators online!
Here is a list of one of the best safari companies in Uganda you should travel with for a fascinating chimpanzee tracking experience:
- Prime Safaris And Tours Ltd
- Wild Gorilla Safaris
- Safari Uganda Safaris
- Africa Safaris Tours
- Jinja Source Of The Nile Tours
- Kampala City Tour
Below Are the Best Chimpanzee Trekking Safari Packages in Uganda for You
Here are some of the charming chimpanzee tour packages in Uganda for you to choose from:
- 2 Days Chimpanzee Trekking Safari In Uganda Tour Kibale National
- 3 Days Chimp Trekking Safari In Kibale Forest Uganda Tour
- 5 Days Uganda Safari
- 4 Days Chimpanzee Tracking And Wildlife Safari Uganda Tour
- 5 Days Uganda Primates Safari- This trip allows you to visit Mountain gorillas and chimps.
- 8 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 5 Days Uganda Wildlife Safari And Chimpanzee Tour
- 7 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 8 Days Uganda Wildlife Safari- Among others, it offers you a chance of visiting the endangered Mountain gorillas in the jungle.
- 10 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 9 Days Uganda Safari
- 12 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 14 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 15 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 16 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 18 Days Uganda Safari Tour
In summary, chimpanzee trekking Uganda safaris ranks among the top sensational experiences worth undertaking on your African safari in Uganda. This charming adventure gives you a golden opportunity of encountering chimps in their natural environment.
Though there’re other sites for chimp trekking tours in Uganda, Kibale National Park ranks as the best. For a memorable experience in Uganda, you should combine wildlife as well as a gorilla trekking safari on your chimp tour!
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