Travel guide for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda; Chimpanzee trekking is an adventurous and the second best done activity in Uganda that attracts big numbers of visitors after gorilla trekking. Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda involves tourists moving on foot into the tropical rainforest in search of the habituated chimpanzees and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat.
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is done in various destinations namely Kibale forest national park, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park, Kalinzu forest in Bushenyi and Budongo forest in Murchison falls national park. The travel guide will help you to plan a successful chimpanzee trekking safari in Uganda in that it highlights the key points that visitors need to know before going for a chimpanzee trekking adventure for example chimpanzee trekking destinations, best time to travel, price of chimpanzee trekking permits, how to book chimpanzee trekking permits, what to carry for chimpanzee trekking among others.
Where to go for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda
Kibale forest national park
Kibale forest national park is one of the chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda located in western region. The national park is known as the primate capital due to the fact that it harbors about 13 primate species including over 1,500 chimpanzees, grey cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, olive baboons among others which makes it the best chimpanzee trekking destination.
Kibale forest national park also offers chimpanzee habituation experience where the chimpanzees are trained to get used to human presence for trekking. Chimpanzee habituation experience takes a period of 2 to 3 years to be complete and visitors who engage in the experience will be allowed to spend four hours with the chimpanzees.
Budongo forest is located in Murchison falls national park and it’s another destination in Uganda that offers chimpanzee trekking. Budongo forest is a home of about 600 to 700 chimpanzees which makes it one of the chimpanzee trekking destination with the highest number of chimpanzees in Uganda after Kibale forest national park. Budongo forest also offers chimpanzee habituation experience which is carried out in the low season.
Kyambura gorge is yet another chimpanzee trekking destination in Uganda located in eastern part of Queen Elizabeth national park which is the second largest national park in Uganda. Kyambura gorge also known as the valley of apes is a home of more than 80 chimpanzees with two chimpanzee families which are available for trekking daily.
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is also done in Kalinzu forest which is located in Bushenyi district near Queen Elizabeth national park and Maramagambo forest. Kalinzu forest is a home of over 320 chimpanzees with about 70 habituated chimpanzees which are under two families.
Chimpanzee trekking experience in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park, Budongo forest, Kalinzu forest and Kyambura Gorge starts very early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing, you will start trekking which takes about 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. During trekking, you will be able to view other primates like black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, l’hoest monkeys among others. Once the chimpanzees are found, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their behaviors, habits, watch them feed, breastfeed, hunt, play, fight, groom young ones, take photos and record videos to show people back home.
Best time to go chimpanzee trekking in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda can be done all year round though the best period is during the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season, there is less rainfall in the chimpanzee destinations therefore access roads to the national parks and chimpanzee trekking trails will be dry and passable which make trekking easy compared to the rainy season when the trails are muddy and slippery which make trekking difficult.
Cost of chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking permits are legal cards that are issued to visitors above the age of 12 years allowing them to visit habituated chimpanzee families and spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Cost of chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda vary according to the destination you wish to visit for example a chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale forest national park costs 200 USD per person for foreign non residents, 150 USD per person for foreign residents and 150,000 UGX per person for East African citizens.
A chimpanzee trekking permit in Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest costs 50 USD per person for foreign non residents, 40 USD per person for foreign residents and 30,000 UGX per person for East African citizens.
A chimpanzee trekking permit in Budongo forest costs 130 USD per person for foreign non residents, 120 USD per person for foreign residents and 85 USD per person for East African citizens during the peak season while a chimpanzee trekking permit in Budongo forest during the low season costs 120 USD per person for foreign non residents, 110 USD per person for foreign residents and 80 USD per person for East African citizens, Travel guide for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda
How to book chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda can either be booked directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) where you will contact the park headquarters via email or telephone calls. Chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda can also be booked via a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris where you will contact us with the date, month, year and chimpanzee destination that you wish to visit. After contacting us, we will check for permit availability on your preferred dates and if there are permits available, you will be asked to make a deposit for the permit. Once we receive he money, we will purchase the permit on your behalf and send a scanned copy of the receipt as confirmation.
There are a number of essential items to carry for your chimpanzee trekking safari in Uganda including insect repellent, hiking shoes, long sleeved shirt and trouser, waterproof rain jacket, bottled drinking water, camera and extra batteries, warm sweater, waterproof back pack among others.