Other than gorilla trekking in Uganda, Tourists can experience a breathtaking meeting with man’s closest relative by going chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, the pearl of Africa. The great ape family, which also includes gorillas and orangutans, includes chimpanzees. They have enormous brains, are extremely bright, and have a remarkable capacity for learning new things because of their close kinship to humans. Great primatologists like Jane Goodall have conducted studies that have even revealed distinct civilizations among various tribes, each of which has its own diet and environment.
Chimpanzees live in huge extended families or communities that range in size from 10 to 100 individuals and look out for and care for one another. These vast populations frequently separate into smaller groups when going outside for feeding before coming back together, unlike mountain gorillas and baboons. When they reach adolescence, the females may depart for neighboring communities while the males remain in the community. At age four, children become independent. Like humans, they connect, communicate, and exhibit emotion through elaborate techniques such as facial expressions, gestures, sounds, and body language.
Where can I go chimp trekking in Uganda?
Uganda offers possibly the best location in the world for chimpanzee tracking. With about 5600 chimpanzees in the wild and a sizable number of habituated communities, it has one of the largest populations and a wide range of locations to track chimpanzees. In some locations, chimpanzees in Uganda can even be seen dwelling in small forests on private property. from Kibale National Park, Budongo Forest (in Murchison Falls National Park), Kyambura Gorge (in Queen Elizabeth National Park), Kalinzu Forest, and Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve. Additionally, chimpanzees can be seen in zoos and preserves like the Uganda Wildlife Education Center and Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
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Kibale Forest: In Kibale Forest National Park, chimpanzee tracking is at its best. There are 1500 chimpanzees in the forest. Kibale Forest is home to various different primates and accounts for 30% of Uganda’s total chimpanzee population. There are three habituated communities. Two of the communities are for researchers, while one is designated for tourists. Several primate species, besides chimpanzees, reside in the Kibale Forest, including the L’Hoest’s monkey, Red Colobus, Mangabeys, bush babies, baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, and Blue Monkeys, to name a few.
Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest can be combined with bird watching excursions and other wildlife viewing. While pursuing chimps in the forest, it’s possible to see forest buffalo, forest elephants, antelopes, bush pigs, otters, and big forest hogs, among other animals. Kibale Forest’s approximately 345 bird species, including the African Grey Parrot, Breasted Pitas, and Hornbills, mostly in the nearby Bigodi Wetlands Bird Sanctuary,
Kibale Forest National Park’s chimpanzee tracking can be done twice a day, at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. In Kibale, there is a greater than 90% likelihood of sighting a chimpanzee group. Additionally, visitors visiting Kibale Forest national park have the opportunity of participating in chimpanzee habituation, which involves spending the whole day acclimating with one of the chimpanzees that are habituated. In comparison to other areas of Uganda, Kibale Forest permits for chimpanzee tracking cost $200. The cost of a $250 chimpanzee habituation experience.
Kalinzu Forest is outside of Queen Elizabeth National Park and possibly second only to Kibale in terms of chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. The Kyambura Gorge is a popular destination for visitors to Queen Elizabeth National Park, but Kalinzu Forest has a higher chance of yielding chimpanzee sightings. Over 90% of the time, it is possible to spot chimpanzees because of the sheer number and concentration of them in a relatively limited space. Visitors can expect to see over 410 bird species, monkeys, butterflies, moths, reptiles, and flowers, in addition to chimps, along the four guided routes in the forest.Sunbirds, Great Blue Turacos, and cuckoos are just a few of the bird species found in the Kalinzu Forest.
Over 290 chimps live in Kalinzu Forest, with over 70 of them being domesticated.A team of Japanese researchers has spent the previous two decades researching chimpanzee populations. The Ugandan Ministry of Forestry oversees chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu Forest. A chimpanzee tracking permit costs $50, which is significantly less than the Kibale Forest. Additionally, chimpanzee tracking in the Kalinzu forest requires a minimum age of 15 years. The fact that night camps are the only decent lodging options in the forest area makes chimpanzee tracking difficult. To find suitable lodging close to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, visitors must return.
Budongo Forest: The Budongo Forest is the third-best location in Uganda for chimpanzee tracking, covering an area of roughly 825 square kilometers and housing over 800 chimpanzees. The Budongo forest is located in the Murchison Falls National Park, which can be reached by car from Kampala in three hours. These incredible apes and other primates can find ideal shelter in the forest’s native mahogany trees. Out of the whole chimpanzee population, about 100 habituated chimpanzees are trackable at Kaniyo Pabibi. Visitors who are interested in learning more about chimpanzees can choose to participate in Budongo’s all-day chimpanzee habituation experience.
Kyambura Gorge: The Kyambura Gorge is a convenient location to see chimpanzees when on a safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park because it is situated in a valley within the park. A dense underground forest covers the 16 km long and 100 m deep valley. Baboons, red-tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, and colobus monkeys are just a few of the primates that can be seen in great numbers in the Kyambura Gorge. Although there are only about 30 chimps in this area, chimp trekking in Kyambura Gorge has two benefits. It is one of the locations where park animals congregate to drink, providing an opportunity to see other primates and Africa’s largest mammals. It is situated within Uganda’s most popular national park.
Semuliki Wildlife Reserve: Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is close to the border between Uganda and the DR Congo. There are three communities of roughly 260 chimpanzees. Researchers from Indiana University have discovered that the chimpanzees have the unusual habit of standing up as they leave the forest to search for food in the Savannah.
Ngamba Island: Ngamba Island is a chimpanzee sanctuary for rescued chimps from all around Uganda that was established on this tiny, forested island in Lake Victoria. On the island, more than 40 chimpanzees are being taken care of. Standard chimpanzee tracking is not feasible on Ngamba Island. Visitors and families with children are welcome to watch the chimps feed three times a day from a safe raised platform.
The Uganda Wildlife Education Center: Previously known as Entebbe Zoo, it was founded in 1952 to care for injured, taken-in, and orphaned animals. Tourists and families with children are able to view about 40 chimpanzees from enclosures at this location.