+250 798 288 830 info@lifetimeafrica.com KK 15 Ave, Kigali-Rwanda
+250 798 288 830 info@lifetimeafrica.com KK 15 Ave, Kigali-Rwanda

Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Uganda – Chimpanzee Habituation


Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda is one of the most popular activities in Kibale National Park. Kibale is endowed with thirteen species, and a good variety of diurnal monkeys invariably encountered, but the stars of this twice-daily show are chimpanzees with Morning and Afternoon sessions tracked as far as since 1993 and the chances of locating them are excellent. Kanyanchu’s chimpanzee groups are accustomed to human presence as some have been observed for over 25 years. Walks depart Kanyanchu Visitor Centre at 08.00 and 14.00 and last between 2-3 hours.

One hour is spent with the chimpanzees after meeting them during the chimpanzee trekking safari in Uganda from 8-11 Am and from 2 Pm whereas you can spend the whole day with chimps during the habituation activity from 6 Am – 7 Pm. The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience avails visitors the opportunity to accompany researchers and habituation into the forest. The chimpanzee groups involved are less accustomed to human presence than those visited on the Primate Walk while following and viewing them is both exciting and challenging. Early visitors can watch chimps leaving their overnight nests between 6:00 – 6:30 am before feeding, copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, resting, patrolling, and displaying until it is time to build new nests around 7 pm.

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors. It provides an opportunity to encounter these gentle apes with the closest DNA to humans up close in their natural habitat, allowing for unforgettable wildlife encounters. The experience of tracking and observing chimpanzees in the wild is both awe-inspiring and humbling, as it offers a glimpse into the lives of these incredible creatures and raises awareness about their conservation.

Just like gorilla trekking, the significance of Chimpanzee trekking extends beyond the sheer thrill of encountering chimpanzees. The revenue generated from chimpanzee tracking permits contributes to the conservation efforts aimed at protecting and preserving chimpanzee habitats. These funds are utilized for anti-poaching initiatives, habitat restoration, community development, and education programs, ensuring the long-term survival of the gorillas and supporting the local communities.

Chimpanzee trekking safaris also promotes sustainable tourism in Uganda, providing economic benefits to the country. It creates employment opportunities for local guides, trackers, porters, and other tourism-related services, thereby uplifting the livelihoods of communities residing near the Chimpanzee habitats. By engaging in responsible tourism practices, visitors can make a positive impact on both the conservation of chimpanzees and the well-being of local communities.

Uganda is blessed with numerous magnificent chimpanzee destinations. Kibale Forest National Park is however the most excellent place among all of them with the best chances of meeting up with the chimps. The destination where you can track chimpanzees other are Kalinzu forest in Bushenyi district west of the isolated Ishasha sector prominent for tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth national park, Kyambura Gorge in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, as well as Semuliki wildlife reserve.

Chimpanzee Trekking Permit

For one to trek chimpanzees on a Ugandan adventure safari, one needs to acquire Chimpanzee trekking permits. Chimpanzee trekking permits are largely issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) save for Kalinzu Forest where permits are issued by National Forestry Authority (NFA). All these two agencies sell permits on behalf of the government of Uganda. Due to the desire to protect the chimpanzees, there is a limited number of visitors allowed to visit these amazing creatures.

For you to skip the hustles of the chimpanzee permit booking process, Lifetime Africa Expeditions a local tour operator and safaris planner is here to relieve and procure the permits on your behalf. Our safari experts and reservations personnel are well acquainted with the permit booking process and its costs. Decorated with skills and experience, they are more than ready to take on the task of planning your chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda as well as securing for you the permits on time. Be it a last-minute booking, we are able to deliver. Whether you want to track chimpanzees in the “prime capital of Africa” Kibale national park, Budongo forest reserve in Murchison falls national park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park, or even Kalinzu forest reserve, we take you there even at short notice.

How much does the chimpanzee permit cost

The cost of a chimpanzee trekking permit in Uganda varies depending on the location of tracking. chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale national park dubbed the primate capital is the most expensive as they cost 200USD for foreign Non-residents and 150USD for foreign residents in Uganda. Chimpanzee permits in the Budongo forest reserve cost 130 USD, while Kyambura Gorge and Kalinzu forest reserve go for 50 USD per person.

While chimpanzee trekking permits are relatively at low rate, Chimpanzee habituation permits are slightly higher at 250 USD making a difference of 50 USD.  The experience however is worth or even exceeds the value attached to it as visitors are availed an opportunity to visit and stay with chimpanzees for up to 4hrs. Chimpanzee habituation requires tourists to report to the ranger station at Kanyanchu as early as 6:00 Am to join the rangers who carry out the daily show of introducing the Chimpanzees to people so they can get used to being with people freely.

What Should I Pack for A Chimpanzee Trekking Safari in Uganda?

Are there specific logistics that I need to pack on my chimpanzee trekking safari?

Oh!!! Yeah sure!! You have come for a holiday, Excess luggage that one will not need on a safari consumes space that the useful luggage for your safari would consume which renders your enjoyment of the safari/holiday limited with the extra luggage being carried around. Lifetime Africa Expeditions brings you a briefing pack that will help you to plan. You do not wish to pack before reading this briefing pack! We have listed items that we consider essential when it comes to chimpanzee trekking attire.

  • Worn-in waterproof lightweight hiking shoes separate from your daily regular wear. These should bear a good grip, suitable for maneuvering the steep moist muddy slopes of Kibale national park as it is sometimes slippery mostly in rainy seasons.
  • Insect repellants, Anti-malarial medication, and any other prescribed medication from your physician like inhalers for asthmatic conditions.
  • Soft long-sleeved shirts and trousers to protect you from the pricking thickets as you move through the verdant jungle.
  • A good size water bottle to carry enough drinking water plus snacks to bite on while on the trek. This is always complimented by our refreshments and water offered throughout the safari.
  • Gloves to protect your hands from holding thorns, brush, and stinging nettles.
  • Outdoor/waterproof and breathable pants and insulated jacket (preferably Gortex) with a hood to wear on top of your quick dry undershirt. Poncho is a good lightweight alternative to a waterproof jacket.
  • Lightweight fleece sweater or cardigan – helps in layering for cool mornings.
  • Hat, sunblock, and sunglasses with neck strap.
  • A walking stick to ease trekking if you desire fancy things. However, locally made walking sticks are always available at the trekking points.
  • Camera with a spare battery to be well equipped to avoid disappointments just in case your camera’s battery shuts down during that essential moment when you meet the chimpanzees.
  • Binoculars assist you in spotting bird species and other primates like the monkeys in the trees.
  • A reasonable lightweight backpack bag to carry your trekking gear and other essentials like the camera and refreshments.
Chimpanzee trekking rules

As a way of protecting the chimpanzees for sustainable tourism management, Uganda Wildlife Authority established rules and guidelines that Visitors must follow to have a lifetime chimpanzee trekking experience while putting in mind the future generation and therefore conserving for the future generation. This set of rules and guidelines is two-way traffic as it protects both the chimpanzees as well as the Visitors. Lifetime Africa expeditions bring you the most important rules among the very many regulations that one must follow during the chimpanzee trekking safari:

  • Visitors are not allowed to track the chimpanzees when they are sick. If one contracts sickness, especially with flu, cough, and influenza, He/She is not allowed to track chimpanzees to protect them from contracting the same diseases as they are prone to due to the fact that they have 98% human DNA.
  • Visitors must keep a distance of at least 7 meters while they are near the chimpanzees.
  • You should always follow all the guidelines that are given to you by the tour guides.
  • Visitors are forbidden to feed the chimpanzees.
  • Visitors are not allowed to eat or drink while with the chimpanzees.
  • Visitors are forbidden to ease themselves anywhere in the park as this may contaminate the environment and cause the chimpanzees to contract diseases like chorea. You are advised to ask the ranger to dig a hole deep enough and after that bury it very well.
  • Visitors must be at the minimum age of 15 years to be allowed to trek the chimpanzees
  • At all times, visitors must keep camera flashlights while taking photographs and videos.
  • Do not make noise while trekking because this irritates the chimps and they end up migrating to another place.
  • Always leave the park the way you found it. Do not litter any papers and or leftover food as this may attract the chimpanzee to feed on them making them fall sick or even move out of the forest and attack the people’s food outside the park.
 When Is the Best Time to See Chimpanzees in Uganda?

Lifetime Africa Expeditions plans organizes, and executes chimpanzee trekking safaris all year round. However, the most fascinating time to indulge yourself in chimpanzee trekking is during the dry seasons of June to September and December to January. This is due to the fact that tracking is easier as the trekking trails are passable.

Contact Lifetime Africa Expeditions to get in touch with our safari specialists and craft for you a customized chimpanzee trekking safari that best suits your desires at a pocket-friendly quote.

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