15 Frequently Asked Questions About Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda and Rwanda
What Is Chimpanzee Trekking
This is the act of following habituated chimpanzees in the wilderness to look out for their behavior, and social life, and enjoy their entertainment (Not dictionary Definition).
You need a chimpanzee trekking permit in Uganda or Rwanda to be allowed to be part of this fun.
In Uganda chimpanzee trekking starts at bout 0830hours and 1400 hours in the afternoon. The briefing is a must for anyone interested in chimpanzee trekking as rules are explained in detail.
Where To Do Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is done in Kibale National park, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National park, Kaniyo Pabidi forest in Murchison Falls National park, Kalinzu, and more chimpanzees are rehabilitated in Ngamba Chimpanzee sanctuary.
In Uganda Kibale National Park has the biggest number of habituated chimpanzees open for tourist trekking. This is also Africa’s biggest habituated chimpanzee sanctuary.
Where to Do Chimpanzee Trekking in Rwanda
Nyungwe National Park is the chimpanzee trekking destination for Rwanda. This park lies in the South Western part of Rwanda between River Congo to the west and Nile basin to the East. Nyungwe National Park was raised to National Park Status in 2005.
Although the Chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park are still under habituation, they are very charming to follow.
How To Book Chimpanzee Trekking Permits In Uganda or Rwanda
In Uganda, the Uganda wildlife Authority sells and issues chimpanzee trekking permits. Because of the busy phone call queue, getting through to the Uganda Wildlife Authority reservation office is quite challenging.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we check availability and reserve chimpanzee permits on behalf of our clients.
In Rwanda, Chimpanzee trekking permits are sold at Rwanda Development Authority. Rwanda Development Authority has a tight phone call queue too. You need some level of patience to go through too.
What Is The Cost Of A Chimpanzee Trekking Permit in Uganda and Rwanda
As of today, the chimpanzee trekking permit of Uganda Kibale National park is $250, $30 in Kalinzu, $80 in Kaniyo Pabidi Forest, $50 in Kyambura Gorge Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The Rwanda Chimpanzee permits cost $100 per person per day only 64 chimpanzee permits are sold in Rwanda.
Which Accommodation To Book For Chimpanzee trekking Uganda
Accommodation In Kibale National Park
Kyaninga Lodge, Primates Lodge, Kibale Safari Lodge, Ndali Lodge,
Accommodation Queen Elizabeth National Park
Mweya safari Lodge, Bush Lodge, Jacana Lodge, Ishasha Tented Camp
Accommodations in Murchison falls National Park
Nile Safari Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Red Chillis Camp
Accommodation In Rwanda Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, Gisaku Guest House, Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Nyungwe House, Gisaku Family Hostel to mention but a few.
How Difficult Is Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda
Whether trekking chimpanzees in Kibale National Park or Kaniyo Pabidi in Murchison Falls National park, the topography is fairly passable, and no much effort to get to chimpanzees. Some level of fitness may be to withstand the long search and when you locate the chimpanzees you need to keep on your feet because they are mobile.
In Nyungwe National Park Rwanda, you need to have some fitness level because of the hilly topography. Carry the right chimpanzee trekking gears too.
How To Get To Chimpanzee Trekking Parks in Uganda
Kibale National park
Two routes are available from Kampala city or Entebbe Airport to Kibale national park for chimpanzee habituation
Kampala to Mubende to Fortportal
Using the northern route drive for about 300km of Tarmac road to go through Fort Portal City then carry on passing the murram road to Sebitori Forest Camp
Kampala to Mbarara to Kamwenge
This is the southern route heading to Kanyanchu.
Each day scheduled domestic flights to depart Entebbe Airport and Kajjansi Airstrip to Kasese airport. You need to hire a transfer vehicle from the Airstrip to Kibale National Park.
Charter flight arrangements can be made upon request. Advance booking must be made prior to traveling for chimpanzee habituation.
How To Get To Kyambura Gorge In Queen Elizabeth National Park
The gorge is on South Eastern banks of the Kazinga Channel part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Kyambura Gorge lies 100 meters by the Kyambura River flowing across the Rift Valley floor.
How to Get To Kaniyo Pabidi in Murchison Falls National Park
Going 8km through the Kichumbanyobo gate of Murchison Falls National Park you get to Kaniyo Pabidi Forest.
How To get to Nyungwe National Park In Rwanda For Chimpanzee trekking
From Kigali Airport the drive to Nyungwe National park is about 5 hours. You can make stops en route to National Museum and so much more.
By Air, Rwanda Airlines operates charter domestic flights that you can book in advance.
What Is The Age Limit For Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda and Rwanda
12 years is the age limit for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda or Rwanda. This is because children at this age can withstand the tropical forest conditions and the topography in the parks is not as mountainous as in the Gorilla trekking Park
What To Pack For Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda and Rwanda
A pair of binoculars that will help you get a clearer picture of the chimpanzees in case they are up in the trees or hiding in the bushes.
A Flash-less camera to take photos when told to do so by the researchers.
Long-sleeved shirts and trousers in wilderness-friendly colors like Khaki to wear while in the field. They protect your skin from the harsh conditions of the forest.
Insect repellant keeps away stinging insects from your body.
A cap or large brim hat to protect your hair from dripping water off the leaves.
An extra fully charged camera battery to alternate with when one runs low.
A torch to use at night when lights go out at your lodge
Toiletries just in case your lodge doesn’t provide them.
Notebook or journal and pen to note down every activity that the chimpanzees do while following them with Researchers.
Water bottle to carry the drinking water that you need while in the forest
Some hard cash in case you need to do any domestic transactions since credit cards are rarely used in the countryside.
What Are Chimpanzee Trekking Rules in Uganda And Rwanda
Must be fully immunized of Covid-19 or any other infectious infections before the day of chimpanzee habituation. A certificate must back this for confirmation.
Do not litter the forest with any wraps as these alter the forest’s nature yet it is the sole food basket for the chimpanzees.
Do not eat while in front of the chimpanzees because they may be forced to grab it from you. Besides they are wild animals that should look for their own food.
In case you want to defecate, ask your ranger guide to dig a hole of about 30 meters deep and cover it well beyond recognition. This is to keep proper forest hygiene and prevent chimpanzees from getting curious about what is buried.
Never provoke the chimpanzees because they can charge just like humans snap.
Children below 12 years are not allowed to do chimpanzee habituation.
When you locate the chimpanzees try to keep a gap of about 8 meters from them for clearer observation and also reduce on the chances of transmitting any possible infection to them.
Do not enter the forest for habituation without a ranger guide because they are more familiar with the forest and they understand the behavior of these chimpanzees better.
How Long is Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda Or Rwanda
Depending on the forest conditions whether trekking chimpanzees in Uganda or Rwanda the exact time of locating them is unknown. It is estimated to be between 2 hours or more. This relies on forest conditions.
Food proximity for the chimpanzees
In case of a fight with a wild chimpanzee troupe and the habituated community loses, they move deep into the forest.
In Case a community member dies, chimpanzees mourn just like humans. They are more composed and not in the mood for intruders.
How Dangerous Are The Chimpanzees in Uganda And Rwanda
Chimpanzees in Uganda and Rwanda have undergone habituation for a very long time so they are currently accustomed to human presence and no fear for them to turn aggressive without reason.
Chimpanzees just like humans snap when you provoke them, during chimpanzee briefing, you are advised not to irritate them. They love hooting loudly when something is against their behavior.
Although chimpanzees are vegetarian or in some extreme famine conditions they can feed on monkeys.
Before heading for the forest, an armed ranger guide escorts you into the forest to protect you from any possible animal attacks. This is one of the reasons why one of the rules of chimpanzee trekking states that never enter the forest without a ranger guide. Never feed the chimpanzees when you meet them so that a clear line is drawn between humans and chimpanzees.