Causes Of Chimpanzee Permit Shortage In Uganda And Rwanda
Chimpanzee permits in Uganda and Rwanda are limited to 6 per troop per session. Two chimpanzee trekking sessions happen daily in Uganda and Rwanda: morning and afternoon. During the peak season, which is June, July, August, September, December, and January, chimpanzee permits sell out fast, as many tourists use this time to book Africa Safari Adventures.
Most Popular Safaris
At the moment, Uganda has approximately 5,000 chimpanzees living in several destinations. You can do chimpanzee trekking in Uganda in places like Kibale National Park, which currently hosts about 1,500 chimpanzees. Other Uganda chimpanzee trekking destinations include Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kaniyo Pabidi Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Kalinzu Forest Reserve, and Semiliki National Park, to mention but a few.
Rwanda has so far one chimpanzee trekking destination called Nyungwe National Park.
During some seasons of the travel and tourism calendar, the availability of chimpanzee permits in Uganda and Rwanda is limited due to high demand worldwide.
Chimpanzees are the closest human cousins in the animal kingdom, having about 98% human genes. The chimpanzees bear traits similar to those of humans, which is one reason why tourists want to visit them in their natural habitat compared to living in cages in zoos.
What Causes Chimpanzee Permit Shortage In Uganda And Rwanda
High demand for chimpanzee trekking permits
As mentioned above, the demand for chimpanzee trekking permits peaks during the high season, which runs in June, July, August, September, December, and January. For conservation purposes, the chimpanzee permits are limited to a maximum of 6 per day per session.
During chimpanzee habituation, these primates get used to 6 tourists per session. The number is limited because of the chimpanzee sensitivity and the need to conserve the chimpanzees from the impacts of mass tourism. Chimpanzees naturally feed on foliage, and it’s within the forest that they gather what to eat.
Limited Chimpanzee Trekking Destinations
Rwanda has so far only one chimpanzee trekking destination called Nyungwe National Park. When you book the chimpanzee trekking adventure of Rwanda, you have limited chances of finding the availability of the permits.
Although Uganda has several chimpanzee trekking destinations, some are reserved for chimpanzee research, like Kalinzu forest reserve chimpanzees. Other chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda include Kibale National Park, Kyambura Gorge, Kaniyo Pabidi Forest, and Semuliki National Park.
Even with the several chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda, the permits sell out during some seasons, especially the high tourism seasons, creating scarcity.
Low Prices For Chimpanzee Permits Of Uganda And Rwanda
The cost of a Rwanda chimpanzee trekking permit is currently $90 per person per session. Uganda chimpanzee permits vary from destination to destination. Some current chimpanzee trekking permit costs include $300 per person for Kibale National Park, $50 per person per trek for Kyambura Gorge, and several others.
This low-cost price attracts a number of tourists to book chimpanzee trekking as part of the activities to do on a visit to Uganda and Rwanda.
High Price For Gorilla Trekking Permits For Uganda And Rwanda
When you compare the price of chimpanzee trekking permits to gorilla trekking permits, there is a vast difference. With the high cost of the Rwanda gorilla permit, which is $1500 per person per trek, and the Uganda gorilla permit, which costs $800, tourists with a limited budget but want to see primates on their Africa safari holiday opt for chimpanzee trekking.
This is one of the causes of chimpanzee permit shortage.
More Tour Operators Selling Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris
As the world is becoming a global village, even tour operators worldwide are looking for more products to sell, so chimpanzee trekking as a primate adventure in Uganda and Rwanda is picking momentum.
More primate packages are selling, including gorilla and chimpanzee trekking safaris. This is an alternative for those who have for years visited the great game parks of Africa during holidays.
With the increasing number of tour operators selling primate safaris, a shortage of chimpanzee trekking permits is expected, as everybody is ready to sell.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we sell chimpanzee trekking packages starting with 3 days of trekking tours.
Where To Find Chimpanzee Trekking Permits In Uganda
The Uganda Wildlife Authority is the chimpanzee trekking permit-selling body of Uganda. Still, in some destinations, it coordinates with other conservation bodies to protect the life of the mountain gorillas. Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation (CSWCT) takes care of Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary on behalf of the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Rwanda Development Board is mandated to sell and regulate the chimpanzee permits for Rwanda.
You can use an accredited tour operator to book chimpanzee permits in Uganda or Rwanda.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we help you assemble your chimpanzee trekking safari, reserve accommodations on your behalf, hire transport means, appoint a drive guide and other necessary safari amenities.
Can I Purchase The Chimpanzee Permits In Uganda And Rwanda In Instalment?
Rwanda Development Board and Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts installment purchase on chimpanzee permits. You can purchase your chimpanzee permit in portions of 30% and 70%; however, it does apply to those who purchase their chimpanzee trekking permits before 90 days of the trekking date. You must also recall to top up your chimpanzee permit 90 days before the trekking date.
Some consequences may befall you when you fail to comply by this time.
When you do not top up your chimpanzee trekking permit for Uganda and Rwanda, it is returned to the availability list of the Rwanda Development Board To Uganda Wildlife Authority.
How Long Is Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda
The duration of the chimpanzee trekking adventure is unknown, but two sessions, morning and afternoon, are conducted daily. Upon locating the chimpanzees, only one hour is allowed with them for conservation reasons.
Although the topography of the areas where chimpanzees live is fairly leveled, you need some level of fitness that can support you while you search for where the chimpanzees may have spent their day.
To avoid getting bored, you must have an open mind while you trek to find the chimpanzees in the wild. This tropical forest hosts other primates like l’hoest, grey-cheeked mangabey, blue monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys. Look out for the colorful and sensational birds that spend much of their day meandering the forest.
Some patience is required as chimpanzees are mobile primates searching for their meal. The largest portion of the chimpanzees’ meal is foliage. This is one of the reasons why only one hour is allowed with the chimpanzees during trekking adventures to allow them ample time to gather and feed on enough that can support their bodies through day and night.
How Dangerous Is Chimpanzee Trekking Safari In Uganda And Rwanda
Before a wild chimpanzee troop is opened for public booking, it takes enough time for chimpanzee habituation. Chimpanzee habituation is an adventure where a wild chimpanzee community is helped to get used to t including mocks. The presence of humans without altering their nature. The time it takes for the chimpanzees to get used to human existence differs, and opening them for public booking depends on how fast they adapt.
You must attend a chimpanzee trekking briefing before heading to this adventure as ranger guides take you through the dos and don’ts of this adventure. The rules of chimpanzee trekking help to create harmony between humans and their very sensitive human cousins, the chimpanzees.
The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekker so that nobody is forgotten in the wilderness, as there are unhabituated dwellers in the wilderness.
Ensure you enter the forest with an escorting ranger guide for your safety.
How Sure Can I Be To See The Chimpanzees In Uganda And Rwanda
There is a 98% chance of spotting chimpanzees during this adventure. Chimpanzees live freely in the wilderness, but every day, a team of trackers wakes up earlier than others to trace where they may have nested to the possible day hangout spot.
It is these clues that rangers escort tourists to do chimpanzee trekking so that tourists can easily walk in the vast tropical forests. Tracing the chimpanzees may depend on finding fresh dung, a new area with freshly fed grass, listening to hooting sounds, tracing fresh footprints, and so much more.
When you fail to trace the chimpanzees, the Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board refund policy is invoked.
Is Chimpanzee Trekking Difficult?
The nature of chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda and Rwanda is generally flat, with natural tropical trees. The trees have large buttress roots with large stems. There is short undergrowth with more sunlight penetrating through the dense forest canopy during the dry seasons.
When you get to impassable spots, the ranger guide holding a machete trims the creepers to create a path for you to get to the chimpanzees.
Wearing the right chimpanzee trekking gear like a long safari shirt, insect repellant, and a large brim safari hat protects you while you trek to find the chimpanzees.
What Is The Cost Of Chimpanzee Trekking Safari In Uganda And Rwanda?
The chimpanzee trekking safari cost is categorized into luxury, mid-range, and budget. Even the expenses of chimpanzee permits, especially for Uganda, vary with destination. The price of chimpanzee trekking safaris is determined by factors such as:
The number of days on chimpanzee safari, number of people traveling you for chimpanzee trekking, additional activities to combine with chimpanzee trekking, safari package you choose for chimpanzee trekking, and others.
What Is The Age Limit For Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda
Above 15 years is the age limit for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. Children of this age are believed to be capable of withstanding the forest conditions. The chimpanzees may look scary for a child below this age, prompting them to shout.
The time taken to trace the chimpanzees may not be comfortable for a child below this age as chimpanzees are mobile primates that require to be followed by a patient person.
It would be best to have patience when searching for the chimpanzees because you are still determining when to trace them. Children below 15 years may be unable to withstand the long hours of looking for the chimpanzees.
Making noise is forbidden while searching for the chimpanzees, and for a child, it’s very easy to shout over something they get to see in the wilderness. This may even scare other forest dwellers you could spot and enrich your chimpanzee trekking adventure.
What to pack For Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda?
- First aid kit to use in an emergency while you trek to find the chimpanzees.
- Sunscreen to wear when you bask in the sun at your lodge
- Carry warm wear, especially during the severe rainy seasons when temperatures drop, and the forest is wet.
- A cap or large brim hat to protect your hair from dripping water off the leaves and flying insects that buzz the forest.
- Raincoat to wear when it rains and early morning when there is heavy cold fog.
- Canvas shoes for the safety of your feet while in the jungle.
- Extra batteries are fully charged to keep your memories of your Africa primate safari.
- Sunglasses to shield your eyes from roaming insects in the wild
- Insect repellant to smear on your skin to keep away stinging insects.
- Long trousers and a shirt because the wilderness is rough for your exposed skin
- The camera protects memories of your experience on a chimpanzee trekking adventure.
- Energy bites to keep you energized when seeking to locate chimpanzees, birds, other primates, and others
- Backpack to pack in your chimpanzee trekking gear.