Chimpanzee trekking age limit in Uganda and Rwanda
To do chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda, you must be above 12 years of age, as this is an adventure in the wilderness. The conservation of the chimpanzees takes precedence when it comes to chimpanzee trekking, and so all the necessary rules governing this adventure must be followed.
You must purchase a chimpanzee trekking permit to be allowed to attend this primates safari, whether in Uganda or Rwanda. Chimpanzees are some of the most endangered primates in the world, and conserving them in their natural habitats is the number one goal other than in confinements.
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To understand chimpanzee trekking, you need to define chimpanzee trekking safari first>
What is chimpanzee trekking?
Chimpanzee trekking is an adventure activity where you follow a fully habituated chimpanzee troop, and only 1 hour is allowed in human company. maximum
What is chimpanzee habituation safari?
A Chimpanzee habituation safari is an adventure where you follow semi-habituated chimpanzees in the wilderness to get familiar with human presence without altering their nature. During this activity, a maximum of 4 tourists per session accompany a group of trackers and researchers to follow a community of chimpanzees and spend 4 hours in their company.
Where to do chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
Kibale National Park
Kibale national park is the largest habitat for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. At the moment, the park harbors about 1500 chimpanzees. Two sessions of chimpanzee trekking are carried out daily, in the morning and afternoon.
You must purchase a chimpanzee trekking permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority to be allowed to participate.
Kibale national park chimpanzee permits cost $200 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $150 for foreign residents, and 150000shs for East African residents.
Kibale National Park is home to about 13 other primates, including chimpanzees, black and white colobus, and vervet monkeys. Grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, L’hoest’s, pottos, bush babies, olive baboons, and others.
For keen birders, Kibale is home to several bird species, including Albertine endemics. There are over 335 bird species so far recorded to be living in Kibale National Park, but ornithologists believe the list is still expanding.
Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kyambura Gorge is a forested habitat along the slopes created by the Kyambura River as it flows across the rift valley floor. A fully habituated chimpanzee community is living in this area. It would be best if you had some fitness because this area has slopes curved by erosion from the river. During the severe rainy season, the trek to Kyambura Gorge is slippery, so you need boots.
Kaniyo Pabidi in Murchison Falls National Park
Kaniyo Pabidi forest lies 8 kilometers from Kichumbanyombo gate, and its forested vegetation comprises some of the leftover fully grown mahogany trees in Uganda. Unfortunately, you need to boo a chimpanzee trekking permit to be given a chance to do chimpanzee trekking in this forest.
Other primates live in this forest, including blue monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and black and white colobus.
Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary lies in Koome Island
Lake Victoria is a rescue home for chimpanzees that cannot be returned to their communities. This Island in Lake Victoria gives home to chimpanzees saved from snares, abandoned, orphaned, and community-less chimpanzees. At the moment, over 50 chimpanzees are residents of this sanctuary.
This sanctuary was set up to help educate visitors, the local community, and the general public about this remarkable species and the importance of conserving their fragile environment.
Each day two sessions are conducted, and visitors can observe the chimpanzees from the Visitor platform. You can take part in chimpanzee feeding if you arrive before feeding time.
The Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) are the project managers of Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Uganda Wildlife Education Center ( UWEC)
This is the former Entebbe Zoo, and during a self-guided or guided tour, you get to locate chimpanzees living in the exhibit in an environment similar to where they live in the wilderness. This is a small community of chimpanzees, and you can take part in keeping for the day; chimpanzee chimpanzees up close to get closer to these chimpanzees.
Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu forest reserve is located at the periphery of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The chimpanzees in this forest reserve are used for research purposes, but during the peak season, it can be opened for tourists to trek.
Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe National Park is the only home for chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda. It would be best to have a chimpanzee trekking permit from the Rwanda Development Board to see these chimpanzees. Cyamudongo, on the outskirts of Nyungwe National Park, has another chimpanzee community.
The headquarters for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park is at Uwinka. Two chimpanzee trekking sessions occur in this park every day, early morning and afternoon.
During chimpanzee trekking, you may spot other primates like Angola Colobus, Hamlyn’s monkey, Rwenzori Colobus, Dent’s Mona Monkey, Black And White Colobus Monkeys, Olive Baboons,, and Others.
You can do a canopy walk over Nyungwe national park to enjoy the beautiful canopy of this forest from an elevated view. This walk follows the Igishigishigi trail from Uwinka.
How Long Is Chimpanzee Trekking
The chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda and Rwanda have relatively flat topography covered by giant old trees. Sometimes finding the chimpanzees during the trek may last 2 hours to more. Locating the chimpanzees requires some patience because of the dominant factors in the forest:
In case of inadequate food in the wilderness, the community, through the alpha male chimpanzees, has to seek new feeding grounds, so tracing the way about for the chimpanzees may take time.
When there is a fight among the chimpanzees, some may be forced to relocate, and in case the community allocated to you is the victim, they may move into the deeper ends of the forest.
During the severe rainy seasons, the forest tracks are wet and slippery, making movement in the forest challenging for trekkers. Even the chimpanzees are less active in the wet season and tend to hide in the tree branches. Therefore, it would be best to have a pair of binoculars at times to get a clearer view of the chimpanzees.
Why The Age Limit For Chimpanzee Trekking Is Above 12 Years
Only persons aged above 12 years are allowed to do chimpanzee trekking because :
The Nature Of The Forest
Chimpanzee trekking is an adventurous activity where you walk into the forest. However, children 12 years and below may not withstand the nature of the woods with rough conditions and itchy plants like stinging nettles.
No Noise Making During Chimpanzee Trekking
Chimpanzees are agitated by unfamiliar noise in their environment, yet it’s pretty hard to speak in a low tone or quiet for a child 12 years and below.
Time Of Locating The Chimpanzees
The time of locating the chimpanzees is still being determined because they move freely in the wilderness. Therefore, it would be best to have patience and tolerance, which children of this age may not withstand.
Teasing the nature of the chimpanzees
Chimpanzees are provocative at times, but you need to be well-equipped in order not to be intimidated by their advances. You need to keep a distance of out 8 meters from the chimpanzees, but it is hard for them not to walk over and touch you. It is easy for a child 12 years and below to react in a manner that can agitate the chimpanzees.
How Much Is The Cost Of A Chimpanzee Trekking Permit For Uganda Or Rwanda?
Uganda’s chimpanzee trekking permits are charged according to destination and habitat management.
The Kibale National Park chimpanzee trekking permit costs $200 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $150 per person for foreign residents, and 150000shs for East African residents.
Kyambura Gorge chimpanzee trekking permits in Queen Elizabeth national park costs $50 per person, 30000shs East African residents.
Rwanda chimpanzee trekking permits for Nyungwe National Park are $100 per person per trek.
What is included and excluded from the chimpanzee trekking permit?
Ranger guide fee, security, one hour with the chimpanzees, and only a Kibale chimp permit include park fees.
The chimpanzee permit cost excludes the following:
Transport, tipping, accommodation, and any other items of personal nature.
Which Is The Best Country For the Chimpanzee Trekking safari Of Uganda And Rwanda?
Chimpanzee trekking takes you to the home of the closest human relatives having about 98% human genes, so get ready to discover some human similarities. The difference of which country is best for chimpanzee trekking is pointed out with:
The number of chimpanzee trekking destinations where Uganda has over five chimpanzee trekking destinations, and Rwanda has only one chimpanzee destination.
The cost of an Uganda chimpanzee permit varies with the destination, while the Rwanda chimpanzee permit costs $100 per person per trek.
When Is The Best Time To Book Chimpanzee Trekking Permit For Uganda And Rwanda?
The dry season is the most preferred season for chimpanzee trekking. This usually is June, July, August, September, December, and January. This is because the chimpanzees feed closer to the ground during the dry season, and even other forest dwellers are lively too.
The cost of the chimpanzee trekking safari is high because this season is a high tourism period too.
For someone with a limited safari budget, the low season, which is March to May or November at times, attracts discounted costs. You may have high-end services at a limited cost.
If you wish only time with the chimpanzees, it is easier to have this in the low season because normally, chimpanzee trekkers are fewer.
Is Chimpanzee Trekking Safe?
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is safe as the rangers are very keen on protecting these primates and their environment. In addition, other security agencies are in place to support maintaining law and order in the areas around the national parks.
What Are The Dos And Donts Of Chimpanzee Trekking Safari?
- If you catch a communicable infection like flu, covid 19, or cough, volunteer to stay behind so as not to pass a condition to the chimpanzees. They are highly susceptible to human infections.
- Surrounding the chimpanzees when you locate them may agitate them and push them into hiding.
- Spitting on the ground and vegetation is forbidden as this is food for the chimpanzees and forest dwellers. Moreover, you may contaminate them with germs.
- Provoking the chimpanzees is forbidden as this may agitate them and push them into hiding. You have just one hour allowed in their presence.
- When a chimpanzee is trekking, keep your voice low so that you do not distract the chimpanzees.
- Keep a distance of 8 meters from the chimpanzees when you locate them so that you give no chance of transmitting infections to the highly susceptible chimps.
- Using flash photography is forbidden as this may scare the chimpanzees that are conscience of occurrences in their environment.
- Wear a clean mask when in front of the chimpanzees to prevent the spreading of any contiguous germs.
- If you wish to cough or sneeze, do it at least 200 meters from the chimpanzees.
- Littering the forest with plastic wraps or any other indecomposable items is forbidden as it alters the nature of the forest where the plants on which chimpanzees feed grow.
- When you locate the chimpanzees, you have an hour with them, but follow all the guidelines given during the briefing and with the ranger guides.
- Only persons aged above 12 years are allowed to do chimpanzee trekking as they can withstand the forest conditions.
- Ask the ranger guide to dig a hole at least 30 meters deep if you wish to have a long call and cover well beyond recognition.
What To Pack For Chimpanzee Trekking Safari In Uganda And Rwanda?
- A pair of binoculars
- Safari boots
- Safari foldable hat
- Insect repellant
- A torch
- Garden gloves
- Safari attire
- A couple of stockings to tack in your clothes.
- A sweater or warmers, as this is a very cold area
- Duffel bag
- Some hard cash
- First aid kit
- Flip flops