Chimpanzee trekking holidays in Uganda and Rwanda
Chimpanzee trekking holidays in Uganda and Rwanda take you to the closest human cousins in animal kingdom. You must have a chimpanzee trekking permit per person per day to be allowed to attend. Chimpanzees habituation has to take place in order to allow tourists to visit a community of chimpanzees in the wild.
Chimpanzee habituation is the process of familiarizing wild chimpanzees to the presence of humans without altering there nature.
In Uganda, chimpanzee trekking holidays happen in Kibale National park. This is the largest home of habituated chimpanzees in Africa hosting about 1500 chimpanzees. The Uganda wildlife Authority is responsible for all activities in Kibale National Park.
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Uganda has great habitat that favor chimpanzees and others primates to thrive in a natural setting. More of the chimpanzee habitats in Uganda include Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kaniyo Pabidi Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Ngamba Chimpanzee sanctuary, Semuliki National Park, Kalinzu Forest and others.
In Rwanda, Nyungwe National park is the famous home to chimpanzees. They live in Cyamudondo forest too and this is at the periphery of Nyungwe National Park
Where To Do Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda
Kibale National Park in Uganda
This tropical rain forest park occupies over 795 square kilometers of land. It lies in the western part of Uganda. The varied vegetation of Kibale National park supports different habitats. It is composed of wet tropical forest close to Fort Portal plateau to dry tropical forest to woodland and savannah close to the rift valley.
Kibale National park hosts the highest number of primates in Africa with over 13 primate species including the chimpanzees. Over 1500 chimpanzees are residents of this park. two Chimpanzee trekking sessions are done every day that is in the morning (0800hours) and afternoon(1500 hours).
The time of locating the chimpanzees is uncertain because of there regular movement as they search for a day’s meal. It may take between 2 hour or more depending on the factors prevailing in the forest.
Chances of viewing others primates like the black and white colobus, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, L’hoest, pottos.
Keen birders have over 325 bird species you may spot including little greenbul, black-eared ground thrush, yellow spotted nicator, black bee eater, blue breasted kingfisher, crowned eagel, Abyssinian ground thrush and others.
This walk is for 6 persons per group so that you do not over crowd the forest to inconvenience the chimpanzees.
Kyambura Gorge In Uganda
Eroded about 100 meters deep in the rift valley if Kyambura gorge carved by the Kyambura river flowing into Kazinga channel. You need a chimpanzee trekking permit to be allowed to do chimpanzee trekking in this part of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The Kyambura fig tree is the briefing and starting point for this chimpanzee trekking adventure. Two sessions are conducted every day that is morning at 0800hours and afternoon at 1400 hours.
Kaniyo Pabidi Forest in Uganda
In the forested section of Murchison Falls National park are chimpanzees and others primates. Kaniyo pabidi forest hosts a number of chimpanzees, other primates and numerous birds. This area is about 8 km from Kichumbanyombo gate of the National Park.
You may have the chance to spot other primates too like black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys and others.
Kalinzu Forest Reserve in Uganda
On the outskirts of Queen Elizabeth National park is Kalinzu forest Reserve. This is home to chimpanzees still under research and not yet fully habituated. A few tourists are how allowed to visit these human cousins especially during the peak seasons when demand for chimpanzee trekking is high.
Semuliki National Park in Uganda and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Both these parks have chimpanzees but still wild. A few tourists request for chimpanzee trekking in Semliki National parks. Majority of the tourists prefer to do gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and view the Sempaya hot spring in Semuliki National Park.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee sanctuary in Uganda
Located within Lake Victoria among the Koome Islands is Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. It is home to orphaned, abandoned and rescued chimpanzees that cannot be taken back to there communities.
You can view the chimpanzee from the feeding platform and when you arrive during feeding time, you participate in feeding the chimpanzees too. Watch the chimpanzees struggle to catch a meal for the day and the aldults grabbing the biggest share of the meal.
The sanctuary aims at teaching visitors, local communities and the general public about the importance of conserving the chimpanzees and there fragile habitats.
Uganda Wildlife Education Center (Former Entebbe Zoo)
A few chimpanzees live in the forested area of this center. The chimpanzees here live in an exhibit with environment similar to the once in the wilderness. You can participate in activities like chimpanzee up close, keeper for the day, care giving and so much more.
Nyungwe National park In Rwanda
Nyungwe National park in Rwanda is renowned home of chimpanzee trekking holidays. Two sections are occupied by the chimpanzees that is Uwinka and Cyamudondo. To do chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National park, you must have a chimpanzee trekking permits from Rwanda development board. Gisaku reception center is the briefing point before starting this chimpanzee Trek
You may get the chance to spot other primates like silver monkeys, olive baboons, Angolan Colobus monkeys blue monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkey, Rwenzori colobus, grey checked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, golden monkeys, Dent’s Mona monkey to mention but a few.
How To Book Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris In Uganda and Rwanda
Have a date when you wish to do chimpanzee trekking and the number permits you wish to book.
When you enquire from us, our safari consultant checks availability and gets back to you. All chimpanzee trekking permits are booked according to first come first served basis.
You may book the morning or afternoon session of chimpanzee trekking.
At the moment, the Rwanda chimpanzee trekking permit costs $100 per person per trek.
In Uganda, the Kibale National park chimpanzee trekking permit costs $300 per person per trek. The cost of chimpanzee trekking permits in other areas of Uganda vary with place.
What Time Is Best For Booking Chimpanzee Trekking Holidays In Uganda and Rwanda
Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda is open all year. The most interesting times however are the dry days when the ground is drier. Even the chimpanzees normally feed closer to the ground during this time.
The peak seasons normally have high demand for chimpanzee trekking permits so you need reserve your permit in advance. The peaks seasons are normally June to September and December to January.
Low seasons normally have less tourists visiting so in case you wish to have less obstruction from other trekkers, you may use this opportunity. Low seasons for chimpanzee trekking are normally March to May or November.
This is normally a wet season too and chimpanzees are afraid of wet conditions so they normally feed from up the trees. They are also less active because of the cold conditions.
What Is The Cost Of Chimpanzee Trekking Holidays In Uganda and Rwanda
The universal cost for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is the chimpanzee trekking permit per place you wish to trek. In Rwanda the chimpanzee trekking permit cost is currently 100 per person per trek.
Other factors also contribute to the gross cost of the chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. The number of days you wish to do chimpanzee trekking, number of people travelling with for chimpanzee trekking, the type of package you chose for chimpanzee trekking that is luxury, midrange or budget package and others.
In Uganda you must know where you wish to do chimpanzee trekking so as to avoid backtracking especially for the DIY (Do It Yourself) first timers.
How Difficult Is Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is generally done in more leveled grounds. Although In Kyambura gorge you have to hike the slopes of the gorge, you can maneuver. You need to wear attires like footwear, safari clothing in wilderness friendly colors and so much more.
The topography of Kibale national park and Kaniyo Pabidi is generally more levelled with less undergrowth. Locating the chimpanzees requires so patience because they are mobile primates.
They need to search for there own food so expect to take some time before location them. This tropical forested area has a number of natural huge trees so get ready to jump over huge buttress routes.
In Nyungwe National park, the topography is generally a highland area but you can search for the chimpanzees. Walking through the forest requites some level of fitness because Rwanda is generally a land of hills. However, the walk is not strenuous.
When you get to see them, you have just an hour watching them and take photographs too. Carry a pair of binoculars especially in the wet season for clearer visibility of the chimpanzees.
Are Chimpanzees Aggressive
Chimpanzees have human like traits because they have about 98% human DNA. They get defensive at times especially those that are not habituated to human presence. This is part of the reasons why you need to attend briefing.
In Kibale National Park, the briefing point is Kanyanchu visitor center and Sebitoli. In Kyambura gorge its at Kyambura fig tree camp and others
In Nyugwe National park briefing for chimpanzee, trekking is at Uwinka the headquarters of the park. Chimpanzee trekking has rules you need to follow so you need to keep in mind everything to enjoy the entire chimpanzee trekking experience.
What To pack For Chimpanzee trekking safari In Uganda And Rwanda
- Packing light and relevantly for chimpanzee trekking gives you chance to enjoy your experience and keep memories of this great encounter with Africa’s huge primates.
- Pajamas to wear in the night because it gets cold in the forested areas.
- safari boots are safe for going through the jungle since your feet need to be protected from rough conditions.
- A pair of binoculars gets the image of the chimpanzees, birds, tree tops and so much more that the forest is proud to host.
- Insect repellants as your skin is venerable to stinging insects that buzz in the forest
- Toiletries just to be organised in case your lodge does not provide
- Garden gloves because your hands are fragile to tough and rough creepers in the wilderness but you may tripe and fall unknowingly.
- Toiletries just to be organised in case your lodge does not provide
- A light water proof bag to get all your belonging together and they do not scatter in the forest.
- Safari hat with a large brim to protect your hair from getting wet from dripping water from tree branches.
- Poncho or Raincoat to where in case it rains while you are in the wilderness.
- A camera to use for taking photos and protect memories of your honeymoon experience in Nyungwe National park.
- Long sleeved shirt and trouser in wilderness friendly colors like tan or Khaki that will be comfortable for you to wear and you are not afraid of getting dirty. Camouflage is forbidden for political reasons.
- Foldable Water bottle in which to keep water for quenching thirst while in the wilderness.
- Energy bites to match on when hungry so that you can push on.
- Travel adapter and charger to use when recharging your electronic gadgets in case they run low.
Chimpanzee trekking Rules In Uganda And Rwanda
- No littering the forest because this is the food for the primates.
- In case you have a communicable infection, be kind to stay behind because they are susceptible to human infection like covid-19, flu, cholera and others.
- Never surround the chimpanzees because they feel ambushed.
- Never eat right before the chimpanzees because they may grab what you are eating yet they are wild animals that must feed themselves.
- Do not spit on vegetation to keep the forest clean and not to pass infections to the chimpanzees.
- A person below 15 years is not allowed to do chimpanzee trekking.