Common Mistakes To Avoid When Planning A Chimp Trekking Safari in Uganda and Rwanda
A chimp trekking safari is undoubtedly one of the best vacation experiences in Uganda and Rwanda. There are more than four places to watch chimpanzees between the two countries, with a high concentration of chimps and the other 13 primates you could encounter.
Although the experience of chimp trekking in the natural rainforests of East Africa is captivating, many mistakes come with planning the safari trip. Planning a chimpanzee safari is challenging for most first-timers, from booking the wrong accommodation to tracking in the wrong place and expecting more than you can get.
But it doesn’t have to be challenging for you. Here, we will explore the common mistakes you should avoid when planning a chimp safari in Uganda and Rwanda with solutions for a successful trip.
Choosing the wrong primates park
It’sIt’s a common mistake for travelers to choose the wrong primate park for the chimpanzee trekking experience and spoil their entire journey because they couldn’t find the chimpanzees. With more than four places to watch chimps in Uganda and one in Rwanda, you must know which location is convenient and suits your budget.
The best place for chimp trekking in Uganda is Kibale National Park. The 296-sq-mi rainforest park protects the biggest population of chimpanzees and the highest concentration of primates in the region. The park has the most entertaining troops of habituated chimps, with daily chimp trekking excursions happening twice every day.
You can join the trekking teams in Kibale for $200 for a permit. The closest alternative to Kibale chimps is Kanyiyo Padibi in Budongo Forest, and a permit costs $40 per person.
Kyambura Gorge, a sunken forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park, is currently closed off. Avoid the mistake of booking your safari in the park and expecting a good chimp trekking experience in Kyambura.
It is easy to transfer from the International Airport in Entebbe to Kibale, a 5 to 5-hour drive west of Kampala. Accommodation is readily available outside the park with easy access to the visitor center at Kanyanchu.
Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda’sRwanda’s south is a top choice for the chimpanzee experience especially for travelers tracking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Usually, travelers watch gorillas in Volcanoes NP and add chimp trekking to their trip.
Booking with the wrong company or person
Booking your chimp trekking with the wrong company is a common mistake with first-time visitors. Avoid booking your chimp trekking safari with unlisted companies operating out of briefcases. They may book you in some of the worst accommodations or fail to show up when you need them the most.
Choosing the best company for a chimp trekking safari from hundreds of available local operators is challenging for a first-time traveler. You can find the best recommendations from the people you know or from reviews from travelers who’ve had the experience before.
The internet is a good source of blogs and travel guides about chimp trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. You will find a person or company you can trust to make your safari.
Encounter Africa Safaris Ltd’sLtd’s consultants give knowledgeable advice on planning your chimp safari. Send us an email; we’ll be excited to help you avoid the chimp trekking safari mistakes most travelers make.
Booking the wrong accommodation
Booking the wrong accommodation may make you miss the scheduled chimp trekking safari excursion because your lodging is far away from the park entrance gate. Avoid the common mistake of booking a random lodge and make sure your accommodation is close to the park.
All chimp trekking places have accommodation just outside the entrance; your challenge will be to find a suitable choice. Booking through a local operator can guarantee you a better option.
Kibale National Park gives more accommodation choices than any other chimp trekking park in the region. Just outside Kanyachu, you’ll find midrange to high-end priced lodges. Around the Kasekende region (crater lakes region) and as far as Fort Portal town, you’ll find all ranges from low-budget to luxury hotels.
Nyungwe National Park has Nyungwe House and Nyungwe Forest Lodge for a luxury choice with premium amenities. Nyungwe Top View Hill and Gisakura Guesthouse give the mid-range price. You have to drive a little out to the nearest town for the lower end of the budget, which means waking up early to make it in time for the excursion.
Traveling in a challenging season
There are two seasons for a chimp trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda, based on the weather patterns. The wet season with regular rainfall and the dry season.
Most travelers avoid the wet season months and choose to go during the dry season, making the dry months’ the peak travel months in the region. Do not make the mistake of planning your chimp trekking safari to occur during the rains when walking on muddy trails and under heavy rains will break your experience.
Book your safari for June to September and December to February; the best time for the chimp experience. The trekking trails and roads during that time are dry enough for a comfortable hike. However, most travelers choose to travel during that time, but availability will be quite challenging for a self-planner.
If you’re planning to travel during the peak season, start planning your chimpanzee trip a year in advance so that your travel dates can synchronize with the availability of hotel rooms and trekking permits.
The wet season is during March to May, October, and November, and there are fewer travelers during that time that can deal with the rains or muddy paths. Also, service providers offer discounts during the wet season and added value for budget travelers.
However, accessing the chimps in the rainy season can be a hustle. You may have to hire 4×4 trucks in places like Nyungwe, traveling from your lodge to the trailhead. Many travelers prefer such challenging hiking experiences to the sweet luxuries of the dry months. Be sure to avoid the mistake of traveling in the wrong month.
Overestimating your fitness level
Do not make the common mistake of overestimating your fitness level and diving into an activity that could break you physically. The chimp trekking safari requires moderate physical ability. It involves walking for undetermined hours, tracking the chimps, and following them around.
Expert trackers lead a group of tourists into the jungle, looking for clues about the chimp’s presence. There is no telling how long the tracking can take, and there are no used paths to follow. You will walk through the woods until you find the chimps and then stay with them for at least an hour.
Chimps are very active primates. They can’t stay in a single place for more than 5 minutes unless they’re occupied in social grooming or napping. You stay on your feed for close to an hour, an activity that will require you to be active on your feet.
Not following the chimp trekking guidelines.
Chimps are an endangered species, which means that they are protected by conservation laws that govern chimp trekking safari experiences. It’sIt’s a huge mistake not to know the guidelines which could put you or the primates in danger.
Besides, the safari takes place in a natural wild environment, where the primates’ behaviors cannot be controlled. The regulations will help you and the park authority manage the dangers involved.
The most important of all regulations is to stay away if you feel sick. Chimps carry 98% of our DNA and are susceptible to diseases in humans. To keep the chimps safe from infectious diseases, you will not be allowed in the park if you show signs of sickness.
If you’re allowed on the trail, you will have to wear a facemask when you are close to the chimps to protect you and the chimps from unexpected infections. You’llYou’ll be asked to stay at least seven meters away from the apes and avoid touching them by all means.
No eating, drinking, smoking, or shiting near the chimps for obvious reasons. Stay close to the trekking group and don’t intimidate the primates.
Other rules are communicated during the briefing at the entry point; ensure you give an open ear and apply the rules to the dot.
The Chimp Trekking Safari
Book your chimp trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda with Encounter Africa Safaris Ltd. We are listed and licensed to operate safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. Our local consultants will help you avoid the mistakes that come with planning a safari in Africa and handle everything for you.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the latest advice and a free quotation for our services.