Frequently asked questions about chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
Chimpanzee trekking is an activity of following habituated chimpanzees in the wild. Chimpanzees are the closest relatives of man having about 98% human DNA. They live in communities under the leadership of an Alpha male who is democratically elected by the members. The females have a great influence on who is elected as alpha male so candidates have to create an impression on them to be elected into leadership
Most Popular Safaris
- 3 day Uganda gorilla trekking
- 5 days gorillas & chimp safari
- 3 day Uganda gorilla via Kigali
- 5 days gorilla trekking Rwanda
- 5 day Uganda gorillas & wildlife
- 3 day fly in gorilla habituation
- 5 day gorilla habituation and chimps
- 3 day Bwindi double trek via Kigali
- 5 days gorillas & game safari
Where to find chimpanzees in Uganda And Rwanda
Kibale National park
This Uganda tropical rainforest is home to the largest number of habituated chimpanzees in East Africa. at the moment about 1500 chimpanzees are living in Kibale National Park. This forest occupies about 795 square kilometers hosting about 13 primate species. Some of these primate species include chimpanzees, black and white colobus, grey-cheeked mangabey, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, and others.
Kibale National park has two visitor centers that are Kanyanchu visitor center and Sebitoli secondary center.
Its northern sector is the wettest and receives an average of about 1800 mm of rain annually which supports the dense forest cover. The Southern sector of Kibale National park is drier with open savanna. The southern sector is where Kibale adjoins Queen Elizabeth National park separated by a long migration corridor of 180 kilometers that favors animals to cross from Queen Elizabeth National park into Kibale National Park sometimes.
Kibale National Park is a great birding destination too especially when you take an excursion into the Bigodi Wetland swamp. When you stand at the view platform, you may be able to spot birds like shoe bill, scarce Grey-headed olive-back, Green-backed Twin Spot, Black and white Mannikin, and others.
You need to reserve a chimpanzee trekking permit from Uganda wildlife Authority to be allowed to attend any of the two sessions that is in the morning and Afternoon.
Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National park
Right on the floor of the rift valley, Kyambura gorge is carved by River Kyambura that flows into the Kazinga channel. This forested point in Queen Elizabeth National Park can be accessed when you book a chimpanzee trekking permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
You must have chimpanzee trekking gear because they live on the slopes where you may need to hike to locate the chimpanzees. The rainy seasons make the trek in Kyambura gorge quite challenging because of the slippery slopes. In normal times, the rainy season of Queen Elizabeth National park normally comes from March to May or November all factors are kept constant.
Kaniyo Pabidi in Murchison Falls National Park
This forested park is within Murchison Falls National park but is part of Budongo forest. Kaniyo Pabidi is filled with some of the leftover grown Mahogany trees in Uganda. A part of chimpanzees, Kaniyo Pabidi is home to different primates are black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and others.
This is a great birding destination too in Murchison falls National Park. You may have the chance to spot birds like Silverbird, Black-headed Gonolek, chestnut crowned Sparrow weaver, Green-winged Pytilia, and others.
Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
This is a rescue home for chimpanzees that have been abandoned and cannot return to their community, orphaned, or saved from snares and others. Many atrocities happen to the chimpanzees but this center is there to teach the local people and visitors the importance of chimpanzee conservation and their habitats.
You can book to sail and get to Koome Island where this center is found and attend any of two sessions that are in the morning and afternoon. When you arrive during feeding time, you may stand at the visitor platform to participate in feeding the chimpanzees. Enjoy the way each chimpanzee struggles to catch a meal for the day.
Nyungwe National park
Nyungwe National Park is the home of chimpanzees in Rwanda. It has its headquarters in Uwinka. Other chimpanzees in Rwanda can be accessed from Cyamudondo which is at the periphery of Nyungwe National park. Different trails lead you into the forest to have that one allowed hour with these chimpanzees.
Rwanda chimpanzees are semi-habituated but very exciting to follow too. You may get to spot other primates too like blue monkeys, olive baboons, grey-cheeked mangabey, blue monkeys, black and white colobus, and others.
When To Book chimpanzee Trekking Permits in Uganda And Rwanda?
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is an all-year-round adventure. You have to reserve your chimpanzee trekking permit in advance because they are limited to only 6 per troupe. Two sessions of chimpanzee trekking happen per day that is the morning and afternoon sessions.
In Uganda, you must know where you wish to do chimpanzee trekking or ask our consultant so that a great itinerary can be tailored for you in order to avoid moving in a zig-zag direction. This is time-consuming. Rwanda chimpanzee trekking is only done in Nyungwe national park.
Most people prefer to book chimpanzee trekking permits for the months of June to September and December to January. These are normally expected to be dry months. The forest experiences less humid conditions and chimpanzees feed closer to the ground. Even other forest dwellers are more active at this time
How Much Is the Cost of a Chimpanzee Trekking Safari in Uganda and Rwanda?
Apart from the chimpanzee trekking permits which cost cuts across all budgets. In Uganda, each chimpanzee trekking destination levies a different price but this is for all budgets. Kibale National park chimpanzee permit costs $300 per person. Rwanda’s cost of a chimpanzee trekking permit at the moment is $100 per person.
Other factors to consider when budgeting for chimpanzee trekking include
The number of people on the chimpanzee trekking safari.
The more paying people booked for chimpanzee trekking, the less the safari price per person. You get to share some costs like driver guides, vehicle hire, gas, and others. When you take a solo chimpanzee trek, you encounter all the costs of the safari,
Timing of chimpanzee trekking safari
When you book a chimpanzee trekking tour in the high season that is June to September and December to January, expect high costs on most services because of the high competition for services. Even those booked on other activities like gorilla trekking, game drives, and white water rafting are using the same services
Number of days on safari
The more days on a chimpanzee trekking safari, the higher the cost. This is because most of the service providers charge per day and the more days on safari the higher the gross cost of chimpanzee trekking.
The type of chimpanzee trekking package you choose
When you select a luxury, mid-range, or budget chimpanzee trekking package, you pay different prices depending on the inclusions and exclusions of each package.
How Long Is chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda
The time of locating the chimpanzee in Uganda and Rwanda is unknown depending on different factors like the proximity of their food, in case they fight with a wild community, the death of a community member, and others.
Locating the chimpanzees depends on factors prevailing in the forest. You may take between two hours and more. You need to follow all the rules of chimpanzee trekking to succeed.
How Difficult Is Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda And Rwanda?
The topography of the area where chimpanzees live in Uganda and Rwanda is generally flatter and can be managed by even children within the age limit of chimpanzee trekking.
The undergrowth is not so thick and the forest can be accessed with the assistance of the ranger guides.
What Is the Age Limit For chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda
The age limit for chimpanzee trekking is 15 years and below. This is because the chimpanzees are provocative at times which may not go well with a child below this age. Even the time of locating the chimpanzees is not known which a child may not withstand.
How safe Is Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda?
Chimpanzee trekking is safe because of the cooperation between the rangers and other security organs in the individual countries. The safety of the chimpanzees and other forest dwellers is important.
The community around these conservation regions has to be educated about the relevancy of conserving the chimpanzees so that they are too take part. Even when the chimpanzees stray into their gardens, they are able to inform the authorities concerned.
Your personal safety is relevant too so no need to carry valuable items like jewelry that you may not be in a position to protect from thieves.
Do not count large sums of money in public that would attract thieves.
Carry a first aid kit just in case you need some emergency support.
Never enter the forest without an escorting ranger guide because you may be attacked by other forest dwellers like forest elephants, vipers, and others.
Stay closer to the people you are trekking chimpanzees with so that you do not get lost in the forest.
How Dangerous Are Chimpanzees in Uganda And Rwanda
Chimpanzees have traits similar to humans and that is why they have about 98% human DNA. Their diet is generally vegetarian but has been seen to feed on monkeys during drought seasons. You need to follow the advice given by the ranger guides during the briefing and on the way.
Chimpanzees operate a spy network that warns the rest in case intruders visit them. They get to notice your presence before you see them.
They communicate by hooting and beating the tree trunks. Just pay attention to the instructions, the dos and not of chimpanzee trekking.
What To Pack For chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda And Rwanda
- Safari boots that are comfortable for you to walk in the forest even when it rains.
- Safari wears in colors that are wilderness friendly like tan and Khaki. You must avoid colors like white, black, and blue because they attract some insects like tsetse flies.
- For a clearer view of far-ranging features, you need a pair of binoculars that get the image of the chimpanzees, birds, tree tops and so much more than the forest is proud to host.
- Insect repellants as your skin is venerable to stinging insects that buzz in the forest
- Garden gloves because your hands are fragile to tough and rough creepers in the wilderness but you may trip and fall unknowingly.
- Toiletries are just to be organized in case your lodge does not provide
- A light waterproof 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 protecting memories of your honeymoon experience in Nyungwe National park.
- Foldable Water bottle in which to keep water for quenching thirst while in the wilderness.
- Energy bites to match when hungry so that you can push on.
- Travel adapter and charger to use when recharging your electronic gadgets in case they run low.
What Are The Dos and Donts Of chimpanzee trekking In Uganda And Rwanda
- No provoking the chimpanzees when you locate them because you may cause them to go into hiding.
- Stay in a tight group when you locate the chimpanzees so that you do not look suspicious.
- Feeding the chimpanzees is forbidden they are wild animals that must search for their own food.
- Volunteer to stay behind in case you catch any communicable infection like cough, flu, covid-19, and others.
- Littering in the forest is forbidden because it alters the nature of the forest where these primates thrive.
- Do not spit on the soil or vegetation. This would contaminate it yet it is what these primates feed on.
- No making noise in the forest because you may scare the chimpanzees.
- Never use flash photography as chimpanzees are scared of new occurrences in their presence.
Contact us for more information.