How and Where To Buy Chimp Trekking Permit in Uganda
A chimp trekking permit in Uganda is like a movie premiere ticket to watch the most incredible creature that mimics our very own social and physical structures. Everyone is invited, but no one gets in without one, only that the scene is set in the pristine rainforest jungles of Africa.
Don’t start planning your chimpanzee trekking safari itinerary without securing a permit first because availability can be scanty sometimes, especially during high seasons.
So, here is some information about how and where to buy a chimp trekking permit in Uganda.
What is a chimp trekking permit?
A chimp trekking permit is a pass that allows tourists a guided tour with a habituated group of chimpanzees in a protected forest reserve. It is issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) after paying a certain standard fee.
The chimp permit document will have your real name (as seen on your passport), the tracking date, the location of the activity, and a unique identification number. At the visitor center, before the trekking activity, the park warden will ask you to present your printed permit with your passport to verify.
The revenue UWA collects from chimp trekking permits is very vital in financing primate conservation programs, scientific research, and the protection of natural habitats. The permit revenue also greatly supports sustainable tourism programs that improve the livelihoods of communities living around the protected forest reserves.
What does the chimp permit in Uganda include?
The chimp trekking permit in Uganda includes guided access to a habituated chimpanzee group and one hour with the chimpanzees. With your chimp permit in hand, you can trek with a controlled group of not more than twelve other tourists, two armed rangers for security, and an expert tracker leading the group.
During the chimpanzee trekking experience, the tracker is your guide. It will keep you informed about the rainforest, its inhabitants, and the chimps. They’ll also guide you if there is an unexpected change in the environment, like hostility from the chimps.
The chimp permit also includes park entrance fees and trekking only on the date stated on the pass document. The ticket cannot be used or transferred once used, and the date passes.
It does not include any other expenses on your chimpanzee trekking safari like accommodation, transport, and logistics. The chimp trekking permit fees only cover the activity and nothing else outside the adventure.
How much does a chimp permit cost in Uganda?
A chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale Forest costs $300 for foreign non-residents, $250 for foreign residents, and UGX 250,000 for East African Nationals.
In Budongo Forest, the chimp permit costs $90 per person, Kyambura Gorge $50.
The chimpanzee habituation permit in Kibale costs slightly more for $300 because it allows tourists to come along with researchers and follow the wild chimps for the whole day.
Is chimpanzee trekking worth it?
Chimpanzee trekking may get less fanfare it deserves, but tracking our evolutionary cousins through the Uganda jungle is, in fact, one of the most exhilarating adventures worth the fraction it costs.
Although they’ve been studied more than any other primates, observing chimpanzees in their natural habitat deep in the African rainforest is worth the adventure. One of the best places for chimp trekking is Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda, home to five habituated groups within comfortable walking distance from the visitor center.
Where to buy chimp trekking permits in Uganda?
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is the only authorized chimp permit issuer in Uganda. UWA is a Ugandan government body in charge of managing wildlife conservation and tourism.
Tourists can buy chimp permits directly from UWA offices in Kampala or hire a licensed local operator to purchase the permit on their behalf. Usually, the tour operator will charge you logistical fees without changing the permit price.
Contact our tour consultants at email@example.com to help you buy your chimp trekking permit for your planned travel dates.
How to get a chimp permit in Uganda
UWA head office in Kampala is located at Plot 7 Kira Road. Here, anyone above 18 can walk in and buy a chimp permit. You’ll need to carry your passport or national ID (national).
If you can tolerate the local logistical bureaucracy, call the office at 0800100960 or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations. You’ll also have to send them your scanned passport copy and dates.
Alternatively, a simpler way is to buy your chimp permit through a licensed tour operator, who takes care of all the ground logistics, including rescheduling the chimp permit when you change your travel dates. Your passport copy and at least 30% deposit fees for the chimpanzee trekking permit will be required.
UWA requires that travelers make a 30% non-refundable deposit to reserve the chimp permit and pay the total amount 90 days before the trekking date.
You’ll then receive details of your booked permit via email after depositing the permit fee by bank deposits or wire transfer; make sure all the information on the permit is accurate before you conder it a done deal. Then you can start planning your safari itinerary around the permit dates.
Please read our detailed post on finding a trusted tour operator in Uganda.
Can you buy last-minute chimpanzee permits?
Yes, you can buy last-minute chimp permits from UWA and tour operators if you reach UWA. Fewer interested travelers mean that chimp permits are not as scarce as gorilla permits.
During the high season, though, chimp trekking permits in Uganda are in high demand, and availability is not assured. If you’re planning a last-minute chimpanzee trekking safari, contact our tour consultants at email@example.com; we usually have some on standby.
Can you cancel a chimp permit?
Yes, you can cancel your chimp permit and receive a refund only if you’ve fully paid for the permit. You don’t get a refund on cancellation with a 30% deposit booking.
If you have fully paid for your chimp permit, UWA’s following cancellation policies apply.
- 91 days + before trekking – 75% refund
- 46 to 90 days before – 50% refund
- 9 to to 45 days before – 25% refund
- 0 to to eight days before – No refund
However, if the park warden establishes (on-site) that you can not trek due to illness, you’ll get a 50% refund on your chimp trekking permit. Human diseases can be fatal to chimpanzees, so the warden on-site does due diligence to verify everyone’s health before allowing chimpanzee trekking.
If you unknowingly let the permit expire beyond the trekking date, that’s it; the permit is deemed unusable.
In anticipation, you can reschedule your chimp permit to another trekking date up to seven days before the tracking date. UWA can allow rescheduling twice, for up to two years ahead, but a third reschedule incurs a 25% fee.
Also, you can push your chimpanzee trekking permit to another date, only once, if it’s partly paid with a 30% deposit. Full payment is required for a second reschedule.
You can book a permit for up to two years ahead with a non-refundable 30% deposit. UWA requires you to pay 70% of the permit price 90 days before your chimp trekking date; otherwise, the permit will be canceled.
Suppose you don’t see the chimps after effortlessly trekking for hours. In that case, UWA may authorize to reschedule the permit to the following day, subject to availability. If there’s no availability, UWA will approve a refund of 50% of the permit price on confirmation from the warden.
Book With Encounter Africa
Reduce planning time, buy your chimp trekking permit and put together your primate safari itinerary with Encounter Africa Safaris. We’re trusted operators that have been in business for more than a decade, and we have the expertise to show. We will customize your chimp safari that includes processing the chimp permits, accommodation, and transport.
Don’t be stressed about last-minute booking, because we’ve stockpiled several permits expecting you to ask. No waiting, no promises. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to our tour consultants right now.