How to book Uganda and Rwanda chimpanzee tours in 2024-25
When booking the Uganda and Rwanda chimpanzee safari in 2024-25, you must secure the chimpanzee permit first. Identify the chimpanzee safari destinations you wish to visit in advance. Since the chimpanzee permits are limited to a maximum of 6 per troop per session, you need to secure one upfront, especially if you hope to travel in the peak tourism season, June to September and December to January.
Most Popular Safaris
Uganda has several chimpanzee safari destinations that is Kibale National Park is the country’s prime chimpanzee habitat. Kyambura Gorge on the floor of the Rift Valley in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kaniyo Pabidi forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Kalinzu forest on the periphery of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semuliki National Park, Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary on Koome Island.
Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is the only natural habitat for chimpanzees, but at its periphery is Cyamudondo forest, where another community of chimpanzees is living.
Chimpanzees are the closest human relatives in the wilderness, with about 98% of their genes being human. You can do chimpanzee trekking or chimpanzee habitation experience. Chimpanzee trekking is an adventure where tourists visit a fully habituated chimpanzee troop and have one hour with them. The Chimpanzee habituation experience is a safari where tourists escort a team of researchers and habituators to search and be with a semi-habituated chimpanzee community for four hours.
Uganda is currently the only country offering chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale National Park and Budongo Forest.
How To Book Chimpanzee Permits In Uganda And Rwanda
Have a date for the chimpanzee tour and the number of permits you hope to purchase. You can do chimpanzee safaris in Rwanda or Uganda in the morning or afternoon.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we help book chimpanzee permits for our clients, a service we have mastered for over 10 years. When you enquire about wishing to do a chimpanzee safari in Uganda or Rwanda, our safari consultant checks chimpanzee permit availability from the Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board list.
Upon finding chimpanzee permit availability, we advise clients to make sure they have permits soon before their status changes. Chimpanzee permits sell out fast because they are limited for conservation reasons. No chimpanzee permit can ever be reserved without payment.
For identification, forward us some personal details like your full names as presented on the passport, nationality, date of birth, passport expiry date, and others.
What is the cost of chimpanzee permits for Uganda and Rwanda in 2024 -25?
Although the cost of chimpanzee permits in Uganda varies with destination, the Uganda Wildlife Authority regulates and sells permits for most of these destinations.
Kibale National Park Chimpanzee trekking permit currently costs $300 for foreign nonresidents, $250 for foreign residents, and 150000shs for East African residents.
Kyambura Gorge chimpanzee permit cost: $50 for foreign nonresidents, $40 for foreign residents, and 30000shs for East African residents.
Kaniyo Pabidi Forest chimpanzee permit cost: $130 per person
Rwanda has only one chimpanzee safari destination: Nyungwe National Park in the North Eastern part. On the outskirts of Nyungwe forest is Cyamudondo, where a semi-habituated chimpanzee community lives. It is easier to track chimpanzees in Cyamudondo because the forest has a smaller area.
Nyungwe National Park chimpanzee permit cost is currently $250 for foreign nonresidents, $ 75 for foreign residents, and $25 for East Africans.
Is the cost of chimpanzee permits worth the money?
Yes, every penny you spend on chimpanzee safaris in Uganda and Rwanda is worth it as it is the ticket that gets you up close with man’s closest human relatives, the chimpanzees. When you purchase the chimpanzee permit, you contribute to their conservation. The funds collected from selling the chimpanzee’s permits facilitate community sensitization. You can only conserve the chimpanzees in their habitat by enlightening the community about its importance.
You contribute to their livelihood when you hire a porter to carry your chimpanzee safari gear. In case you wish to give back to the community directly, you can use this.
Where can I Buy Chimpanzee permits for Uganda and Rwanda?
The Uganda Wildlife Authority is mandated to sell and regulate the chimpanzee permits of Uganda. Still, some private entities, like CSWCT (Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust), under the supervision of this body, also levy chimpanzee permit prices.
Through a tour operator like Encounter Africa Safaris, you can purchase chimpanzee permits to lift the burden of trying to find availability of these permits off your shoulders.
Rwanda Development Board is mandated to sell and regulate chimpanzee permits for Rwanda, but you can use the assistance of a tour operator to book this permit for you.
Where to do chimpanzee safaris in Uganda?
Uganda is a primates’ haven hosting over 5,000 chimpanzees. Some of the renowned chimpanzee destinations include;
Kibale National Park in western Uganda is Uganda’s prime chimpanzee safari destination. At the moment, Kibale National Park is hosting over 1500 chimpanzees. Two chimpanzee safari activities are being conducted in this park, that is, in the morning and afternoon. While in Kibale National Park, you can engage in chimpanzee trekking, which allows you one hour with fully habituated chimpanzees and chimpanzee habituation experience, where four hours are allowed with a semi-habituated chimpanzee community.
Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park is the forested part located 100 meters deep in the gorge resulting from erosion of River Kyambura as it flows towards the Kazinga channel. A community of chimpanzees finds a great time on the floor of the Rift Valley. The chimpanzee trekking safaris of Kyambura Gorge starts from the fig tree camp.
Kaniyo pabidi in Murchison Falls National Park is home to chimpanzees in this park. Kaniyo Pabidi forest is about 8 kilometers from the Kicumbanyombo gate of Murchison Falls National Park.
Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary is located on Koome Island. It is home to orphaned, rescued, and abandoned chimpanzees that cannot be returned to their communities. You can visit these chimpanzees in the morning and afternoon. You can only get there by boat or being airlifted to the island. Ngamba is the closest chimpanzee habitat with many chimpanzees over 50 chimpanzees from Entebbe Airport or Kampala.
Kalinzu Forest Reserve on the outskirts of Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to a chimpanzee community, but mainly research is done in this park. Kalinzu chimpanzees may be opened to public booking during the peak season when chimpanzee permits are scarce.
Uganda Wildlife Education Center’s former Entebbe zoo is home to a small troop of chimpanzees kept in exhibits. You can take a guided or self-guided tour to this center, where you can find other wild animals too. If you have some time before the check-in time of your departure flight, you may spend time with these chimpanzees, where you can also do chimpanzee up-close activities.
Where to do chimpanzee safaris in Rwanda
Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is the only home of chimpanzees, with its headquarters in Uwinka. Another community of chimpanzees lives in the Cyamudondo forest on the outskirts of Nyungwe National Park.
Are chimpanzees aggressive during chimpanzee safaris?
Chimpanzees are first habituated, mocked, and opened to public visits. The chimpanzees in the alpha male community are very sensitive to intruders in their vicinity, so you need to follow the rules of this adventure.
Although chimpanzees are habituated first, do not try to provoke them because they can charge. When agitated, the chimpanzees hoot, beat hard the tree trunks, pull grass around them, and so much more.
Upon noticing these odd behaviors about the chimpanzees, do not panic because you may cause a rampage in the forest. Wait for the ranger guides and researchers to establish the root cause of the matter. Sometimes, these primates have internal disputes or may have been ignited by an attack from another community. Follow keenly the advice of the ranger guide because this may try to show the chimpanzees that you are here for a good cause.
As you get away from seeing the chimpanzees, do it slowly so as not to look suspicious.
When Do You Return From Chimpanzee Safaris in Uganda and Rwanda?
Returning time from chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda or having a habituation experience in Uganda is still being determined. Still, some tourists have returned after 3 hours while others have taken more time. The search to locate the chimpanzees depends on factors prevailing in the wilderness, like weather conditions of the day, feeding spots of the chimpanzees, in case of death in the chimpanzee community, and the pace of fellow tourists.
When you locate the chimpanzees, only one hour is allowed with them during their trekking and four hours during their habituation experience.
Is the Chimpanzee safari difficult?
Chimpanzee safaris are conducted fairly flat, but you must be fit to complete the walk through the jungle. The topography of Rwanda is generally mountainous, with Nyungwe National Park not excluded, but the walk to do chimpanzee trekking is relatively easy.
Wearing the right safari gear to protect your body from rough surfaces in the wilderness, like safari boots, long-sleeved shirts and trousers, insect repellent, rainproof gear, and others, is essential.
What is the cost of chimpanzee safaris in Uganda and Rwanda?
The cost of chimpanzee safaris in Uganda and Rwanda vary with a luxury, mid-range, or budget package. The cost of chimpanzee permits is the general cost across all packages. The Kibale chimpanzee trekking permit costs $300, the Kibale chimpanzee habituation experience permit costs $300, the Kyambura gorge chimpanzee permit costs $50, and others.
Rwanda chimpanzee trekking permit cost is $250 per person.
Encounter Africa Safaris categorizes our safari packages according to luxury, mid-range, and budget. When calculating the cost of chimpanzee safaris, we consider the number of days on safari, people traveling with them, the number of activities to combine with the chimpanzee safari, the time of booking the chimpanzee safari, and others.
Is the Chimpanzee tour safe in Uganda and Rwanda?
Chimpanzee safaris in Uganda and Rwanda are safe as the community of chimpanzees is first habituated before allowing the public to visit. The Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board’s well-trained ranger guides are in place to protect the chimpanzees, other forest inhabitants, and the forest. For each chimpanzee safari, at least two ranger guides escort tourists, one holding a machete and another carrying a rifle for emergencies. The rangers also carry a radio call to communicate with security if backup is needed.
Each day, a team of trackers patrols the forest to establish where the chimpanzee communities may have nested and possible hangout locations for the day. During their routine, they try to check for snares that may have been set and disable them.
The chimpanzee safari destinations other security agencies of each country back up the security of Uganda and Rwanda. These help to keep law and order.
Individually, you must only enter the forest with a ranger guide as other unhabituated dwellers may turn violent to you. Only walk out of your lodge during a chimpanzee safari with a lodge staff escorting you because you may encounter predators.
What else can be combined with chimpanzee safaris in Uganda?
Other than chimpanzee safaris, you can do Uganda birding, gorilla safaris, and game drives in National Parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and others.
You can also go white water rafting on the River Nile, launch trips, have multicultural experiences, and take therapeutic safari holidays to tranquil Ugandan destinations like Lake Bunyonyi, Ssese Island, etc. Uganda is a primate haven with golden monkey safaris you can spot during a safari to Mgahinga National Park. Other primates you can find in the Uganda forests include black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, l’Hoest’s, olive baboons, bush babies, pottos, and others.
What else can be combined with a chimpanzee safari in Rwanda?
Rwanda offers other safari activities you can combine with chimpanzee safaris, including gorilla safaris, game drives in Akagera National Park, golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Dian Fossey walk in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda genocide memorial, Rwanda birding, Kigali city tour, Rwandese cultural experiences, and others.
Spending time with chimpanzees is a great experience and worth it, Contact us to plan your safari today.