The tourism sector in Uganda is currently one of the hardest-hit by the outbreak of COVID-19, with impacts tour operators, hoteliers, employees and employers and the entire tourism travel chain since the end of February to date but there is hope Post COVID-19 Chimpanzee Trekking Discounts in Budongo Forest that you should not miss on. Uganda registered its first case of COVID-19 on 21st March 2020 and to date, Uganda has 54 confirmed COVID-19 cases and with four people who have recovered. Since then, The Airport and all Uganda borders were closed for inbound travel, Primate Tourism was suspended, Transport was suspended as a measure to control the virus spread.
As of today, UNWTO estimates that in 2020 global international tourist arrivals could decline between 20-30%, down from an estimated growth of 3% to 4% forecast in early January 2020. This could translate into a loss of US$ 30 to 50 billion in spending by international visitors (international tourism receipts). Since we have registered recoveries and no deaths, we hope the suspensions will be lifted and movement to other game parks is allowed but following the guidelines of world health organization and ministry of health in Uganda plus Uganda wildlife Authority guidelines.
Suspension of Primate Tourism due to COVID-19 in Budongo forest
When Uganda registered its first cases of COVID-19, Uganda wildlife Authority suspended primate tourism until 30th of April 2020 as a way of protecting Uganda wildlife heritage. While it is still unknown, wild animals can again contract COVID-19, Mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and golden Monkeys as known to be susceptible to infection with human respiratory pathogens and thus need to be protected at any cost. The primate tourism activities include gorilla tracking and gorilla habituation in Bwindi impenetrable national park, golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga national park, Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda mainly in Kibale forest National Park, Kalinzu forest and Budongo forest.
Suspension of chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest due to COVID-19 meant no more issuance of chimpanzee permits for Budongo forest until 30th April, visitors of all nations are not allowed to visit the chimpanzee or even the forest as a way of protecting these primates. Uganda is referred to as the primate capital and protecting and conserving all the primates is our key priority for future generation and boosting tourism.
About chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest
Budongo Forest reserve is found in the north of Kampala, in Masindi district within Murchison falls National Park. The forest reserve has about 700 chimpanzees and these have been conserved for years and steadily the groups are growing and increasing in Numbers. The chimpanzees in Budongo forest we first studied in 1960 and conservation has been going on to sustain the chimpanzees in the forest thus attracting more visitors to come and see them. Budongo chimpanzee trekking permits is under the management of Uganda lodges but guided by Uganda wildlife Authority and National Forestry Authority. There are several communities that have been habituated over the years for chimpanzee trekking every day except in this suspension due to COVID-19 and these include;
Sonso Chimpanzee community stays near River Sonso and it have more than 85 members, it is among the old group first habituated in Budongo forest. Waibira Chimpanzee community has more than 100 members, this community was formed after a few individuals split from the Sonso community and they produced and multiplied in number. Kaniyo- Pabidi Chimpanzee Community was habituated by Jane Good all Institute and now the group is under the management of Budongo Eco-Lodge, the group is on the roadside from Masindi to Murchison falls National Park. Waisoke Chimpanzee Community has been habituated and its territory is near the Waisoke River. It split from the Sonso community as well and other members joined from other communities as well. The chimpanzees can move from the Far East of the forest to the north and their movement cannot be guaranteed daily. Chimpanzee trekking requires you to be fit and able to walk but in case you are not very fit, there is always help from the guides and Porters to make sure you successful have a great experience with the chimpanzees.
Why book chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest Reserve (Post COVID-19)?
Adventure awaits when COVID-19 has been wiped out, nature will embrace us and be rejuvenated to see the beautiful chimpanzees in Budongo forest. For tourism to recover from this Pandemic, there are likely discounts to be offered to increase travel and allow long stay, see likely post COVID-19 Chimpanzee trekking discounts below.
Reschedule of chimpanzee permits
Uganda wildlife Authority was able to relax its policy of rescheduling of the permits, tour operators are allowed to reschedule the chimpanzee permits for a maximum of 2 times until 31st march 2022. This offer is valid for those who even paid 30% deposit for the permits. We understand that every country will heal in a certain period of time and will end lockdowns according to how the situation is, when you plan your travel now, and you do not make it for that particular date, we will be able to move your permits to other dates in future for your chimpanzee trek.
Discounted chimpanzee trekking packages
There is no need to worry about your budget to do chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest. Encounter Africa safaris will tailor your package to best suit your budget and demand, our discounted packages are likely to be competitive as for other tour operators. Visit our website see packages and inquire for more information.
Reduced Transportation costs
Transport to Budongo forest reserve is also likely to be discounted after this pandemic, for all our all-inclusive Packages, the costing for transport will be reduced to get a reasonable price. For a budget trip where transport costed USD100 per day will reduce to USD70-60 to cover vehicle hire and driver-guide fees per day. Saving USD40-30 to cover other expenses like entrance fees and top up on accommodation. Transport is one of the likely post-COVID-19 implication on travel.
Discounted Accommodation Rates
Most hotels, camps and lodges in Budogo forest and Murchison falls national park are also likely to offer room rate discounts after the coronavirus to recover from the losses and cancellations made, remember a room not sold is a loss, The accommodation range from budget to luxury lodges where you can stay for your chimpanzee trekking in Budongo. Most lodges have rather maintained their 2019-2020 rates which are likely to be discounted further for them to recover from lost sales. All the lodges will have to adhere as well to the measures issued by the Ministry of health in operation to prevent COVID-19.
Best practices for chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest Post COVID-19
There are best practices issued by World health organization, Ministry of Health in Uganda that are mostly recommended for all travelers which Uganda wildlife Authority and Uganda tourism board are emphasizing. See below
- Sanitizing and washing the hands will be emphasized at the briefing point and social distancing to ensure the safety of everyone.
- You will be required to present a certificate of COVID-19 free issued by your country of origin or ministry of health in your country. This will be required at the Airport as well.
- We recommend that you carry a mask and gloves (cloth gloves) as we continue to protect ourselves and nature.
- You will not be allowed to visit the Chimpanzees if you have a cold or other infectious illness. This will be determined by the head park ranger and he/she has a right to stop you from joining the trek, so before you travel to the park you should always first check with your doctor to confirm your health is okay for the gorilla trek.
- One visitors aged 12 years (minimum age) and above will be allowed to do chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest, you will be required to show your original passport for verification to be allowed to trek.
- DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out in your backpack with you.
- You are required to Maintain a 7m (21ft) distance from the gorilla, this helps avoid transmitting the airborne diseases to the Chimpanzees.
- If you must sneeze or cough cover your face and turn away from the Chimpanzees, as they can catch coughs and colds from humans
Personal responsibility is the most important step that people can take to protect themselves and others. Travellers should familiarize themselves with the basic prevention practices that apply while travelling and in daily life (WHO advice for public).
It is essential to stay informed as the situation evolves, especially while travelling. Travellers should check regularly with WHO and other reliable resources for the latest updates and information issued by health and travel professionals. Travellers are responsible not only for their own well-being but for the well-being of those around them. They should be aware of the symptoms and take all the recommended steps for personal hygiene.
Why book your safari with Encounter Africa safaris after the COVID-19
Encounter Africa safaris is emphasizing and ensuring responsible travel after this Pandemic. The safari guides will ensure that our clients sanitize all the time while on the trip and will be issued with sanitizers, drinking water to keep hydrated, Guides with cold will not be allowed drive clients until they are recovered and Post COVID-19 Chimpanzee Trekking Discounts will be available and you should not miss out on it. Our magic in organizing authentic experience stems from the fact that we have overtime assembled a team mixed with young and energetic staff guided by well experienced mature managers and directors who are Ugandans and passionate about what they do. Contact us here, one of our staff will assist in providing accurate and timely information that you can rely on. Encounter Africa Safaris is highly rated and reviewed on TripAdvisor and safari bookings.