The outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19 has presented the Uganda tourism sector with major and evolving challenges but there is a likelihood that Post COVID-19 Chimpanzee trekking discounts will be available in Kibale NP. Small and medium enterprises which make up 80% of Uganda tourism sector have been highly impacted affecting millions of livelihoods across the Uganda tourism value chain these as well include the vulnerable people who depend on tourism for their living and economic inclusion. In Uganda, for the past years, tourism has been exposed to various pandemics and instabilities ranging from diseases like Ebola but has consistently proven its resilience and its ability not only to bounce back as a sector but to lead the wider economic and social recovery.
Among the countries in Africa, Uganda has registered few COVID-19 cases with zero deaths this is due to the great preparedness to fight this pandemic by the Ministry of Health and the Uganda government, for now in order to continuously fight the spread of the COVID-19 in Uganda, Strict measures have been put by the Uganda government and the Ministry of Tourism including staying at home, avoiding unnecessary movements, sanitizing, physical social distancing among others.
Uganda Tourism and COVID-19
The Corona COVID-19 outbreak in Uganda like other countries globally has hit bad the Uganda tourism sector which is the current foreign exchange earner with sector operators making many losses. According to statistics from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, the tourism sector contributes 7.7 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and $1.6b (about Shs6 trillion) to Uganda’s export earnings, but due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus, the 10% projected increase will not be possible. Hotels, tour companies and game parks are affected as several foreign tourists and business travellers postpone or cancel their travel to Uganda, due to this there likely post COVID-19 Chimpanzee trekking discounts in Kibale.
Kibale Forest National Park is located in South Western part of Uganda close to Rwenzori Mountain and Queen Elizabeth National Parks. Kibale Forest NP is home to the largest number of major primates in Uganda with the prime primate specie being the Chimpanzees, it has for many decades been ranked as the best destination in the world for primate trekking and chimpanzees trekking and due to this it is also tagged as “The Primate Capital of the World”. The major and interesting activities one can do on his or her visit to this park include Chimpanzee trekking, Chimpanzee habituation experience, birding, community walk, Nature walks, Research among others.
Likely post COVID-19 Chimpanzee trekking discounts
In order to recover from the losses caused by the corona virus pandemic many sector players in the Uganda tourism are likely to discount ranging from services to products offered.
Tour operators are likely to offer competitive and much-discounted chimpanzee trekking packages to Kibale Forest National Park in order to beat the competition and recover from the losses made. A chimpanzee permit costs USD200 for the foreign non-residents, USD150 for the foreign residents and USD30 for the East African citizens this is required for one to trek chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National park on top of this you will need transportation, accommodation and other services which are normally all booked for you by a local tour operator like Encounter Africa Safaris this is most likely to be discounted to offer you a good package to visit Kibale Forest National Park for Chimpanzee trekking. Our normal 3-day chimpanzee trekking to Kibale costs USD1000 all-inclusive for one person and USD800 for 2 people during post-COVID-19 this will cost you only USD800 for one person and then USD700 for 2 people, see above for the trip ideas for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest.
Transport to Kibale Forest National Park is also likely to be discounted after the coronavirus, most tourists visiting Kibale Forest National Park use private transport that is usually organized and booked by a local tour operator. Some tourists use public transportation with a major operator for this route being link bus company, these are likely to be discounted during the post-COVID-19. The normal cost of public transport is around 40,000 to 50,000 shillings but this is likely to come down to 25,000 to 30,000 shillings.
Hotels and lodges in Kibale Forest National park is also likely to offer accommodation discounts after the coronavirus pandemic to recover from the losses and cancellations made, some of the Hotel have already started giving discounts like Kyaniga Lodge a luxury which has offer USD100 per person stay for African residents. Lodges in Kibale Forest National Park range from budget, mid-range to luxury, Budget options include Chimpanzee Forest Guest House, Isunga Lodge, Kibale Homestay among others fares range from 90-100 dollars a night per person, mid-range options include Kibale Forest Camp, Turaco Treetops Lodge, Primate Lodge among others fares range from 100-200 dollars a night per person and then Luxury options include Ndali Lodge, Papaya Lake Lodge, Kyaniga Lodge among others fares range from 200-400 dollars a night per person, All these are likely to offer the best offers to attract tourists visiting Kibale Forest national park to stay at their facilities.
Popular Tours to Kibale Forest National Park
How Uganda Tourism will control the spread of COVID-19
The Uganda Tourism Board has issued travel recommendations that we will have to follow during the post coronavirus outbreak, due to the current threat posed by Corona Virus to Uganda travel trade and tourism assets, it is the recommendation of the Uganda Tourism Board that;
- All tour operators, travel agencies, and accommodation facilities provide handwashing facilities with soap at their premises and on-board travel vehicles and vessels
- To improve preparedness as a sector, tour operators, agencies and accommodation facilities are encouraged to maintain a stock of recommended masks (N95) for their clients
- All tour operators and travel agencies should encourage clients who intend to visit Uganda to carry their own recommended masks (N95)
- All tour operators, travel agencies and accommodation facilities should educate their staff and clients (visitors) on preventive measures for the mitigation of contracting Coronavirus
- These measures include; avoiding handshakes and body-hugging, washing hands with disinfectants, regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces such as door handles
The best practices for Chimpanzee trekking in post COVID-19.
For travellers interested and planning to go for Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park Uganda after the coronavirus, there are many guidelines and recommendations that have been set by World Health organization which we will all have to follow see link for details https://www.unwto.org/tourism-covid-19 with the major ones including, using a hand sanitizer or washing your hands regularly, you will need a certificate of travel showing you do not have the virus among others.
On your visit to the chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park, you will still need to abide with the following Chimpanzee Trekking Rules (as set out in the printed leaflet by the Uganda Wildlife Authority ‘Chimpanzee Rules’).
Before setting off for the Chimpanzee trek in the post COVID-19
Do not 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 Chimpanzee trek.
You will need to show your certificate of COVID-19 free
The minimum age for tracking is 12 years and above; this is always confirmed during sign in for the chimpanzee trek where you will be required to show your original passport for verification to be allowed to go for the Chimpanzee trek.
Human waste should be buried 30cm (12”) deep; this is always guided by the park ranger during your trek that will dig a hole for you to dispose of the waste.
The maximum number of visitors is eight persons per chimpanzee group, this eases control of the movements in the forest as well reduces on the behavioural disturbances of the chimpanzees during the encounter.
On the way to the Chimpanzees:
It is advised to keep your voices low. You will also have a chance to spot various bird species and other wild animals and if keen enough you will see some reptiles.
DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out in your backpack with you.
You will have areas and time for relaxing along the way
When you approach the Chimpanzees, the guides will inform you to get ready for the amazing encounter.
When you are with the Chimpanzees:
Maintain a 7m (21ft) distance from the gorilla, this helps avoid transmitting the airborne diseases to the Chimpanzees.
Smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted. This may incite the Chimpanzees to attack you and grab them.
If you must sneeze or cough cover your face and turn away from the Chimpanzees, as they can catch coughs and colds from humans
Visits are limited to one hour per Chimpanzee group per day
Do not use flash photography when taking pictures you are also recommended to take care and follow the advice of your ranger guide.
Why book your safari with Encounter Africa safaris after the COVID-19
Encounter Africa safaris started in 2011 offering amazing experiences to Uganda and Rwanda but have since expanded to offer safaris to Tanzania, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 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. If contacted, 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.