How To Spend More Time With Chimpanzees In Kibale National Park
This is how you can spend more time with chimpanzees in Kibale National Park. Taking that extra time with the chimpanzees during chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale National Park immerses you into the daily life of these primates. Kibale National Park is one of the destinations in Uganda where you can do a chimpanzee habituation experience, which lasts 4 hours.
In Uganda, chimpanzee habituation experience is also referred to as CHEX.
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Kibale National Park is famous for chimpanzee trekking, which lasts only one hour, for which these primates are habituated to be in human presence. Some tourists find this so short a time to view the chimpanzees in the wild; however, for conservation reasons, this was the time agreed upon by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to minimize chances of agitating the chimpanzees.
With chimpanzee habituation, you can take more time in the company of researchers and habituators following a semi-habituated chimpanzee troop. Four tourists can follow a team of researchers to avoid overwhelming the already suspicious and semi-habituated chimpanzees.
You can spot other primates like the potto, bush babies, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboons, and others.
You must purchase a chimpanzee habituation experience permit before being accepted to be part of this activity. Before going in-depth into the details of chimpanzee habituation experience, let us first understand what this adventure is and the current cost.
What Is Chimpanzee Habituation Experience?
The chimpanzee habituation experience is an adventure where tourists can escort a team of researchers and trackers in the wild to follow a semi-disturbed chimpanzee troop for four hours.
Only four tourists are allowed to do chimpanzee habituation per session. Each day, two chimpanzee habituation sessions happen in the early morning, where you may have a chance to watch the chimpanzees de-nesting from their nocturnal nests. The afternoon session may take up to when these primates construct new nests.
What Is The Cost Of Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Permit For Kibale National Park?
The current cost for chimpanzee habituation experience permits (Chex permit) is $250 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $200 for foreign residents, and 150000shs for East African residents.
You need to reserve your chimpanzee permit upfront, as they are limited. Yet, the demand for chimpanzee habituation experience escalates, especially during the peak season, normally June, July, August, September, December, and January.
What Are the Included and Exclusions in the Cost of Gorilla Habituation Experience Permit?
When you book the chimpanzee habituation permit, it includes park entrance fees for the trekking day, ranger guide fees, security during chimpanzee habituation, local community support, researcher services, chimpanzee conservation support, four hours of viewing the chimpanzees.
Exclusions of chimpanzee habituation experience permit include transport, porter fee, snacks, accommodation, and any other items of personal nature.
Can I Reschedule The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Permit?
Purchasing the chimpanzee habituation experience permit is a sure deal that you are to have four hours with the chimpanzees, but due to unavoidable situations, you may be incapable but have hope to travel later.
You must write to the Uganda Wildlife Authority requesting to move your chimpanzee permit to a future date. If you have evidence for not taking this adventure on the earlier booked date, attach it as a backup for your request.
Upon endorsement, your chimpanzee permit is moved per your suggested date according to the prevailing availability status.
Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts two free chances for chimpanzee habituation experience permits. Only the executive director must approve the third.
What Is The Best Time To Book Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Permits For Kibale National Park?
All year round, you can book chimpanzee habituation experience; however, the most preferred is the dry season. Although Kibale National Park has limited undergrowth, the dry season has less vegetation protruding into the trails to obstruct your way. The dry season is normally June to September and December through January.
The chimpanzees feed closer to the ground during the dry season, and the forest is full of life as most primates search for what to eat from every corner of this tropical forest. Ornithologists have a double opportunity of spotting numerous birds during chimpanzee habituation since they have extra time in the forest. This is a double opportunity.
During the wet season, which is normally March, April, May, and November, the chimpanzees spend much of their time in the trees. Even other forest dwellers are less active.
Those with a limited budget may get discounted costs in the low season, but these are only approved by Uganda Wildlife Authority management. It is only some of the time that these discounted chimpanzee permits are available as they are primarily promotional permits.
How Sure Can One Be To See Chimpanzees During Chimpanzee Habituation Experience In Kibale National Park?
According to the recent population census, Kibale National Park is the richest chimpanzee destination in Uganda, with over 1,500 chimpanzees. There is about a 98% chance of spotting the chimpanzees during the chimpanzee habituation experience as a team of trackers wakes up earlier than others to trace where these primates may have spent the night. They pass this report to the headquarters at Kanyanchu or Sebitoli. The chimpanzees generally only feed far from where they nest if there is a tragedy in the forest.
It would be best if you had some patience while searching where the chimpanzees are spending the day or lounging to avoid agitating them. Chimpanzees have an IQ similar to humans, so for security purposes, they operate a spy network that alerts others about intruders. They get to notice your presence before you do to them.
You must follow the guidelines of the chimpanzee habituation experience religiously to not cause the chimpanzees to retreat into hiding.
What Is The Age Limit For Booking Chimpanzee Habituation Experience?
Above 12 years is the age limit for booking chimpanzee habituation experience because this is a jungle adventure which may be hard to withstand by a child below this age.
Chimpanzee trekking has guidelines that every person must follow. Still, a child below this age may not for long withhold violating, like shouting when provoked by the chimpanzees, spitting on the ground, and others. Some of such behavior may push the chimpanzees into hiding.
How Aggressive Are Chimpanzees During Habituation Experience?
Although the chimpanzees under habituation experience are semi-habituated, they are not violent, although they possess natural traits like dashing into hiding, hooting, beating tree trunks, and much more.
The team of researchers knows how to respond when such behavior is shown. Listen to their advice and try not to panic because you may cause a forest stampede.
When angry, the chimpanzees hoot, beat tree trunks, pull grass around them, and so much more. You don’t have to panic when you notice this because, at times, it may be caused by internal wrangles within the community.
At this moment, the researchers and trackers may have a clue of how to calm this situation down when the chimpanzees show off their disagreement.
What Time Does Chimpanzee Habituation In Kibale National Park Take?
The time of returning from chimpanzee habituation experience varies with a number of factors prevailing in the forest. Some of these include the proximity of the chimpanzee feeding area in case of a fight with other primates, weather conditions prevailing per the day, and the pace of other trekkers.
Determining the time chimpanzee habituation experience takes is hard, but 4 hours are allowed in their company when you locate them.
To avoid getting bored, focus on other forest dwellers, like the different stunning primate species, birds, butterflies, and others that form part of this tropical forest.
The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekker, so be focused so that you do not delay the rest or get lost in the wilderness.
Please religiously keep all the rules of chimpanzee habituation so as not to anger the chimpanzees, which may cause them to retreat into the deeper forest. Remember, they are semi-habituated, so they are still very sensitive to intruders in their vicinity.
How Difficult Is Chimpanzee Habituation Experience In Kibale National Park?
In general, the topography of Kibale National Park is fairly flat, with the northern tip, which is the highest, standing at 1590 meters above sea level. There is generally less undergrowth protruding into the trails, which can cause obstruction. The trails are well maintained most of the time, which may be due to the fact that Kibale National Park receives regular visitors.
You need to do some exercises before chimpanzee habituation experience since you have four hours of following these primates. It is a tiresome adventure, although rewarding at the completion.
The ranger guide with a machete tries to create a way by trimming some vegetation that may obstruct your way during chimpanzee habituation.
To avoid overwhelming shock during the chimpanzee habituation experience, you must attend a briefing or be disqualified from attending this once-in-a-lifetime safari experience.
What Are the Dos And Donts of Chimpanzee Habituation Experience in Kibale National Park
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the chimpanzees when you locate them. They are wild animals that may pass an infection to you or you to them. This is one of the possible precautions you can take.
- Volunteer to stay behind if you catch a communicable infection like coronavirus, flu, cholera, etc. These animals are susceptible to this infection because they have a DNA of about 96% to that of humans.
- Never eat or smoke before the chimpanzees because they may be enticed to grab it from you. Please do not feed the chimpanzees, as they are naturally supposed to look for their food, not depend on human support. If you wish to eat, do it about 200 meters from them.
- Children 12 and below are not allowed to habituate chimpanzees because they may not withstand the conditions in the wilderness or sustain their stay in the forest, as the time of locating the chimpanzees is unknown.
- Only enter the forest with a park ranger because other forest dwellers may harm you or get lost.
- If you wish to take a long call, ask the ranger guide to dig a hole at least 30 cm deep and cover waste beyond recognition.
- Making noise in the wilderness while searching for chimpanzees is forbidden. They are highly sensitive primates scared of unfamiliar noise in their habitats.
- Never use flash photography for chimpanzee trekking, as it may scare these great apes. Chimpanzees are often scared of unfamiliar occurrences in their vicinity. This may push the chimpanzee into the deeper ends of this tropical rainforest.
- Provoking the chimpanzees is forbidden because they may turn violent, although it has never happened in Uganda’s history of chimpanzee trekking. It is also possible. Mimicking the chimpanzees is prohibited, too, because you may communicate something odd. These primates are very sensitive, especially to what intruders do while with them.
- Only four hours is allowed with the chimpanzees when you locate them
What Else Can I Do In Kibale National Park?
In this adventure, you search for a fully habituated chimpanzee troop and stay with them for only one hour. Two chimpanzee trekking sessions happen each day in Kibale National Park in the early morning, starting at 0800houra and 1500 hours in the afternoon.
Primate Walk In Kibale National Park
Other than the chimpanzees, Kibale National Park hosts 12 other chimpanzee species, which you can spot in different parts of this tropical forest. These primates include black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys, black and white colobus, and others.
The Bigodi sanctuary on the periphery of Kibale National Park, where you may spot these primates.
Children’s Activities in Kibale National Park
As parents go for chimpanzee habituation, the children can engage in a two-hour rich nature-related activity with a trained children’s ranger. They engage in a short forest walk, games, and creative activities like pond dipping, cyanotype, photography, etc.
Birding In Kibale National Park
Kibale Forest is a birders’ haven with 325 bird species recorded as residents. Ornithologists say this list is still expanding as, over time, birds keep migrating to different locations. Some birds you may spot in Kibale National Park include the breasted kingfisher, Abyssinian ground thrush, African pitta, and others.
If you are interested in spending more time with the chimpanzees, please do not hesitate to contact us.