Best Places To See Chimpanzees In Uganda
Best Places To See Chimpanzees In Uganda- Uganda has been named the primate capital of Africa with the highest number of different primate species in and outside Africa continent residing in her tropical and sub-tropical rainforests among which include the highest number of endangered mountain gorillas found in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla park, chimpanzees and different monkey species. when it comes to chimpanzees you will have to know the best destinations to see chimpanzees in Uganda and below are some of them.
Kibale forest national park.
Kibale forest national park is located in the western part of Uganda in Kabarole and Kibale. Gazetted in 1995, the park protects over 1500 chimpanzees alongside other animals as well as birds. the park is a home of 13 primates and these include chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, L’hoests monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, Uganda red colobus, grey checked mangabeys, Uganda red colobus, Demidoff galago, potto, patas monkey, and Uganda mangabey.
chimpanzees in Kibale forest national park stay in groups of over 100 individuals headed by a dominant male which makes sure that the hierarchies in the group are maintained while giving support to each member of the family. Kibale forest national park has a total number of 11 habituated chimpanzee families that are open for trekking. There are 56 chimpanzee trekking permits in the morning and 36 permits in the evening trekking session. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park is done by people above the age of 12 years and they must have a valid chimpanzee permit which costs $200 foreign nonresidents, $150 foreign residents, and shs150,000 East African citizens and this includes park entrance fee and guide fee.
Kibale forest national park offers travelers an opportunity of joining researchers and rangers of the park in their day-to-day activity of chimpanzee habituation. Chimpanzee habituation is the process of making chimpanzees get used to human presence around them and in Kibale national park, it is done in the rainy season of March, April, May, and November. Chimpanzee habituation permits in Kibale forest national park cost $250 for both foreign nonresidents and foreign residents while shs200,000 is paid by East African citizens.
How to get to Kibale forest national park
You can access Kibale by road transport from Kampala/Entebbe via Mityana – Mubende – Fort portal – Kibale. Road transport gives you an opportunity of having a clear view of different hills, mountains as well as smiling people.
Kibale forest national park can also be accessed by air transport. You can book a flight from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Nyakisharara airstrip near Mbarara or Kasese airstrip and then drive to Kibale forest national park for chimpanzee trekking or chimpanzee habituation experience.
Budongo forest is one of the best places to trek chimpanzees in Uganda and it’s located in Murchison falls national park in Masindi district. As of today, the park is the biggest natural forest in Uganda and it harbors over 600 chimpanzees, 470 tree species, 70 mammals, and 9 primates. a small population of chimpanzees was habituated and is now open for trekking. Chimpanzee trekking permits in Budongo forest cost $80 per person per trek and during trekking, you have an opportunity of coming across other primate species such as black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys, red checked mangabeys, and red-tailed monkeys as well as animals like lions, buffaloes, leopards, and elephants. Budongo forest has only one lodge called Budongo eco lodge but tourists can sleep in lodges at Murchison falls national park as they combine chimpanzee trekking with wildlife game drives.
Kyambura gorge also known as the valley of apes is a tropical forest found in queen Elizabeth national park located in the western part of Uganda. The gorge is home to several primates, birds, and mammals such as hippos and elephants. The most done activity here is chimpanzee trekking and it’s done in the morning and also evening. All chimpanzees in the Kyambura gorge have been habituated and this process took about 2 years meaning all chimpanzees are used to human presence. Chimpanzee trekking permits in Kyambura gorge costs $50 for both foreign nonresidents and foreign residents while East African citizens pay shs30,000. These rates include a guide fee and a nature walk.
Accessing Kyambura gorge
Kyambura gorge can be accessed by both air and road transport from Kampala/Entebbe or Kajjansi airstrip.
By road transport
Kyambura gorge can be accessed by road transport from Kampala city via Masaka Mbarara and Bushenyi leading you to the gorge. This journey takes you about 420 km. With road transport, tourists have an opportunity of stopping at the equator at Kayabwe, a short drive through Lake Mburo national park, stopover at Igongo Cultural Centre as well as having a view of mountain Rwenzori national park
By air transport
Kyambura gorge can be accessed by air transport from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Mweya airstrip, Kasese, or Ishasha where you will have a short drive to Kyambura gorge.
Kalinzu is a central Africa Forest reserve located in the southwestern part of Uganda in Bushenyi district. The most done activity in this forest is chimpanzee trekking although the place has other animals such as blue monkeys, olive baboons, colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, over 380 bird species among others. There are over 320 chimpanzees in Kalinzu forest with about 50 habituated for tourism and others open for chimpanzee habituation experience. Chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest costs $150 per person per trek and chimpanzee habituation permits cost $220 per day. Trekking can be done in the morning at 8 am or in the evening at 2 pm but it all starts with a briefing where you are taught about the rules and regulations of trekking.
Accessing kalinzu forest
Kalinzu forest can be accessed from Kampala/Entebbe city via Mbarara Kasese to Kalinzu central forest. The journey takes you about 5 hours with beautiful views of the countryside along the way.
Rules and regulations of chimpanzee trekking
- Only 8 people are allowed to track a particular chimpanzee family per session
- The minimum age of trekking chimpanzees is 12 years old
- Visitors are allowed only one hour with chimpanzees
- Keep in your group while in the forest trekking chimpanzees
- When you are with chimpanzees, you must keep your voices low
- People with communicable diseases such as flu, cough, and diarrhea are not allowed to trek chimpanzees to avoid the risk of exposure
- Visitors are not allowed to trek chimpanzees on their own and for this, they are always led by a ranger guide because chimpanzees are aggressive when they see unfamiliar faces
- Eating ear chimpanzees is strongly prohibited
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters away from chimpanzees
- You are not allowed to provoke chimpanzees
- You are not allowed to use flash cameras to take pictures as it could alert chimpanzees
- You are not allowed to litter while trekking chimpanzees