Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda
Uganda provides the greatest opportunities for the various Chimpanzees activities in East African region including Chimpanzee habituation experience and chimpanzee tracking. Uganda is home to over 5,000 chimpanzees in protected and unprotected areas. The five main Chimpanzee destinations in their Natural habitats in Uganda are Kibale National Park, Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge (in Queen Elizabeth National Park), Kalinzu Forest and Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.
Chimpanzee tracking, which is available for an hour is the commonest chimpanzee activity in all the above 5 locations. However, there is another option that allows you to be with chimpanzees all day long in the forest.
Chimpanzee habituation experience (CHEX) is a full-day activity that occur in the chimpanzee community which is undergoing habituation. The daily activity of Chimps Tracking & Habituation Experience means an early breakfast, a packed lunch (taken from your lodge, at your own cost) and meet your guide. From here, you take off to where the chimpanzees built nests the night before. You will spend the rest of the day with chimpanzees as they rise from their sleep to when the go to bed. Chimpanzee habituation is aimed at getting the chimpanzees used to human presence and is a long process that can take up to two years before a group of chimpanzees can safely be considered habituated.
Chimp Safari Parks
Kibale Forest National Park
The diversity and density of primates in Kibale Forest is the highest in Africa. The most famous of its 13 species is the chimpanzee, our closest relative. Kibale Forest’s 1450 chimpanzees represent Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate. The forest is also home to East Africa’s largest population of the threatened red colobus and the rare I’Hoest’s monkey. Other primates include the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, bush baby and potto.
At least 70 othe mammal species are present in the park though ground-dwelling animals are difficult to see in dense forest. An estimated 500elephants are present, along with buffalos, leopards, warthogs, bush pigs, golden cats and duikers. A keen observer may spot reptiles and amphibians as well as a colorful variety of 250 species of butterflies.
The Budongo Forest is a moist, semi-deciduous tropical rain forest located at the top of the Albertine Rift, situated between 1° 37 N – 2° 03 N and 31° 22 – 31° 46 E.t is known for its former abundance of East African mahogany trees as well as being home to a population of chimpanzees.
Recorded from Budongo are more than 360 bird species, some 290 butterflies, 130 moths, 465 trees, and 24 mammals, of which 9 are primates. Chimpanzee tracking has become an activity popular with eco-tourists, necessitating behavioural guidelines for visitors in order to avoid undue disturbance of both animals and forest. Trails have been cut criss-crossing the forest, initially to ease access for research workers and since then used by eco-tourists, forest animals and poachers.
Bunngo Forest’s rainy season is from March – May and again from September – November, the dry season being December – February.
Embark on an adventure to meet the magnificent primates of Uganda. Chimp trekking in Kibale Forest and a wild game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi forest is a memory you should live.
Track the playful chimps of Kibale forest National Park, track the tree climbing lions of Queen Elizabeth NP and make the holiday complete by visiting the Bwindi impenetrable Forest for the mighty gentle giant mountain gorillas.
Kyanbura Game Reserve
Kyambura Game Reserve or Chambura Game Reserve, which borders to the west of Kyambura Gorge, is part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) in Uganda. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including the only primates in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The area is an important water source for many animals and is surrounded by savanna, but is generally noted for its high concentration of primate life located in the gorge.
Kyambura is the only place in QENP where habituated chimpanzees and other types of primates including red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, baboons and vervet monkeys are seen. The park is also known for its variety of avian species including various falcons, the blue-headed bee-eater and the African finfoot.
Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu Forest reserve is located in Bushenyi district in the Southwestern part of Uganda near Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Maramagambo forest. It is approximately 375 kilometers which is just about 6 hours drive up to the reserve headquarters. The forest lies on an average altitude of about 1400m above sea level. The reserve is known for its 414 species of trees and shrubs including prunus African Ficus and Parinari among others. The forest is also famous for its six different primate species that include chimpanzee, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, L’hoest guenon, vervet monkeys, and baboon. The reserve also harbors 378 species of birds including sun birds, black and white casket, cuckoos and the Great Blue Turaco, it host also 97 moths, 262 butterflies ,flowers and reptiles
Due to the fact that Kalinzu Forest is near to Queen Elizabeth National Park, it provide a refuge to savannah grassland species such as leopard, lion, wild pig and Duiker, waterbuck, giant forest hog, buffaloes, elephants to mention but a few.
Uganda – the Chimpanzee’s homeland
A memorable experience with our closest relatives, the chimpanzees, will require the expertise and confidence of a host company and guide, such that we provide. Uganda’s forestland, abundant with the vegetation and fruits of the chimpanzee’s main diet, is a place where these sociable black coated apes continue to make their home.
Humans and chimpanzees share 98% of the genetic code (Nationa Geographic). Most of the similarities between chimpanzees and human beings are consistently striking, not only in skull and skeletal structure, but also in the nervous system, the immune system, and in many behavioral and emotional aspects. As we guide you along their path on this unique adventure, you will witness the behavior these primates display in their daily life, bringing you to realize our striking similarities.
With an experienced guide alongside as you go chimpanzee tracking in their natural habitat, you will hear their many high pitched calls before you see them. They are very noisy and they have about 33 different calls. If you stay with them for a Habituation Experience, you will learn about the differences in their vocalisation, which includes screaming and pant hooting, as first noted by the famed researcher, Jane Goodall.
Such “voices” can be head when they are happy, when they have plenty of food, when they are planning to move, when they are scared or encountering an enemy, and when a female is in estrus or preparing her nest.
Chimpanzees form an extended community of up to 100 individuals which roam the forest from morning to evening eating different fruits and hunting for colobus monkeys.
They will sometimes form small socially mobile subgroups of close family members, such as brothers, sisters or mothers and daughters. “But female chimpanzees can cross to another community while male chimpanzees normally spend their entire life in the community where they were born”, explains Bosco, one of the senior Chimpanzee guides and Jane Goodall representative in Kibale. Uganda, often referred to as “The Pearl of Africa”, has over 3% of the global population of Chimpanzees, as well as other primates. The Kibale Forest ranks among the top in population. Other forests in Uganda include Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge, Kalinzu Forest, Semliki National Park and Bugoma Forest.
The most rewarding of chimpanzee experiences, is the extended Habituation Exercise which involves tracking from morning time de-nesting to evening nesting hours. Here you will witness the chimpanzees waking up from their beds, trek with them the entire day and watch them prepare their beds for the evening sleep. For an abbreviated yet equally rewarding experience, there is the option of the Chimpanzee Tracking Experience which gives you one hour observation to witness these amazing relatives of ours, in their very own natural habitat.
In addition to most any safari plans, our experts will organize this special Chimpanzee tracking or Chimpanzee Habituation Experience that will enrich your trip with lifetime memories.