Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda (Kibaale forest national park, Budongo and Kalinzu Forest)
Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda: Uganda is one of the leading destinations for chimpanzee trekking lovers. There are 3 major national parks that one can visit the chimpanzees in Uganda and that is the Kibaale forest national park located in the western part of the country, the Budongo forest and the Kalinzu forest found in the Queen Elizabeth national park. Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is a much celebrated activity after mountain gorilla trekking. The chimpanzee trekking permits of Uganda differ with destination. The chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibaale forest goes for 200 USD, the permit in Budongo forest goes for 100 USD and the permit of Kalinzu forest goes for 50 USD. Besides chimpanzee trekking in Budongo, guests can engage in chimpanzee habituation of a chimpanzee family and a chimpanzee habituation permit goes for 250 USD.
Chimpanzees are active by day, spending the night asleep in a nest which it makes with branches and vines in a tree, well above the ground, safe from predators. The same nest may be used for several nights if the troop is not on the move.
Fruits like bananas, paw paws and wild figs make up the main part of the chimpanzees diet and about 7 hours a day may be spent feeding, either up trees or on the ground. After an early morning feed, a chimpanzee becomes less active and lounges about, nibbling the odd berry, leaf, bud of flower. Later in the afternoon, there is usually a more intensive feeding session.
Members of a troop spend many hours grooming each other, and themselves. Mothers carefully search the fur of their babies for foreign particles. Dirt, burrs, dried skin and ticks are plucked off and the splinters removed by pinching them out with lips or fingers.
When chimpanzees meet after having been apart, they great each other in a very human way, by touching, holding hands and kissing, They are very good tool users that is to say use sticks to extract honey, ants and termites from nests.
Chimpanzee tracking is not as challenging as gorilla tracking. In fact these chimpanzees enjoy spending most of their time in tall trees since they eat fruits. Tracking of these chimpanzees is conducted very early in the morning and for that reason tourists are advised to prepare in advance of their journey. Those interested in chimpanzee tracking are recommended to make their booking in time.
Chimpanzees are one of Uganda’s main attractions along with the mountain gorillas. Chimpanzee tracking is one of the most popular activities in Uganda the minimum age of chimpanzee tracking is 15, except in Kalinzu forest where it is 12 years. It includes a 1 hour visit with a chimpanzee or a group or the All Day chimpanzee habituation experience also called CHEX.
Kibale forest is the fore most place for chimpanzee tracking and All Day chimpanzee habituation ( CHEX), but both can be done in Budongo forest.( Budongo during the off season) near Murchison falls park.
For the best chimpanzee tracking in Uganda, It is Kibale forest that wins. It is the best in Uganda since none of the tourists that come to Uganda have missed seeing the chimpanzee in Kibale forest, home of over 1,500 chimpanzees plus 12 other primates.
Another place where chimpanzee tracking can be carried out is Kalinzu forest near Queen Elizabeth National park. This is the second best area for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. Since it is handled by the forest ministry, the minimum age here is 12 years old. It is located near Queen Elizabeth national park and the tracking can be incorporated into a visit to the park.
The chimpanzees here have been habituated by the Japanese researchers for over 20 years- they have done an excellent job habituating the chimpanzees here.
There are no quality lodging facilities here so you have to stay in queen Elizabeth national park and a lodge near chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu is selected.
Chimpanzee tracking is also carried out in the Budongo forest. The probability of seeing them exceeds 80%. Chimpanzee tracking takes place in the morning and afternoon. Habituation experience during the offseason
The project here is overseen by the Jane Goodall institute and Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Budongo forest is near Murchison Falls National Park in northern Uganda. It is easily added to any safari that takes in the park.