Chimpanzee tracking is a popular safari activity in Uganda. Tourists hike into chimp habitat, locate a community, and spend an hour observing them. While Uganda is perfect for chimp tracking, Tanzania and Rwanda are also good destinations. Kibale forest is the best place for chimp trekking in Uganda. The primates live in low altitudes. So, it is not so difficult to track them. During the wet season, forest trails may become slippery. This makes it harder to enjoy chimp trekking. Chimpanzee tracking receives less attention compared to gorilla trekking. But the experience is almost similar. Let’s look at the best places for chimp trekking in Uganda.
This park is located in the western part of Uganda. It is a perfect place to enjoy chimp trekking. It is home to more than 1,500 chimps. It allows groups of 6 people to spend about an hour with chimps. Visitors must be accompanied by a guide from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. It is easily accessible from Entebbe or Kampala. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park is one of the most rewarding tourist activities in Africa.
Murchison Falls National Park is in the northwestern part of Uganda. It has forests such as Budongo, Kaniyo pabidi, and Rabongo that supports chimps. It is home to more than 600 chimps. The dry season is the best time to enjoy chimp trekking. Forest trails are passable and the grass is short to spot the primates. Tourists must be accompanied by rangers from the Uganda wildlife authority.
The park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda. Kyambura gorge in the park is a perfect place to enjoy chimp trekking. The primates are used to humans and may come closer. It is a great destination for photography.
Preparing for chimpanzee tracking
You need a permit to trek chimp. The permits are booked earlier, at least six months before the trekking date. The number of permits issued every day is highly regulated. Tour operators usually take care of booking and paying for permits. Just ensure that you rely on expert operators.
Avoid visiting the park if you are ill or showing signs of illness. You may not be allowed in. This is to prevent the transmission of diseases to chimps.
Ask about minimum age requirements to trek chimps. Different parks have different requirements. But children above 16 years are mostly allowed to go on chimp trekking.
Chimp trekking is limited to a small group. It can be a group of 4, 5, or 6. This depends on the park. Some parks allow small groups of eight.
FAQs About chimpanzee tracking
- Why go on a chimpanzee tracking safari?
Chimps have closer DNA to humans. Watching them behave so closely to humans is a fascinating experience. It is a great opportunity to step into their world. You also get to spot many other species of animals and birds in the wild.
- Which is the best place for chimp trekking
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park gives tourists memorable safari experiences. But Uganda has other chimp trekking destinations. These are Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
- What to carry for a chimp trek while on a safari?
You need some essentials to enjoy chimp trekking. These include insect repellents, long-sleeved shorts, trousers, waterproof hiking boots, and bottled water. You also need sunscreen, a hat, a camera, and binoculars in a small backpack.
- What is the best time for Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda?
The best time to track chimps is during the dry season. This is between December to January and June to September. This is also the high season of tourism in East Africa. Forest trails are dry making it easier to trek the primates.
- Is chimp trekking safe?
Chimpanzee tracking is safe. The primates have been habituated and are used to human presence. But you must listen to your guide. Follow safety requirements such as keeping a distance and not eating while with chimps.