The Chimpanzees are one of Uganda’s and Rwanda ’s main attractions along with the Mountain Gorillas. If you want to add Chimpanzee Trekking to your Safari in Rwanda or Uganda you will want to know where is the best place to track Chimpanzees. The Trekking are in the package of a one-hour visit with a Chimpanzee group or the All-Day Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (also called CHEX).
Uganda is popularly known as the primate capital of Africa due to the fact that many primates are found in the country. There are approximately 5,000 chimpanzees in Uganda, almost 1,500 of which are found in Kibale Forest National Park. Visitors can also track Chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge, Kalinzu Forest, Budongo Forest and in the Semliki Valley. Chimpanzees are also in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest but there is no official tracking there. Other places where chimpanzees can be seen include Ngamba Island and Uganda Wildlife Education Center (semi-captive). Rwanda’s Chimps are found in Nyungwe Forest National Park (400 Chimpanzees) and Cyamudongo Forest. The new Gishwati-Mukura National Park also has a few Chimpanzee.
In Uganda, Chimpanzees are fully habituated and are used to people so the experience is different. In Rwanda, chimpanzees are semi habituated. This requires tourists to wake up early and look for them. Most chimpanzee trekking in Uganda take up to half a day while in Nyungwe forest National Park, you cannot rule out spending the whole day looking for chimps as their movements are unpredictable.
In Rwanda, a chimpanzee permit costs USD100.00 per person per trek and in Uganda, different places have different prices. In Kibale National Park, a permit costs USD150 per person, in Kyambura Gorge, a permit is at USD50, in Budongo forest, a permit costs USD80.00 while in Kalinzu one can part with USD30.00 to trek chimpanzees. At Uganda Wildlife Education center, you only pay for entry fees and you will have access to the chimpanzees. Please, note that these tracking permits are subject to change any time (This are current prices as of March 2018)
All chimps live in communities and break up into small groups called parties due to the efforts of trying to reduce competition on food. They will then link up in the evening to make their nests for sleeping in the evening. Before chimpanzee trekking, you will be briefed on the rules and regulations during chimp tracking.
In Uganda, tourists can as well enjoy all-day Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) in Kibale National Park, but can also be done in Budongo Forest (Budongo during the off-season). With this activity, tourists will move with researchers and participate in the habituation of new communities. The price for this is slightly higher due to the fact that while chimpanzee trekking spends only one hour, habituation is a whole day activity.
Chimpanzee trekking requires that you carry your hiking boots, walking stick, your packed lunch (similar gorilla trekking requirements). Please, note that the minimum Age for Chimpanzee Trekking is 15, except in Kalinzu Forest where it is 12 years.
It will be well worth your effort spending an hour or a full day with the chimpanzees. We know Uganda and Rwanda and we know how to put together a Primate Trekking Safari that is right for you. Contact us for chimpanzee trekking tours to either Uganda or Rwanda and we can as well combine or tailor your safari to include all highlights such as game viewing, gorilla trekking, cultural experiences among others.