Chimpanzee tracking is another ultimate wildlife experience while visiting Uganda; in addition to gorilla tracking of course. Uganda is estimated to have over 5000 chimpanzees in her wilderness but not all are habituated for viewing. This means that there are specific places where a visitor can see the chimps. So here are the best places to see chimpanzees in Uganda:
One of the best places to see chimpanzees in Uganda is Kibale Forest National Park. This park is also known as the “primate capital’ of the world. This is because a visitor gets to experience more than chimps. There other primates to watch out for. additionally, there are lots of birds to see; especially for the bird lovers. Chimpanzee tracking takes place on the famous Kanyanchu Primate walk. Kanyanchu’s chimpanzees have been tracked since 1993 and chances of seeing them here are excellent. A visitor is also rewarded with other primate sightings and lots of bird species.
Chimp tracking activity lasts between two to four hours and tours begin at 8am and 2pm daily. Chimpanzee tracking permit costs US$200 for foreign non-residents and US$150 for Foreign Residents. The chimpanzee habituation experience (CHEX) costs US$250.
For more information about chimpanzee tracking in Kibale, click here
The Kyambura Gorge has one habituated community of chimps. This chimp community lives in an isolated part of the forest within the Kyambura Wildlife reserve. The isolation makes it easy for visitors to locate the chimps by sound. Like in Kibale, tours start at 8am and 2 pm daily. A tracking tour takes between 1 – 3 hours.
The Kyambura Gorge chimp experience goes way beyond just discovering our distant cousins in their natural environment. Visitors get to learn about the gorge’s rain forest and varied ecosystems like vegetations types, bird species and chimp and monkey ecology.
Chimpanzee tracking permit fee here is US$50.
Kalinzu forest is also another best place to see chimpanzees in Uganda. It lies in the southeast of Queen Elizabeth national park and is essentially an extension of the Maramagambo Forest. The forest protects six primate species: chimpanzee, olive baboon, red tailed, black and white colobus, blue and l’hoest’s monkey. Over 300 chimpanzees call this amazing forest home. But there are 40 which have been habituated for viewing. Chimpanzee tracking in Kalinzu is cheaper and therefore a good option for budget travelers. Chimpanzee tracking fee is US$50.
Other activities here include guided hikes on well developed forest trails and bird watching.
Budongo Forest Reserve is one of the most extensive and ecologically diverse in East Africa; with over 465 plant species recorded. Chimpanzee population here hits the 800 mark, the largest anywhere in Uganda. Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo takes place on well developed and extensive trail systems which spread throughout the forest. This makes chimpanzee tracking here is easier as the terrain is fairly flat. Tourists interested in staying for longer can do other activities like birding, forest and nature walks. Budongo chimp tracking permit costs US$100 and US$230 for chimpanzee habituation experience.
Ngamba Island is one Kome group of Islands located in Lake Victoria. The island established as a chimpanzee sanctuary in 1998. The sanctuary is a safe haven for orphaned and confiscated chimps, usually rescued from illegal bushmeat and pet trade. Here, chimpanzee viewing times are scheduled to coincide with the supplementary feeding times of the chimps. Chimps are fed on a porridge-like mixture for breakfast, and then fruits and vegetables twice a day. A viewing platform provides an opportunity for visitors to observe and photograph the chimps through a fence.
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