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Uganda’s Best places to track chimpanzee on safari

Chimpanzee trekking is another most sought after safari activity in Uganda. Chimpanzee trekking is done in about two to three hours inclusive of the one hour where the tourists do spend with the chimpanzees while keeping the distance of 8 to 10 meters, on their Uganda safari. The tourists do discover the beauty of the chimpanzees, intelligence and the social structures.

Chimpanzee trekking just like gorilla trekking, involves trekking through the forest in search of the chimpanzees that keep on swinging from one tree to the next. Chimpanzee trekking is an activity where the travellers are led by the experienced guides into the natural territories where the chimpanzees are found in order to find the primates and enjoy them. The chimpanzee trekking activity is one of the famous activities done in Uganda and it runs throughout the year.

Where is Chimpanzee trekking done in Uganda ?

Murchison Falls National Park.

Murchison falls national park is a great safari destination for the game lovers but also the chimpanzee trekking is done in the Budongo Forest reserve, in the wooded south of the national park which is an excellent location for the chimpanzee trekking in the park. The forest reserve is perfect for the chimp trekking even higher than the Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park though Kibaale forest keeps the bigger sighting for the chimpanzees. During the chimpanzee trekking that takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours, a tourist can be able to view other primates like the blue monkeys, grey checked mangabey, red tailed monkey, black and white colobus monkeys, and olive baboons, view a variety of tree species and bird species.

Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest is usually done in the morning and in the afternoon and there is also the historical association with the Jane Goodall Institute which means that the interpretive guides are excellent at telling the wider story of the chimpanzees of this forest.

Chimpanzee trekking in the forest takes a tourist 30 minutes to 3 hours and contact is usually done in the one given hour of walking. The tourists on the safari can enjoy a day habituation experience where the adventurers who seek an extended encounter with the chimps.

Kibale Forest National park.

Kibaale Forest National Park is the main chimpanzee trekking safari destination in Uganda, with the most excellent chimpanzee populations ranging about 1,500 chimpanzees, 120 of which are habituated. The park has become the most popular with a big number of chimpanzees. Here the tourists who visit this national park can be having 90% chances or even more of sighting the chimpanzees in the park. In Kibaale forest during the chimpanzee trekking which is done in two sessions, that is the morning and the afternoon, the chimpanzee permits are required and these can be booked with the Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted safari company like Mantis Africa safaris.

Kibale Forest national park also offers the chimpanzee habituation and for those joining for the full day, you start very early in the morning that is from 06:30 until they nest again that is usually in the evening at around 19:00 pm.

Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Inside Queen Elizabeth National Park there is Kyambura Gorge which is the third most popular safari destination for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda with about 17 chimpanzee families available. Kyambura Gorge is located far on the east of the park and also named as the valley of the apes. Kyambura Gorge is the perfect area where the tourists can do chimpanzee trekking from in that the place rewards the chimpanzee trekkers as if they have entered into the new world. Kyambura Gorge rewards tourists with seeing the 60% of the chimpanzees in Uganda that inhabit the gorge. The nature of the gorge is very rewarding which generates and makes the good sight for the tourists during the chimpanzee safari trekking. The permits for chimpanzee trekking can be booked through Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Kyambura gorge is so rewarding to Queen Elizabeth National Park as it gives the best safari ever. The park being the most admirable bio-diverse safari favors activities like the game drives, boat cruises, without forgetting the most incredible tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park.

Semiliki Wildlife Reserve.

Semiliki is a home to agood population of the chimpanzees in the western Uganda. Most of the times, regarding to the nature of the reserve, it is a dry and sparse forest environment that means at times the chimpanzees have to roam far and wide to secure enough food and that’s why at times they are not easy to find. Chimpanzee trekking is an interesting activity in Semiliki, as the chimps do play in the trees within the Semiliki game reserve, although not more than any other primate. The time spent with them is very rewarding, the chimpanzee tracking in Semiliki is conducted with the help of the professional guides who lead the tracking trail through the forest. While doing the chimpanzee trekking in Semiliki, it gives the opportunity to the tourists to watch other primates like the baboons, red tailed monkeys, monkeys, leopards and among others without forgetting the insects as well as butterflies.

Chimpanzee Habituation.

Chimpanzee habituation is also done in the above mentioned places which is a fully immersive safari experience. Here, the tourists join the researchers of the habituation team for a full or half day in the deep forest, as these chimpanzees are less used to the human presence and so the experience is more unpredictable, though it is challenging but the experience is very rewarding. Chimpanzee habituation takes quite a long time before it is actualized that is about 2 to 3 years and in Uganda, this has been achieved in the Kibaale National Park then after 3 years of training, the habituated chimpanzees are let out so that they can start interacting with the humans.

The only difference between the chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation is the period spent with them, this is where the chimpanzee habituation experience allows the tourists to spend more time to almost a full day while enjoying the company with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat.

Best time to do Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.

The dry season of June to September and December to February is the best time to go for trekking chimpanzees in Uganda and during this time the forests are not as thick and the trekking trails are also not muddy and slippery hence making it easy to see the chimpanzees on your safari to Uganda. However, please note such times can be overcrowded so trekking chimpanzees in the low season can be advantageous as their will be little to no crowding in the visited places.

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