Top Chimpanzee trekking Destinations in Uganda – Uganda Safari News
Chimpanzees or chimps are a species of the great ape in the genus pan. DNA evidence from fossils shows that the species constitutes of the sister taxon to the modern human lineage. Sharing about 98.7% DNA. The chimpanzee is covered in coarse black hair, though with a bare face, fingers, toes, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. Weighs between 40 and 65 kg (88 and 143 lb.) and measures about 63 to 94 cm (25 to 37 in) with the gestation period lasting about eight months and weaned at about 3 years. Its lifespan in the wild can exceed 40 years and its lifespan in captivity is about 50 years.
Lively, energetic and charming chimpanzees are fascinating to watch and this is one of the reasons why chimpanzee trekking is one of the key activities for tourists on Uganda wildlife safaris. In Uganda, chimpanzees are found in Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest, Kalinzu forest and Kyambura Gorge within Queen Elizabeth National Park.
With several Uganda safari destinations offering chimpanzee trekking as a safari activity, how do you choose where to go, what to expect and how to plan? Here is all about chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.
Best chimpanzee tracking destinations
Kibale Forest National Park
Known for numerous chimpanzees, the Kanyanchu sector of Kibale Forest National Park is Africa’s most popular and busiest chimping destination. With about 1400 chimpanzees, Kibale Forest National Park is low lying and the terrain is mostly flat and easy with little undergrowth and some relatively open areas – great for clear sightings and photography. The forest offers the favorite food source to the chimpanzees from plenty of fig trees each fruiting at a slightly different time to the next. With the habituation of chimpanzees in Kibale Forest national Park, you can opt for the 1-hour chimp tracking experience or go for a half or full day chimpanzee habituation experience.
Close to Uganda’s oldest national park Murchison Falls National Park within the Murchison Falls Conservation Area, Budongo Forest is home to over 600 chimps. The chimpanzees are found within the Kaniyo Pabidi sector where you can undertake a half day or full day trek. The forest is fairly flat and the chimps fairly easy to find, but the canopy is denser than Kibale, making photography more challenging.
On a Uganda wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park, including a chimpanzee trekking tour to the Kyambura Gorge is one of the greatest options. Unlike other chimpanzees, the ones in Kyambura Gorge live 100m below sea level in a gorge with a path that runs along one side of the Kyambura River. The trek alone is one of a kind and memorable enough within a beautiful setting as you walk through the gorge in search of the chimps.
How chimpanzee trekking is Undertaken
In Uganda, it’s rare to encounter wild chimps by chance or just by driving through their habitat so you will need to plan a safari in Uganda with a trusted tour operator. On the morning of your planned trek, park rangers will set off in advance to find the nests the chimps made the night before. They then track the group’s movements, listening for calls and looking for dung, knuckle prints and scraps of half-eaten leaves and fruit. When they locate the chimps, they’ll alert your guide, who will lead you through the forest.
It all starts by following paths in a time range of between 30 minutes and several un predictable hours one that is an amazing experience of its own. As soon as you can see the chimps clearly, your one-hour encounter officially begins. After the 1 hour you return to the trek start point where you meet your Uganda tour guide for a transfer to your next destination.
When planning a wildlife safari in Uganda, don’t hesitate to include chimpanzee trekking for a much more memorable experience. You can even tailor your safari with a Uganda gorilla trekking safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park before or either after the trek. Chimpanzees can also be found in smaller numbers within East Africa during a Rwanda wildlife safari, Congo wildlife safari, wildlife safari in Tanzania or Kenya wildlife safari.