Chimpanzee Trekking In Kalinzu Forest

Chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest

Chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest

Chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest : Kalinzu Forest also referred to as Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve is an extra-ordinary forest located at the edge of the Great Rift Valley near Queen Elizabeth National Park, also bordering the explosive craters and the Maramagambo forest.

Kalinzu Forest is a biodiverse tropical rainforest extending the vast Maramagambo Forest that is part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the forest covers an area of 137 square kilometers ranging between 1,000 and 1,500 meters above sea level.

Kalinzu Forest is home to abundant wildlife including primates and over 350 bird species. wildlife in the forest include primates such as chimpanzees, baboons, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, L’Hoests monkeys, Vervet monkeys, black and white Colobus monkeys, nocturnal animals like bush babies, Pottos, and Galagos. The forest is also home to rare pygmy antelope, giant forest hogs, 414 species of trees, 98 months, flowers and reptiles.

Birds found in Kalinzu Forest include white and black casket, the sunbirds, the great blue turaco, cuckoo birds among others.

Kalinzu Forest is home to the highest population of chimpanzees in Uganda and is the second best chimpanzee trekking destination in with 85% and more sightings.

Chimpanzee Trekking Experience in Kalinzu Forest

Chiimpanzee Trekking is one of the major Uganda safari activities to do in Kalinzu Forest, the experience is done in two sessions that is morning session starting at 08 am and the afternoon session starting at 3 pm. Chimpanzee trekking starts with briefing at UWA headquarters in the park where you are takes through the dos and don’ts while in the presence of the chimpanzees and in the forest, in the groups of 6 people you head to the starting point for the particular chimpanzee community you are trekking.

The experience takes about 3-4 hours while searching for the chimpanzees depending on the trail you are using and where they spent the previous night, chimpanzees are mobile creatures and they keep moving from one place to another in search for food in the forest. Once you locate the chimpanzees, you are allowed to stay in their presence for 1 hours as you observe them feeding, their behaviors and life patterns and take beautiful pictures and videos.

Chimpanzees open for trekking in Kalinzu Forest are friendly and have gotten used to the presence of humans thus making the trekking an incredible adventure.

kalinzu forest chimp trekking

Chimpanzee trekking permit in Kalinzu Forest

Chimpanzee trekking permit in Kalinzu forest costs US$ 50 per person, visitors can acquire chimpanzee trekking permits in Kalinzu from their local tour operator. Chimpanzee trekking permits for Kalinzu forest are issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Note: visitors should book their chimpanzee trekking permits in advance to avoid issues of last minutes booking.

Rules and Regulation for chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu Forest

  • All trekkers should be the age of 12 and above
  • Persons with any sort of illnesses and infections such as flue are not allowed to participate in chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest
  • A maximum number of 6 people can visit a particular chimpanzee family in Kalinzu forest at a time
  • Visitors should maintain an 8-meter distance away from the chimpanzees while in their presence
  • Always stay together as a group and on the trail
  • Time spent in the presence of the chimpanzee is strictly one hour
  • Do not drink or eat in the presence of chimpanzees and the forest as well
  • Do not litter in the forest, carry the rubbish with you until you find a rubbish pit or can
  • Keep your voices low while in the forest
  • Flash photography is not allowed as the flash could alert the chimpanzees
  • Always follow the instructions from the guides and do not come so close to chimpanzees, they are more aggressive than other primates like the chimpanzees
  • Pack enough snacks and drinking water
  • Carry binocular for good views of the chimpanzees which tend to spend a lot of time on top of trees.

Best Time To Visit Kalinzu Forest for Chimpanzee Trekking

Chimpanzee Trekking in Kalinzu Forest can be all year round, however the best time to have an ultimate experience is from June to October and December to March. These months receive less rainfall which makes the trails to be relatively dry, mud free and less slippery, also because of the sunshine, lighting for photographs and videos of the chimpanzees is at its best.

The shoulder months of April and November when the forest receives a lot of rainfall makes chimpanzee trekking harder and viewing the chimpanzees can be different.

 Where to Stay in Kalinzu Forest

There is a wide range of accommodation options where visitors can stay while on a chimpanzee trekking safari experience in Kalinzu forest, the accommodations are categorized as budget, mind range and luxury.

  • Mweya Safari Lodge
  • Mweya Hostels
  • Jacana Lodge
  • Katara Lodge
  • Park View Safari Lodge
  • Engiri game lodge and campsite among others

How to Get to Kalinzu Forest

Kalinzu Forest is situated approximately 375 kilometers away from Kampala City and is strategically located along the Mbarara – Kasese Highway and close to the Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The administrative offices built in the area allows visitors to connect to and from Queen Elizabeth National Park.

By road – from Kampala to Kalinzu forest is a drive of approximately 5 hours, from Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Mweya Sector it is a drive of approximately 40 minutes to get to the forest.

By air : there are domestic and chattered flights from Entebbe International Airport and Kajjansi Airstrip to Kasese and Mweya Airstrips then connect to Kalinzu Forest by road.

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