Chimpanzee Trekking In Kibale Forest National Park

Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park

Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park

Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park : Uganda is one of the best prime destinations in the world for chimpanzee trekking as it hosts over 5,000 chimpanzees and the highest concertation of about 1,5000 chimpanzees is found in Kibale Forest National Park located in western region of Uganda.

Chimpanzee trekking is among the best wildlife experience in Africa and a reason to why Kibale Forest National Park is listed among the popular primate/wildlife destinations in Africa.

Kibale Forest National Park is found in the western part of Uganda in the districts of Kibale and Kabarole, the park was established in 1995 to protect the forest and the wildlife including chimpanzees inhabiting in the forests.

Kibale Forest National Park is referred to as the primate’s capital of the world because of the density of primates and for being the best place to track chimpanzees in East Africa.  Kibale Forest National park is a home to a huge concertation of chimpanzees and other 12 species of primates namely L’Hoest Monkeys, Red-Tailed Monkeys, Black and white Colobus Monkeys, Uganda Red Colobus, Grey – Cheeked Mangabeys Monkeys, Uganda Mangabeys, Vervet Monkey, Olive Baboons, Blue Monkeys, Demidoff Galago, Patas Monkey and Potto.

Chimpanzee Trek in Kibale Forest National Park

Chimpanzee tracking is the main activity to do in Kibale Forest National Park, this activity starts early in the morning with briefing at the park’s headquarters, the briefing is conducted by an experienced ranger guide who takes you through the rules and regulations to follow while in the forests and presence of the chimpanzees.

Kibale forest national park

Then head to the starting point to start looking for chimpanzees in company of guides and armed rangers, spotting a family of chimpanzees may take just a few minutes or up to 6 hours of walking. The time taken to find the chimpanzees is unpredictable beforehand, the time spent with the chimpanzees is quiet strict and un-negotiable. Trekkers are to spend only one hour with the chimpanzees once you find them.

During this time you can observe the chimpanzee’s behaviors, learn about their family compositions and take as many photos as possible.  The chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park open for chimpanzee tracking underwent habituation process meaning that they are comfortable with human presence.

After one hour, you will trek back to the park’s headquarters, meet your guide and head back to the lodge or go for another activity.

In addition to chimpanzee trekking, Kibale Forest National Park offers many other activities you can do during your Uganda safari and these include

  • Chimpanzee habituation
  • Bird watching
  • Guided nature walks
  • Visit to the local community

The best time for chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park

Uganda is situated close to the equator with two rainy and dry seasons, the rainy seasons are between April to May and October to November while the dry season falls between December to early March.

The best time for gorilla trekking in Kibale Forest is during the dry season months, the dry season coincides with the peak season in Uganda and Kibale Forest National Park as well. In the dry seasons, the trails used to during the trek are not muddy and passable. If you are planning to visit Kibale Forest National Park for chimpanzee trekking in the dry season/peak season, consider booking for safari and chimpanzee permits earlier due to high competition not to miss out.

Rules and regulations to be followed while chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park

  • Chimpanzee tracking is only open to individuals of 12 years old, these individuals are considered fit, strong and able to follow instructions from the rangers.
  • Only six people are allowed to track a particular chimpanzee family per session
  • Always listen and follow instructions from your guide as they understand the chimps quiet well
  • Visitors with any sort of illness such as transmittable diseases like flue, cough or diarrhea are not allowed to participate in chimpanzee tracking.
  • Chimpanzees are very unpredictable creatures and because of this, visitors are advised to keep a distance of about 8 meters from the nearest chimp
  • Eating food close to the chimpanzees is not allowed, they may grab the food from you violently or forcefully
  • Using flash camera is not allowed while with the chimpanzees

Parking list for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park

To have the most memorable chimpanzee tracking experience, you are recommended to include the following items in your packing list.

A back pack – a light back – pack to carry your important items like cameras, binoculars, snacks and spare clothes

Hiking boots – the shoes need to be sturdy with good traction and resistant to water as you will be climbing slippery and muddy slopes.

Clothing and stockings – the clothing perfect for chimpanzee tracking should be suitable for cold weather and rain jacket, the shorts and trousers should be long – sleeved to protect you from sharp grass and insects. The stockings should be able to dry quickly, woolen and water resistant.

Insect Repellents – there are all kinds of insects in tropical rain forests, most of these are harmless but still they can irritate your skin and bother you.

Camera and binoculars – a good camera will help you capture quality videos and pictures and a pair of binoculars will help you get clear views of the chimpanzees from the trees.

Drinking water and packed snack – they very important in case the trek gets longer than expected.

Where to stay in Kibale Forest National Park during chimpanzee tracking

Kibale Forest National Park has got several accommodation options ranging from budget, midrange and luxury facilities, some of the accommodations include

  • Primate Lodge
  • Crater Safari Lodge
  • Kyaninga Lodge
  • Chimpanzee Forest Guest House
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