Chimpanzees in Semuliki National Park

Chimpanzee trekking is done by people above 15 years of age and anyone below 15 years of age won’t be allowed to track chimpanzees in Semuliki National Park

Chimpanzees in Semuliki National Park

Chimpanzees in Semuliki National Park. Chimpanzees are great apes sharing 98.7% human DNA. Semuliki National Park is located in Bwamba County in Bundibugyo district on Uganda’s boarder with Democratic Republic of Congo having Rwenzori Mountains on the South East of the park and Lake Albert to the north. Semuliki national park lies within the Albert Nile in the western arm of the East African rift valley on area of 220 square km. The park has got two rivers that River Semuliki and River Limia which act as watering places for animals

Chimpanzees belong to the family of great apes that include orangutans and gorillas. They have large brains and are very intelligent because of close relationship to humans. We have two species of chimpanzee remaining in the world that is the common chimpanzee and pygmy chimpanzee also known as bonobo these common chimpanzees which weigh up to 70kgs are found in the west, east, central and south Africa while the bonobo are only found in Congo’s jungle and sanctuaries. All these species can live up to 30 years

Chimpanzees are intelligent in that they can construct complex nests using tools like rocks for opening nuts, they eat fruits, insects, eggs, nuts, seeds, tree leaves and they can also eat meat from other mammals, primates and have been known for killing and eating monkeys, small antelopes and tortoises. Chimpanzees live in large extended families of between 10-100 individuals but they sometimes split into smaller groups looking for food but gather again get back together.

There are 250 chimpanzees in the park but most of these are under study by the Indiana University though you can still access gorilla trekking, since most of these are under habituation it makes it easy for them to be tracked. The male chimpanzees grow up to 1.8 meters high and can weigh up to 70kg while the female chimpanzee are smaller than the males.

Chimpanzees are into groups and every group is led by a male chimpanzee called the alpha male. Chimpanzees share almost 98% DNA of humans like us they live in families, and societies with leaders still like humans they hear sound, facial expressions and what differs them from human beings is that they don’t speak. Remember that chimpanzee trekking in Semuliki National Park needs no experience or fitness since the landscape is not rugged.

On trekking day visitors are briefed by guides or rangers about behaviors of the chimpanzees, what to expect and what to do. The visitors are organized in a group of 8 and trekking is done for one hour as visitors enjoy the chimpanzee play, eat and make nest among others.

Since chimpanzees in Semuliki National Park are not many visitors will have to move further to look for them in case they are not in nearby places. Trekkers are supposed to wear long sleeved shirts, carry enough water for drinking get water proof cameras and wear huts. Remember trekking is done by people above 15 years of age and anyone below 15 years of age won’t be allowed to track chimpanzees in Semuliki National Park.

Semuliki national park has not only got chimpanzees to act as tourists attractions it has also birds e.g. Nkulengu rail, ituri batis, red-billed helmet-shrike, blue-billed, crested crane and the swamp palm bulbul among others, hot spring male and female of which the female has gotten a geyser where eggs and unpeeled matoke can be cooked from, the park has also got the Batwa group of people who have unique culture and traditional way of living, mammals which include forest buffalos, leopards, hippos, bush backs among others.

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