In Queen Elizabeth National park, chimpanzee trekking is found in two areas, that is Maramagambo forest (Kalinzu forest) and Kyambura gorge but chimpanzee trekking is only done in one forest destination that is Kyambura gorge which is located in the Eastern part of the Queen Elizabeth National park. In Maramagmbo forest, chimpanzees can also be spotted but the fact is that there are no habituated chimpanzees and the place is not yet declared as a safe chimpanzee trekking destination and that is why chimpanzee trekking is only taking place in Kyambura gorge.
In Kyambura gorge, chimpanzee trekking is very fantastic and memorable place for chimpanzee trekking where some who did it will never forget. It also gives an opportunity to the travelers to see other primates and wildlife animals within the park. Primates such as the blue monkeys, the white and black colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, the L’Hoest’s monkeys and the grey checked mangabey monkeys as well as wildlife animals that come to the valley gorge to drink water from the Kyambura gorge, for example the buffaloes, the hog forest hogs, the bushbucks, the elephants and many more.
As you are traveling from the capital city Kampala via Mbarara is 420 whereas the same distance of that one from the capital city Kampala via Fort portal is 410 kilometers. By road, the journey takes about 6 hours from Kampala capital city. There are also charter flights for the international Airport from Entebbe to the Airstrip that is found in southwestern Uganda at Mweya, this takes you less than 60 minutes before getting there.
Inside and outside the park, there are good accommodation facilities which you can reside from when on you are on safari to explore distant yet very impressive gorge. Within Queen Elizabeth and around of it, there are all types of accommodation that range from Luxury to budget lodges. Some of them Jacana Safari Lodge, Kyambura Gorge Safari Lodge, Katara lodge and kingfisher camp.
Kalinzu forest is found after Kibale forest and it is positioned right outside Queen Elizabeth National park, Kalinzu forest is the second best place for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda but visitors who are interested to do chimpanzee tracking in Queen Elizabeth National park and end up going to Kyambura gorge even though in Kalinzu forest, there is high chances of seeing chimpanzee than in Kyambura gorge. Kalinzu forest is a small area but with 90 percent of chimps and it is also a home for bird watching like over 410 bird species can be spotted, primates, reptiles, flowers and butterflies are also found in the forest.
Kalinzu has about 290 chimpanzees with over 70 habituated group. Uganda ministry of forest is the one that manages Kalinzu forest. Chimpanzee tracking permit is $35 which is less than that one of Kibale forest. The age limit for chimpanzee tracking in Kalinzu forest is 12 years, so anyone under that age is not allowed to participate in chimpanzee tracking. This forest has only one challenge of tracking chimps here. There is no good accommodation a part from night camps hence visitors have to go back to Queen Elizabeth National Park so as to get good accommodation.
At Kyambura gorge, chimpanzee tracking is done in two parts, that is, morning and evening part. However, the best time is in the morning hours when the chimps are moving around the forest looking for food and when the forest is still cool or is not yet hot. In Kyambura gorge, chimpanzee trekking skills can take about 3-4 hours to find chimpanzee group because chimpanzees can not settle in one place, they are always moving from one place to another.
When a visitor meets chimpanzee group, is allowed to spend only one hour with it, having fun with them, taking photograph, enjoying their feeding lifestyle and many more.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge also gives a chance to the visitors to enjoy birding watching while tracking chimpanzees. This forest is also best for the bird viewers, these are some of bird species one can be seen include the African broadbill, white winged warbler, African Skimmer, papyrus gonolek, falcon flycatcher and many more.
It is good for a tourist to carry camera and batteries so that they can take videos and photos of chimpanzee communities which they will use to show their friends and also for unforgettable memories of chimpanzee tracking experience in Uganda.
In Queen Elizabeth National park, chimpanzee tracking permit is more inexpensive than that one of budongo forest in Murchison and Kibale forest National Park.
Permit for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge costs at around 50USD for each person per day, in Kibale forest, it is 200USD per person and per day, chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth National park is cheaper and is considered the best option for the budget tourists. Permits for chimpanzee tracking in Queen Elizabeth National park can be acquired from Uganda wildlife Authrioty headquarters or form Mwenya information center or in any tour operate company, Africa Adventure vacations is one of the best tour operate company in Uganda that has skills and knowledge in organizing chimpanzee trekking activity and other activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park, for more information please contact us or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth National park is best during the dry season in the month of June, July, August, September up to the mid- October as well as the month of December, January and February which is considered as a short dry season in Uganda. In the above months in Uganda, there is no any little rainfall that can affect chimpanzee trekking in the Kyambura gorge. When the valley gorge is dry and not slippery, this helps tourists to search for the chimpanzee community with no destruction compared to the rainy season when the trekking trails are muddy and slippery thus making it difficult for trekking chimpanzee communities.
Travelers who are interested to come in Queen Elizabeth National park for chimpanzee trekking experiences have to prepare themselves for the jungle once they have been confirmed with their booking permit for the chimpanzee trekking.
In Kyambura gorge, there is tropical rainforest which requires the tourists to come with long trousers plus long sleeved shirts for both gentlemen and ladies in order to protect their body skin from wild insect bites and the thorny bushes. Visitors are also advised to carry along an insect repellent.
Visitors are also advised to come with strong hiking gum boots and long stockings for easy movements in the forest, this helps to protect you from thorny bushes which can affect your skin. Rain jackets are also important for visitors during chimpanzee trekking mostly in rainy season but even although dry season, travelers are advised to carry them since this area is called tropical rainforest so as to be on the safer side, come along with strong water jackets.
Tourists are advised to carry sun glasses and head hats for protecting their eyes from direct sun rays and mostly in the dry season, strong binoculars are also important especially for bird lover while trekking in the forest, cameras to take photos and videos with the chimpanzee groups and extra batteries.
Tourists need to know that chimpanzee trekking gears should be on long list before coming for your chimpanzee trekking safaris, first contact us for more information about chimpanzee trekking gears and what to carry for your perfect experiences.
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