Why Is Trekking Chimpanzees Great Experience In Uganda?

If you opt for normal chimpanzee trekking experience which provides you with plenty of time to find the chimpanzee family and enjoy one hour in their company

Why Is Trekking Chimpanzees Great Experience In Uganda?

Why is trekking chimpanzee great experience in Uganda?  Watching chimpanzees on foot in Uganda gets less attention in travel media and industry compared to trekking endangered mountain gorillas, but trekking chimpanzees through the African forests is in fact one the world’s most exciting wildlife encounters and its costs $50 – $200 which is just a fraction of visiting mountain gorillas.

Although there are about 300,000 chimpanzees that are surviving in the equatorial forests of Africa, seeing them in their natural habitat is a rare treat. One of the best places to track chimpanzees is Kibale forest national park in Uganda as it’s a home to 5 habituated chimpanzee families that are within easy walking distance.

Chimpanzees stay in groups of up to 150 members, these are later divided into smaller sub groups that are led by the alpha male. They spend much of their time high up in the trees, glooming, sleeping and feeding on leaves, fruits and bark. However it’s when they get down from the trees that you will have your best chance of getting close to them.

The chimpanzees are close relatives to human beings with a 98.6% of human DNA. It was Dr. Jane Goodall a celebrated primatologist who first observed their astonishing human like behavior. Around 1960’s, Jane Goodall visited communities of chimpanzees in Gombe national park of Tanzania and she was able to prove that chimpanzees kill and eat small mammals.

By spending much time with chimpanzees, she taught them to get used to her a process known as habituation which is not only fantastic to scientists but also ordinary visitors who get an opportunity of being close to these incredible creatures

Chimpanzees in Kibale forest national park Uganda

Kibale forest national park is a habitat of over 1500 chimpanzees that stay in 13 communities. Of these, some groups have been successfully habituated and are open for trekking such as Kanyanchu community.

Kanyanchu community is comprised of 120 individuals that are led by an alpha male called Totti named after an Italian footballer who took the role after a two year battle with Alpha and Magezi. Visiting chimpanzees takes place in the morning and afternoon and it can take you about 3 – 4 hours to locate the chimpanzees after which you are given one hour to spent with these amazing creatures. The cost of chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale forest national park is $200

If an hour is not enough for you to spend with chimpanzees, you can opt for chimpanzee habituation experience, which you will spend enough time with these incredible creatures but you pay $250 per person per trek and you follow one of the communities that are undergoing habituation process for 2 years. You will need to be physically fit to take park in this brisk walking since chimpanzees are very mobile but it will be worth it after taking those hours with the chimpanzees.

What to expect from your chimpanzee experience in Kibale forest national park?

If you opt for normal chimpanzee trekking experience which provides you with plenty of time to find the chimpanzee family and enjoy one hour in their company, the adventure begins with a briefing where you get to learn little about these animals you are about to see and you will also be given the dos and don’ts while in the forest.

You should avoid getting close to chimpanzees and this is not only for your safety but for the chimpanzees as well as diseases such as flue and other viruses can easily spread to them because they have DNA close to that of human beings. You are not allowed to mimic their voices and if you are not careful you might accidentally end up creating a battle with them and they will call more angry chimpanzees to bring you down. After briefing you are then grouped into 7 and each group is accompanied by a guide, ranger and researchers and it’s time to head into the forest.

Inside the forest, you will hike in the direction where these animals were last seen as you listen to their cries up in the trees. Within 3- 4 hours, you will find these creatures in the tree branches playing, feasting on figs and grooming as family members call one another. When you follow the direction of the cacophony, you will see one of the family’s sub – groups. If you are lucky some will come down on the ground and you will be able to take a closer look at them as you take pictures and record videos.

Meet and watch chimpanzees In Uganda

Why is chimpanzee trekking a great experience in Uganda? However much you are prepared to the best, your preparations can ever be matched with those of the intelligent chimpanzees especially when you encounter them. The magnificence of seeing the best how chimpanzees are intelligent at doing things and how best they walk in groups and climb tree brunches is a feeling that they are not far from human beings. They are brave from their looks close to your eyes and as they pose for cameras as you similarly do. You may even wonder if they hear exactly and understand the gestures of what you are doing at that time

The mountain gorillas are Uganda’s most attraction, but when you come face to face with wild chimpanzees is every one’s dream come true. This experience is not difficult like that of chimpanzees because the terrain is much easier, the chimpanzees are easy to find, the forest is less dense and the permit price is cheaper. All the above reasons can make you put chimpanzee trekking right at the top of your must – see list.

Kibale forest national park is not the only place in Uganda where you can see these chimpanzees, they can also be found around Kyambura gorge – Queen Elizabeth national park and Budongo forest – Murchison falls national park and other small forest reserves. Kibale forest national park has the highest number of chimpanzees in Uganda and the chances of seeing these chimpanzees is 90%

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