Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda

Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo

Chimpanzee Trekking safaris are conducted in dense tropical forests, their natural habitat. These Chimpanzee trekking safaris are conducted with the help of trained guides who will take you through the forest trails and find different chimpanzee families along the way. As far as chimpanzees are concerned, they live in large communities called bands. Females in the chimpanzee family tend to be weaker, as their alpha males are generally stronger. In the chimpanzee family there are usually 15 to 80 members. However, later on they go out in different groups like subgroups of 10 individuals. Therefore, they travel, sleep, and feed in these subgroups. These subgroups are so flexible, as the members of these groups change regularly and very quickly if something is wrong. 

Chimpanzees are one of the most attractive animals in the world because the mother-child bond is generally too strong for the female species. Although the girls still stay close to their mothers until they reach adulthood, they eventually break up with their mothers when they have reached the point where they are fully mature, despite the fact that a mother-to-daughter relationship may last up to forty years. In most cases, the chimpanzees will spend the majority of their time grooming one another in the hair of each other. They will run hair fingers through the hair as they try to remove any dirt, dead skin, parasites, and other contaminants, which they believe are present in their bodies. The importance of grooming is such that it keeps the parasites in good condition.

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In addition, it keeps the primates clean and enables them to make social friendships and strengthen their ties with one another by doing this. Chimpanzees share the greatest percentage of similarities with human beings. They are such intelligent animals, they use gestures, vocalizations, and facial expressions like hoots and screams to communicate. Chimpanzees consume many foods from the natural world, such as fruits, leaves, stems, seeds, and other species of small animals, such as insects, monkeys, wild pigs, and more.

In Kalinzu forest in western Uganda, there is evidence and it has been documented that some chimpanzees can feed on the red-tailed monkeys and blue monkeys, at least to a certain extent. There is not a big chance for chimpanzees to produce twins when they give birth, or at least not as many. At the age of ten, a chimpanzee may still be playing around with its mother around its back. However, this is despite the fact that it was born at the age of six months and after the first six months. A chimp is the kind of creature that builds nests where it sleeps. This is similar to how humans are provided with, and also chimps rely on their mothers for their daily support, education, and protection. Similarly to how humans have a strong bond with their mothers, chimpanzees also have a strong bond with their infants.

Chimpanzee tracking is a fascinating and fun activity that is also a fascinating way to get closer to these magnificent primates. It is a more active experience than being on a gorilla trek, where one must adopt an extremely submissive posture in order to be in their presence. In comparison to a human, a chimpanzee moves around a lot more. Therefore, walking along with them in the forest as they move around can give a person the feeling that they are a child on an adventure.

Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.

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In Uganda, chimpanzees are mostly found in tropical forests. This makes it the most popular safari activity to take part in while on safari in Uganda. This activity attracts a wide variety of tourists. Top destinations for chimpanzee trekking include Kibale National Park, Kalinzu Forest in western Uganda, Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and many others.

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Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest

The world’s top chimpanzee attraction is Kibale National Park. Which are an entire species, with a population of over 1500 chimpanzees. Chimp trekking is possible in the park and tourists will be able to see 90% of them and even more. Uganda’s Kibale National Park is located in the southwest part of the country. Kibale National Park offers two chances for chimpanzee trekking to be done every day, starting in the morning and ending in the evening. Chimpanzee trekking permits are obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority or from a trusted tour operator who organizes such chimpanzee trekking activities on your behalf. The Kibale National Park is offering chimpanzee habituation experiences to tourists who are interested in learning more about the chimpanzees, in order to give them a more realistic experience

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Budongo Forest

Murchison Falls National Park offers excellent chimpanzee trekking, with more than 80% more chimpanzees than Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. However, in Kibale National Park they are too high, making chimpanzee trekking in Budongo mandatory with chimpanzee treks provided by the National Forestry Authority. A chimpanzee trek in Budongo forest is done twice every day; one in the morning, and one in the afternoon

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Kyambura Gorge

Kyambura Gorge is the third best place for tourists to trek with chimpanzees. Located in the northeastern corner of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura Gorge was created as a buffer zone. This was to protect it from human activity that might lead to an encroachment on the park. Kyambura Game Reserve is the place where the gorge is located. It has been said that Kyambura is home to only chimpanzees. This means that those who are adventurous will have the opportunity to traverse the dense undergrowth to get a close look at the chimpanzees. On the other hand, nature lovers will find a multitude of fascinating birds and plants to discover on a guided nature walk.

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Kalinzu forest

This forest reserve is situated in the Bushenyi district in the southwestern part of Uganda. It is home to diverse wildlife, other than chimpanzees, and more than 379 different species of bird can be discovered within its boundaries. As well as being located near the Maramagambo forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park is also near the sanctuary. It is estimated that six species of primates can be found in the forest. Including chimpanzees, baboons, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys, and black and white colobus monkeys. The forest is also home to night creatures such as bush babies, pottos, and galagoes, which provide cover during the night hours. 

Chimpanzees Trekking Safaris in Rwanda

Chimpanzee photo - Laba Africa Expeditions

Among all safari activities done in Rwanda, chimpanzee trekking is one of the most popular ones. There are two national parks in Rwanda where chimpanzee trekking is possible, Nyungwe National Park and Gishwati Mukura National Park. When it comes to chimpanzee trekking, Nyungwe national park is one of the top destinations where tourists go for chimpanzee treks, mostly in Cyamudongo Forest, a forest adjacent to the park, with the chimps spending the majority of their time climbing into trees, as they do with mountain gorillas.

A chimpanzee trek in Rwanda begins early in the morning at 5:00am with a briefing by the park’s head ranger about what guidelines should be followed while trekking through the park in order to be safe. When the visitors come back to the park, they are then divided into different groups of almost eight members where the park has over 60 habituated chimpanzees, and then almost 30 of these chimpanzees are habituated in the Cyamudongo forest with 30 chimps. There are three known chimpanzee trekking centers in the park, including Kitabi, Gisakura, and Uwinka, from which the chimpanzee trekking starts.

When trekking chimpanzees in the park, you encounter the various biodiversity that exists in the park including species of animals and birds, and you can ask your park guide questions while you are walking about the different wildlife in the park. Then the park guide will take the time to answer all your questions. While carrying out chimpanzee trekking, you go deep in the forest while identifying the various troops, this takes you like probably 30 minutes or one hour to reach the chimpanzees, after getting them the tourists are given one hour to be with the chimpanzees while enjoying their presence as you are observing their characters, behaviors and among others. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe national park is only done to the individuals who are above 15 years of age.

Best time to go for chimpanzee trekking safaris in Nyungwe National Park.

Although Chimpanzee trekking safaris can be conducted throughout the entire year in Nyungwe national park, the best time to go chimpanzee trekking is during the dry season which is December, February, June, and September. It is at that time that the trekking trails are perfect, as they are not muddy and slippery as they are during the wet season, when the terrain can be more challenging, which makes it harder for chimpanzee trekkers to trek.

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Democratic republic of Congo

In the Congo, you can go on Chimpanzee trekking safaris in the Virunga national park that is home to gorillas, as well as chimpanzees, especially in the mahura forest within the park. However, other places in Congo where tourists can find gorillas are scattered around and found in different parts of the country, whereas others are found in Kahuzi Biega national park. Tourists who visit the Democratic Republic of Congo take chimpanzee trekking with “pan troglodytes”, which are the major chimpanzee species found there.

In addition to the chimpanzee trekking, tourists are also able to spot other wildlife that can be found in the rich forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo including golden monkeys, blue colobus monkeys, gorillas, vervet monkeys, as well as pygmy monkeys during the trekking trip. Because of its abundance of chimpanzees, Congo has half the world’s chimp population, which is why most tourists visit the country to see the super chimpanzee trekking.

In the Virunga national park, chimpanzee trekking starts early in the morning with an orientation session about the process of chimpanzee trekking, as well as the rules and regulations that have to be followed while carrying out this activity. The chimpanzee trekkers are then divided into the groups of six members, where they go and find the chimpanzees, and once they find the chimpanzees, they are given one hour to be with them while the chimpanzees of Mahura Forest in Virunga national park. There is one hour given to the trekkers while doing chimpanzee trekking in Congo during which the trekkers are able to enjoy the company of chimpanzees and observe the chimpanzees’ behaviors and feeding patterns, among others.

Best time to go on chimpanzee trekking safaris in DR Congo

During the dry months in Virunga National Park, chimpanzee trekking is best. During the dry months in June, July and October, the trekking trails are passable and not muddy. The fig trees in the forests produce fruits chimpanzees eat, which makes them more accessible. Trekking with chimpanzees in the Congo is also ideal during the early morning period because that is when the chimpanzees can be active, hence it is an ideal time to trek with them. Additionally, chimpanzee trekking can also be done in other different destinations in other countries other than those stated above, such as the following countries.

Chimpanzee trekking Safaris in Tanzania.

Sebitoli Sector of Kibale Forest National Park

Known for the highest number of chimpanzees. Tanzania is the most visited safari destination in Africa. Due to the presence of chimpanzees in many of the national parks in the country, most of the trekkers frequent the Gombe National Park and Mahale Mountain National Park.

Chimpanzee Trekking safaris in Gombe National Park.

I would like to draw your attention to the Gombe National Park, an extraordinary destination well-known for the chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania. In fact, the primate researcher Jane Goodall did her research and studies on the endangered chimpanzees, as well as their behavioral characteristics in Gombe National Park.

It is a good idea for the tourists to do some chimpanzee trekking in Gombe National Park where they are able to get close to the chimpanzees that live in the thick forests where they can enjoy the experience being with them. While doing chimpanzee trekking they can also see other animal species such as colobus monkeys and vervet monkeys.

Chimpanzee Trekking safaris in Mahale Mountain National Park.

Mahale mountain national park is thrilling safari activity as well as human-like behaviors by trekking along the forested mountain slopes. Among the many destinations in Mahale Mountain National Park. There is the Mahale Mountain National Park, which is a very popular destination for chimpanzees where trekkers carry out chimpanzee trekking. This is the only place where tourists can see both the chimpanzees as well as the lions while they coexist there.

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