Chimpanzee trekking & chimpanzee habituation safaris tours in Uganda might not be as popular as Uganda gorilla safari tours but it is very exciting. If people spend an hour with them and come back excited, imagine spending more than one hour with them. It’s on record that many travellers safari Uganda for mountain gorilla tours in Uganda in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park than for chimpanzee trekking safaris in Kibale National Park despite it being cheaper than the gorilla trekking safaris Uganda.
About Kibale National Park
This 795 Square Km Kibale National Park in Western Uganda is part of the wider Kibale Conservation Area which consists of then Semuliki National Park Uganda, the Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve and Katonga Wildlife Reserve. Kibale National Park is situated 24 Km east of the Rwenzori Mountains Foothills and 20 Km south-east of Fort Portal town in Western Uganda. Also referred to as the Primate Capital of the world is home to red colobus monkeys in what is probably their last viable population in Uganda.
There are 4950 chimpanzees within Uganda; Kibale Forest alone has the most with almost 1500 Chimpanzees. Kibale Forest National Park also provides a rich and unique habitat for more than 250 species of animal and over 300 types of birds. The animal species include 11 primates, including black and white colobus monkeys and chimpanzees. Monkeys can often be spotted from the road to the forest and during the viewing of chimpanzees in their natural environment is the main tourist attraction. The Park too has a unique biophysical environment with varied scenery including beautiful crater lakes and hills. This, together with the forest, swamps, primates, birds and butterflies, provides important prospects for ecotourism.
This park offers both habituation and trekking safaris although not everyone knows that they have two options. Most travellers are aware of gorilla trekking safari tours Uganda and the gorilla habituation tours in Uganda but do not know that they could even spend more time with the chimpanzees in a habituation experience. In most cases, during your Uganda safari tour booking process, your Uganda safari tour operator makes you realize that you have a choice between a Uganda chimpanzee trekking tour and a Chimpanzee habituation safari Uganda experience.
Kanyanchu’s chimps in Kibale National Park have been tracked since 1993 and the chances of locating them during your Uganda safari tour are excellent. Kanyanchu is the name of the main headquarters in Kibale National Park. These guided walks start at 8am and 2pm and last an average of three hours, depending on various factors. This walk provides chance to observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat. The chimpanzees tracked at Kanyanchu are accustomed to human presence however, the group size is limited to six visitors and the participants must be aged 12 and over. Advance booking is essential.
The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
Chimpanzee habituation experience is for people or travelers interested in learning more about the behavior of chimpanzees and subsequently spend more time in their presence during your chimpanzee trekking tour in Uganda. A Uganda chimpanzee habituation safari is in other wards a scientific experience of getting chimps ‘used’ to humans. Therefore, a Chimpanzee habituation safari in Uganda experience (CHEX) enables visitors to accompany researchers and habituators into the forest. The chimpanzee groups involved are less accustomed to human presence than those visited during the primate walk or Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari. Therefore, viewing them is both exciting and challenging.
Uganda’s chimpanzee habituation experience initially was done for a full day however; the Uganda Wildlife Authority has now changed it to only 4 hours. During the full day habituation experience, early visitors have chance to watch chimps leaving their overnight nests between 6:00 – 6:30am before feeding, copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, resting, patrolling and displaying until it is time to build new nests around 7pm. It is simply amazing all you need to keep your eyes wide open so you do not miss anything.
Habituated of chimpanzee is a process that takes up to two years and on this day during your chimpanzee habituation safari tour in Uganda, you will be part of this precious process in the forest. Years ago, tourists’ visiting Kibale Park had only 20% chances of seeing chimpanzees in the wild, and today because of the habituation process by different researchers, chances increased to over 90%. Your day will be interesting and memorable as you watch an episode in a whole season of habituation for the chimpanzee group you are visiting. You will get very nice camera shots of chimpanzees doing various things as the day goes on, identify the unique features and differences that set each one apart, and learn how to identify the different chimpanzees as individuals.
As part of your adventure, you will get to learn to identify them as individuals by their markings, sometimes scars and other unique features that make them stand apart from rest. The habituation day used to end as the chimpanzees climb into their newly built nests for the evening and you head back to your lodging for the evening. This is not the case now; it has been changed to only 4 hours for the purposes of conservation.
Best time to track chimpanzees
The habituation experience is best throughout the year. However, during Uganda’s low season in the months of March, April, May and November, there is always less tourist congestion making your experience really amazing. However, the dry season too is equally amazing as it gives you chances of seeing chimpanzees without weather disturbances although it can rain any time.
You eventful day finally comes to a close and you head back to your lodge with good memories, and the satisfaction of a day well spent.
After your adventurous chimpanzee habituation tour, you can engage in a wildlife safari in Uganda in any of the National Parks including Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Semuliki Valley National Park, Mount Elgon National Park and Mount Rwenzori National Park or go for a Uganda bird watching safari tour. If you are time-limited, you can enjoy a Kampala city tour, Kampala day excursion, Jinja city tour or just a Jinja day trip.
In conclusion, if you have time, you can combine your gorilla safari in Congo in Virunga National Park with a Rwanda safari. Rwanda gorilla trekking safari, Uganda safaris, short Uganda wildlife safaris, Uganda gorilla safaris, Uganda chimpanzee safaris, Uganda adrenaline adventures, Kampala city tours, Jinja city tours and many more.
Popular Chimpanzee safaris in Uganda
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