Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale

The Chimpanzee – an inhabitant of the western rain forests is a species among the Primates world. Also known as human’s closest living relative which shares about 98% of our DNA. In Uganda, Chimpanzee Trekking is one of the most popular tourist activities with the other being gorilla trekking. The experience involves you trekking into the forested areas with an experienced guide in search of the chimps which live in communities.

Chimpanzee Trekking destinations to look out for

Kibale forest National Park

Kibale Forest National park is the premium Chimpanzee trekking location in the whole of Africa, you will see other 15 different primate species including the chimpanzees and that’s why it’s also known as the primate capital of the world. A total of over 1500 chimpanzees are found here – according to a recent census. Chimp trekking is best in the morning hours when chimps are leaving their nests or in the evening hours. The chances of seeing the chimpanzees during your chimp tour are 90% and tourists allowed to spend a maximum of 1 hour once with the chimps. The Kanyanchu primate walk which is the most recommended will get you to see many other primate species including monkeys.

Kyambura Gorge

While in Queen Elizabeth National park on your Wild Game Safari, you have chances of seeing chimps as well at the Kyambura gorge. The Chimpanzee tracking experience in Kyambura Gorge teaches visitors more about ecosystems. The chances of seeing the chimps are not as high as those that track Chimps in Kibale Forest but you will obviously hear and see the habituated chimps. The tracking takes about 1 to 3 hours depending on the location of the Chimps on the day of your trekking. You can decide to track either in the morning hours at 8:00 am or in the afternoon at 2:00 pm.

Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Tourists can also enjoy Chimpanzee tracking at Uganda’s oldest wildlife reserve. The Semliki reserve also has a diversity of wildlife, which includes the forest mammals and a variety of birdlife. The Mugiri forest river in semliki is remarkably rich in primates especially chimpanzees with over 70 individuals. Guided nature walks around Ntoroko are also available.

Budongo forest

The Budongo Central Forest Reserve is another place tourists can get to see the chimpanzees in Uganda. It is located near Masindi town towards Murchison falls national park. The forest has trails crisscrossing to ease access for researchers and eco-tourists who frequent here. The tracking here also starts at 8 am in the morning and 2:00 pm in the afternoon with 80% chances of seeing the chimps.

Also read: Chimp, Gorilla Trekking health Requirements


Kibale Forest National Park - Chimpanzee Tracking

Chimpanzee Trekking permits cost & booking information

Chimpanzee Tracking is a worth adventure experience for any visitor in Uganda. It is advisable to book the permit weeks before your tour to allow ease of planning. Also the permits to places like Kibale national park are limited when it’s a high season since only a limited number of visitors can see the chimps on each day.

The chimpanzee permits costs in Uganda are as below; 

  Foreign Nationals (USD) Foreign Residents (USD) East African Citizens (UGX)
Kibale forest $150 $100 100,000
Kyambura Gorge $ 50 $ 50 30,000
Semliki $ 30 $ 30 20,000
Budongo $ 85    


Recommended Chimpanzee Tracking Safaris & Tours

Best time to enjoy Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda

Uganda’s seasons keep changing but expect some rain in the forested areas for most of the year. However the drier months would be the best times to enjoy your chimpanzee trekking experience in Uganda. These include; January, February, June, July & August. Other months of March, October and December include a little rain but you can still get to enjoy chimp tracking at any of the places around Uganda.


1 Comment

  1. Very educative article. Much love

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