Chimpanzee Trekking at Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park is to chimpanzees as Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks are to the mountain gorillas. Anyone interested in trekking chimpanzees in their natural habitats should visit Kibale forest national park for the tracking experience. There are two options: (i) tracking the chimpanzee for a regular fee for a few hours. (ii) joining the chimp habituation experience for an additional cost.
Difference between chimpanzee trekking and habituation experience at Kibale Forest National Park: With the regular chimpanzee trekking, visitors can trek a group of chimpanzees already trained to interface with humans. When tourists get to the forest, they observe the chimpanzees’ feeding habitats, behaviors, etc., for a limited amount of time. At Kibale National Park, chimpanzee trekking is either done in the morning and or in the afternoon.
On the other hand, the chimpanzee habituation experience allows visitors to join a group of Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers and researchers training chimpanzees to get familiar with humans. The habituation experience at Kibale Forest National Park for visitors takes the whole day with a short break for lunch. The process of altogether getting a group of chimpanzees habituated for tourism takes at least two years.
Chimpanzee Trekking at Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu Forest Reserve is a haven for trekking chimps in Uganda. Given the Kalinzu forest’s proximity to both Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth national park, Kalinzu forest is a recommended area to trek chimpanzees, especially for clients who want to fit chimp trekking into a 4-day gorilla trek. Kalinzu forest is about 150kms from Bwindi National Park compared to Kibale National Park, which is ~235 away from Bwindi National Park. In terms of the best park to see chimpanzees, Kibale National Park is at the top of the list. With Kibale, the chances to see chimps is 100% compared to 50%-70% at Kalinzu forest reserve.
Chimpanzee Trekking at Kyambura Gorge, Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most visited national park. Queen Elizabeth National Park is famous for its stunning savanna, a home range for different wildlife species. There are lions, buffalo, elephants, and many other animal species. In the southern sector of Ishasha, you will find the only tree-climbing lions in East Africa. Bamboo Ecotours offers safaris to the park for wildlife viewing (lions, elephants, buffalo), a game drive at the Kazinga channel where you can encounter hippos and hundreds of bird species, and a trip to the Ishasha sector for tree-climbing lions. Chimpanzee trekking is also possible in the Kyambura gorge section of Queen Elizabeth National Park.