Chimpanzee Trekking Experiences

The Chimpanzee trekking tour is among the must do primate safari activities while in East Africa. Of all the primates, chimpanzees are closest to human beings with over 98% DNA similar to Humans.

Chimpanzees live in families of up to 30 individuals and meeting them in the wild is amazing.

Chimpanzee Habituation Kibale Forest National Park. Discovery Journeys
The Chimpanzee trekking kibale national park

These just like mountain gorillas are led by a dominant male chimpanzee and his allies. Chimpanzees are social and are sometimes seen grooming as a way of bonding among themselves. They have long arms and hands which enables them to easily manage climbing trees and jumping from one branch to another.

The Diet of chimpanzees mainly consist of plants leaves and fruits but they also eat small insects. Chimpanzees also eat meat and sometimes attack and kill monkeys and some small antelopes. They spend a reasonable time in trees and most of their feeding happens there. They are known to use some tools while getting their food like sticks to dig out insects and leaves while taking water.

Chimpanzees are also listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List and their survival is threatened by poachers and habitat loss due to deforestation.

Chimpanzee Trekking Destinations

Kibale National Park in western Uganda has the highest chimpanzee population and is home to 12 more primate species. It is called the primate capital of the world as it is the best place to see chimpanzees and other primates. These include red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and more. Kibale National Park covers a land area of 776 square kilometers of evergreen lowland and montane forests. It is also the last remaining ecosystem with pre-montane forests. You can enjoy the chimpanzee trekking experience on a 7 Days Uganda Safari or a 10 Days Uganda Discovery Journeys Adventure. At Kibale, you can also engage in the chimpanzee habituation experience. 

Other chimpanzee trekking destinations include Kyambura Gorge Forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Forest in Rubirizi District, and Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park among others.

Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is another leading chimpanzee trekking destination. It is located in the southwestern part of the country about a 7 hours drive from Kigali Rwanda’s capital city. Nyungwe National Park covers a land area of 1019 square kilometers and has 13 primate species including chimpanzees. There are two major habituated chimpanzee communities here one at Uwinka and another at Cyamudongo. With this, Nyungwe has only 16 slots available for chimpanzee trekking and it is important to book in advance. The 10-Day Rwanda Safari is the best-recommended safari for the best chimpanzee trekking experiences. It also features other primates including mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.

You can also track chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. These were made famous by the Conservation and Primatology research works of Jane Goodall.

Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo are the ultimate chimpanzee trekking destinations but the major parks for chimpanzee trekking are in Uganda and Rwanda.
Kibale national park in western Uganda has the highest chimpanzee population and is home to 12 more primates species.

Best Time For Experience

The best time for the chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation  experiences is in the dry season. It stretches from June to September and from January to early March. Rainfall is minimal and it is therefore easy to navigate the trails. Photography is also ideal with great lighting unless the wet season when rainfall disrupts the hiking.

Where to Stay

There are several accommodation facilities around the chimpanzee trekking destinations. In Nyungwe, you can stay at Nyungwe OneandOnly House, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, and Kivu Marina Bay.

The Cyamudongo sector is about a 45-minute drive from Uwinka and if you are on track there you wake up early morning for the transfer to the tracking point. Emeraude Kivu Resort and Marina Mantis Bay are the ideal places to stay if you are to track chimpanzees in Cyamudongo.

In Kibale National Park, you can stay at Crater Safari Lodge, Primate Lodge, and Turaco Treetops, among others.

Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the ultimate chimpanzee trekking destinations but the major parks for chimpanzee trekking are in Uganda and Rwanda. The two have provision for the chimpanzee habituation experience that is more experiential. 

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