Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda

This is an experience, where you encounter with the different primate species on safari in different national parks, during your tour, expect coming across the chimpanzees, monkeys, baboons etc. And here the most places to watch are found in kibale national park, other please include kyambura found in Queen Elizabeth NP, Budongo found in Murchison, Zoo (UWEC), Ngamba island and other forests.

However, chances of spotting these chimps are not always guaranteed although they are over 95% within the Kibale Forest, hence making it the most perfect destination in the whole of East Africa for chimpanzee tracking.

Chimpanzee habituation

It is in addition probable to take part in the fascinating habituation experience, meaning that you can actually get a chance to spend the entire day with these impressive creatures. Normally you always encouraged/advised to go with your parked lunch during the trekking of these habituated humans since it requires the entire day.

Chimpanzee tracking

The most favorite activity in the park is the Chimpanzee tracking which Starts from Kanyanchu Visitor Center at 08.00 & ends at 15.00 and lasts 2-3 hours. You will be allowed to spend some time (at most an hour) as you observe them swing from one tree to another, feed and play on the ground right in front of you. The Primates are searched down by visitors during the tracking. These include black & white Colobus, grey cheeked Mangabey, red tailed monkey. This walk is for 6 individuals per tour group. Advance booking is all-important during Peak Sea.

Facts about Chimpanzees

The average weight of an adult well grown male chimpanzee is between 35 and 70 kilograms, with a height of approximately 3 meters whereas tan adult female chimpanzee weighs between 26 and 50 kilograms and a height between 2 and 4 feet.

A chimpanzee’s life expectancy is at 40 years whereas that for those living in captivity can extend up to 60 years.

In Uganda today, Efforts to actually conserve the chimpanzees are extensively acknowledged and well supported. Actually The Jane Goodall Foundation has played a major role in the overall conservation of these Chimpanzees, but also the Gorillas as well.

Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans sharing about 98% of their DNA composition with humans. They are Sociable, intelligent as well as communicative and among their very fascinating traits is the ability to utilize tools like rocks for crushing nuts, empty pods for hollowing out water plus sticks for capturing termites from their holes. These skills are for long been passed on from generation to another and researchers say that different troops have specialist tasks, basing on their habitat as well as diet.

Chimps stay in groups of 10 – 100 members. They can babysit each other’s young, kiss, groom one another and even hold hands. The young chimps become independent at the age of 4 year. Nonetheless, chimps can be aggressive and unsociable, mainly if disturbed.

Although they spend some time on ground, they normally feed and do make their sleeping nests up in the trees. Their diet varies comprising of leaves, seeds, fruit plus flowers.

Chimpanzee tracking has rules and regulations to follow

- A distance of just about 8m is very important between you and the chimps.

- People with diseases such as flue or diarrhea may not be allowed in the park.

- Avoid eating near the chimps.

- Children below the age of “12” are prohibited from entering the park.

- Guide is the only one to help get access to the forest.

- Chimps need freedom therefore no provoking them once you enter the park.

- Flash photography is not allowed in the park.

- 1 hour is given to spend with the chimps once found

What to carry along

- Wear shoes that have a good grip, suitable for climbing steep moist muddy slopes

- A number of people actually feel more at ease when wearing clothes that are long sleeved as this will protect them from the pricking thickets as they move through the verdant jungle

- Do not forget a rain gear, since the weather here is highly unpredictable

- Bring enough drinking water plus snacks to bite on

- Carry a pair of binoculars

- If taking photos, keep in mind that your subjects are actually black animals living within dim light, so camera flashes is strictly not permitted. Better to have a fast film (of 400 – 800 ASA) or even utilize the settings on your camera.


Kibale national park

This is the best park to track habituated chimpanzees and is one of the most beautiful distinct tropical rainforests located in western Uganda. Kibale has the highest concentration of primates in Africa with over 13 primate species including the chimpanzee. these include, vervet, red-tailed, L’Hoest’s, grey cheeked magabey, blue monkeys, red colobus, black and white colobus, olive baboon etc. it also harbors 70 mammal species, around 375 bird species, and 250 butterfly species.

Kyambura Gorge Chimp tracking

The Kyambura Game Reserve, also commonly referred to as the Kyambura Gorge, is a section of the well visited Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) found in south western Uganda. The reserve is habitat to a diversity of wildlife, among which the only primates are living within Queen Elizabeth National Park and it’s the only area where one can see the habituated chimpanzees on any of the chimpanzee trekking tours. in addition to other species of primates such as the red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons as well as vervet monkeys. this green riverine forest also offers shelter to several forest birds in addition to other species among which the Martial Eagle, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Shoebill, African Skimmer, Lesser plus Greater Flamingo( due to 3 salty crater lakes, that attract a huge numbers of the beautiful flamingos).

Budongo chimp tracking;

Budongo Forest is situated approximately 4 hours drive northwest of the capital city Kampala on the way to the prominent Murchison Falls National Park. This is the biggest Mahogany forest found in the whole of East Africa as well as habitat to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. The major tourist sites within this forest are: the Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site, Royal mile, Busingiro Ecotourism site which are located at boundaries to Murchison Falls National Park and dominated by Mahogany and Iron-wood trees.

Ngamba Island;-

Is a home to 48 orphaned chimps rescued throughout Uganda. Island facilities offer day and overnight visitors an exceptional opportunity to closely observe and interact with these fascinating great apes in this unique setting. Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT), is responsible for all aspects of the sanctuary at Ngamba Island, CSWCT also works with the Ugandan government and wildlife authorities in their rescue operations of orphaned and confiscated chimps Here you can enjoy a “day Care giver” whereby visitors get the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a chimpanzee caregiver. A day will include assisting the care givers with the preparation of the chimps’ food, assisting in the feeding and viewing the feeding.