Chimpanzee tracking is one of the fascinating activities, visitors enjoy on their primate safaris around East Africa. Chimpanzees are a species of the great ape. Located in native Africa. Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania are Africa’s great Chimpanzee destinations, where chimpanzee primates can be encountered.

FACTS ABOUT CHIMPANZEES

Chimpanzees are subdivided into four subspecies with the eastern Chimpanzees native to the East African region, where they are home in Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania.  Chimpanzees are robust primates native to forest and savannah areas.

These may be not be considered as the smallest primate species, but at least bigger than bonobo.  On average, chimpanzees stand at a height between 120-150 cm. With the females weighing between 27kg -50kg and males, 40kg -50kg.

The body of a chimpanzee is wholly covered with hair black hair, excluding its bare face, hands, and toes. Chimpanzees live in male-dominated groups that grow up to 150 members. Females have a gestation period of 8 months. With a few weaning months of its infants.

Chimpanzees have as well been regarded as intelligent species.  Backed up with their recorded use of tools like sticks, stones, and more.

Chimpanzee tracking avails a great opportunity to track down these species in their natural environment to witness their natural way of living.

CHIMPANZEE TRACKING IN UGANDA

Chimp tracking in Uganda is one of the rewarding safari activities, besides trekking the mountain gorillas in Bwindi or the Tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth national park. Chimpanzee tracking goes beyond an intimate encounter with man’s closest cousins, who are the chimps.

Tracking of great apes is a life experience. As more of their nature is felt while in their wild. Uganda has three main chimpanzee destinations that include: Kibale national park, as the main chimpanzee tracking spot. Together with Murchison falls national park and Queen Elizabeth national park.

Kibale national park has the highest concentration of chimpanzees in Uganda. Offering an experience of the sight of these primates. The park is home to over 1000 individual chimp species in the diverse rainforest in the park.

The park offers two tracking sessions of chimpanzees. With the early raisers from 8 am and afternoon trackers at 2 pm. The tracking experience takes about 3 hours, including a one-hour intimate but distant encounter of the chimpanzee species. A group of 6 trackers from Kanyanchu, the starting point of the track. Are led into the jungle to track the chimpanzees of the pearl.

The experience of the Chimpanzee tracking in on Uganda is unmatched as other primate species such as the Colobus monkeys, Vervet monkeys, Blue monkeys, L’hoest monkeys, and more are encountered on the primate trekking journey.

Besides Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale national park, the chimpanzee habituation experience is another activity to take on while on an Uganda primate tour. This experience offers visitors a dull day habituation process where the visitors encounter how the chimps are made familiar to human presence.

Chimpanzee habituation makes takes from 6 to a full day stay with the chimpanzees. The activity is slightly more expensive than chimpanzee tracking. Habituation permits go for 250$ for both the foreign residents and no foreign residents. With east African citizens paying 150,000 shillings.

Tracking of the chimpanzees in Kibale national park requires tracking permits. The price differs with the nationality of the trackers. Foreign non-residents obtain chimpanzee tracking permits at $500, foreign residents at $150, and the east African citizens at 150000 Uganda shilling.

The chimpanzees of Uganda are further encountered in the Budongo forest in northwestern Uganda. This forest hold rich biodiversity that host numerous flora and fauna, where the chimpanzees can be categorized.

Budongo forest is a chimpanzee conservation unit with over 500 individual chimpanzees. The presence of these chimpanzees in the forest give a chance for primate lovers to track down these apes. This forest is located enroute Murchison falls national park.

Visitors to the forest can enjoy chimpanzee tracking with the two chimp tracking sessions. One in the morning from 7am taking three hours, and an evening session from 3pm. The tracker can opt for the time and period that is favorable for them.

Kyambura gorge of Queen Elizabeth national park is another fascinating chimpanzee destination in Uganda. The 200-meter deep gorge has recorded a good number of chimpanzees, visitors can track. Though these numbers don’t compare with chimps in Kibale national park and Budongo forest.

Chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura gorge is undoubtedly an insightful activity. Trackers get a chance to track through the thick forest marshes of the gorge.   Beautiful flora within the gorge gives a fresh and rejuvenating feel as one tracks the chimpanzees.

However, the thick forest and marshes of the Kyambura gorge make the sight of the chimpanzee’s unguaranteed. As the chimpanzees hide in the forest. Despite the low chances of sighting the chimpanzees in the Kyambura gorge. The whole tracking experience through this gorge is worth on an Uganda safari.

Chimpanzee tracking permits for the Kyambura gorge go for 50$ for the Nonforeign and foreign residents and 30,000shs for the East African residents. This park offers the cheapest chimp tracking experiences.

CHIMPANZEE TRACKING IN RWANDA

Rwanda is a renowned ape destination with the mountain gorillas in volcanoes national park as a major attraction. The chimpanzees in the country have as well picked the interest of many visitors of the country.

Nyungwe national park in southwestern Rwanda is the main chimpanzee destination with numbers up to 500 chimps and beyond.

There are two chimp tracking trails in Nyungwe national park, from Uwinka and Cyamudongo. The Uwinka trail has 60 individual chimpanzees, and tracking begins as early as 5:300am. For visitors opting of the Cyamudongo forest trail, tracking starts at 5:00 am from the Gisakura office. This forest has 30 individual chimpanzees available for tracking.

Trackers are advised to book in and register for the activity at least a day before for the permits. Foreign residents pay $90 for the tracking permits, 60$ for the foreign residents and 5000 RWF for the Rwanda citizens.

A local forest guide is always provided to lead the tracking group to the exact location of chimpanzees as they give interesting narratives about the different flora and fauna, the entire tracking journey.

The park has only two available habituated chimpanzee groups for tracking. A group of only 8 individuals is allowed to track per group. Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest national park offers more than just chimpanzees. With 13 other primates that can be sighted that including; Blue monkey, L’hoest monkey, owl-faced monkey, golden monkey, red-tailed monkey, crowned monkey, velvet monkey, and olive baboon.

However, visitors can as well opt for chimp tracking in Gishwati Mikura national park. This is Rwanda’s newly established national park, located northwest of Rwanda, near Lake Kivu. The rich biodiversity of the park in its two forests Gishwati and Mikura rich with over 200 bird species, primates, and beautiful flora.

Chimpanzee tracking in Gishwati Mikura national park takes place in its larger forest Gishwati. The forest hosts about 20 chimpanzees available for tracking. Other primates encountered in the park include golden monkeys, blue monkeys, and Vervet monkeys.

CHIMPANZEE TRACKING IN TANZANIA

Besides being famous for the diverse wildlife experienced on game drives through its beautiful parks. Tanzania is as well a primate destination worth exploring on a Tanzania safari. Mahale mountains national park and Gombe national park, are the only two chimpanzee destinations in the country.

Mahale mountain national park is located in the northwest of Tanzania in the Kigoma region. The park neighbors Lake Tanganyika to the east. The Mahale national park is the only park that is explored entirely by foot, with the 3 to 4-hour boat cruise that leads to the park.

The chimpanzees in the park’s forest are a major attraction to the national park. As Mahale national park harbors the highest chimpanzee population in the country. There are over 1000 chimp species hosted by the park. Offering an intimate jungle chimpanzee tracking experience to visitors that visit the national park.

The Mahale mountain ranges are found within in the park, are another attraction of the park. The slopes of these ranges harbor a new number of flora species and birds.

Gombe national park is Kigoma is another chimpanzee destination in Tanzania. This national park is located in the Kigoma region, north of Kigoma. The park covers an area of 35k, making it the smallest national park in Tanzania.

 

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