Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda is one of the most popular safari activities after gorilla trekking. There are four forests in Uganda where tourists can get to see chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Among the forests that known for chimpanzee tracking safari are Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo forest, Kalinzu forest reserve and Kyambura gorge.
Kibale Forest National Park is the most famous for chimpanzee tracking. About 1400 chimpanzees live in this park along with highest concentration of 12 primate species in Africa making kibale famous as the primate capital of the world. Several chimp communities have been habituated for tourists with two options to do chimpanzee tracking or full day chimpanzee habituation experience. And that’s most of the chimpanzee tracking safaris are conducted in kibale forest. There are two secessions with chimp walks happening in the morning and the other in afternoon. Chimp tracking permits for kibale cost $150 and chimpanzee habituation permit is $200 per person and can only be booked through a tour operator or directly with Uganda wildlife authority.
If you are on budget consider tracking chimpanzees at one of the forest reserves which include Budongo Forest, Kalinzu and Kyambura.
Budongo forest reserve home to about 700 chimpanzees is located in southern part of Murchison falls national park about 305 km from a 4-5 hour drive from Kampala. Chimp trekking permits cost $75 in the low season and $85 during high season and can be obtained at the site.
The other two forests; Kyambura and Kalinzu forest reserves are found within Queen Elizabeth national park Uganda’s most visited park.
Kyambura gorge also known as the valley of apes is a tropical forest surviving underground in the rift valley escarpment. Due to few numbers of chimps, you pay $ 50 and the chance is 50 % seeing chimps but the walk in this rift valley jungle is worth it. Bring binoculars and a zoom lens since chimps be viewed 10 meters or more.
Chimps share 98.7 % of their DNA with humans. Regarded as man’s closest cousin, chimps are intelligent apes and most interesting to watch.