Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale national park
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park; Chimpanzee trekking is a lifetime experience in Kibale forest national park that allows visitors to move on foot into the tropical rainforest in search of the chimpanzees and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Kibale national park also known as the primate capital is located in western part of Uganda close to Ndali Kasenda crater area. the national park is known for harboring 13 primate species including 1,500 chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, grey cheeked mangabey, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, bush babies, pottos among others. Kibale forest national park also harbors mammals like forest elephants, buffaloes, bush pigs, duikers and variety of bird species.
Chimpanzee trekking experience
Chimpanzee trekking is the major activity in Kibale national park that attracts a big number of tourists in the country. Trekking of chimpanzees starts in the morning with a briefing at Kanyachu park headquarters about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park takes about 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. During trekking you will be able to view other primates like grey cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, view some birds, plant and tree species among others. Once the chimpanzees are located you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their habitat which helps you to learn about their habits, lifestyle, behaviors, watch them carry out their daily activities, take photos and record the incredible moments.
Kibale forest national park also offers chimpanzee habituation experience an incredible activity where the wild chimpanzees are trained to get used to human presence for trekking. Chimpanzee habituation experience takes about 2 to 3 years to be complete and involves a team of researchers, scientists, park guides among others. during the habituation process you will be allowed to spend four hours with the chimpanzees which gives you an opportunity to learn more about the chimpanzees, watch them feed, de-nest , fight, play, breastfeed, make new nests among others.
Best time to go for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park can be done all year round though the best time is in the dry season during the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season vegetation in the forest will be thin due to little rainfall which helps you to view chimpanzees and other wildlife species clearly. During the dry season chimpanzee trekking trails will be passable hence making trekking easy compared to the wet season when the trails are wet, muddy and slippery.
Cost of a chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale national park
A chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale national park is a card that is issued to visitors above the age of 15 years allowing them to trek a habituated chimpanzee family. A chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale national park costs 200 USD per person for foreign non residents, 150 USD for foreign residents and 150,000 UGX per person for East African citizens. Visitors who wish to spend four hours with the chimpanzees in Kibale national park are required to book a chimpanzee habituation permit which costs 250 USD per person for foreign non residents, 250 USD per person for foreign residents and 150,000 UGX per person for East African citizens.
What to carry for your chimpanzee trekking safari
- Facemask and sanitizer to protect you against COVID-19 virus
- Hiking shoes to give you good stability, balance, keep your feet dry and support your ankles.
- Long sleeved shirt and trouser to protect your body from thorn branches, nettles and keep your body warm.
- Waterproof rain jacket to protect you from rainfall
- Energy snacks and drinking water to keep you hydrated during trekking
- Insect repellent to protect you from insect bites.
- Camera and extra batteries to take photos during the one hour encounter with the chimpanzees and also record videos.
- A pair of binoculars to view other wildlife species clearly such as black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, chimpanzees, different bird species among others.
- Waterproof backpack to carry your trekking essentials such as insect repellent, sanitizer, camera, binoculars.
Where to stay in Kibale national park
There are a number of accommodation facilities in Kibale national park where you can stay during your chimpanzee trekking safari. The accommodations range from luxury, midrange and budget including Isunga lodge, Primate lodge, Kibale forest camp, Turaco treetops, Crater safari lodge, Chimpundu lodge, Chimpanzee forest guest house, Rwenzori guest house, Nyankuruba Nature Reserve and Community campsite, Chimps nest, Mountains of the moon hotel, Ndali Kasenda lodge, Papaya lake lodge, Kyaninga lodge, Aramaga Rift valley lodge among others.
How to get to Kibale national park
Kibale national park in located in western part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala or Entebbe via Mubende, fort portal and then to the park headquarters which takes about 5 to 6 hours drive in a 4 WD safari vehicle.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park is one of the incredible activities that shouldn’t be missed during your safari in Uganda and can be combined with wildlife viewing in Murchison falls national park where you will be able to view the big four of the big five mammals to make your safari memorable.