Chimpanzee safaris in Uganda : Uganda is a prime destination for chimpanzee safaris, offering unique opportunities to observe these fascinating chimpanzees in their natural habitat. The country is home to several national parks and forest reserves that provide a perfect setting for chimpanzee trekking experiences around Uganda which include Kibale national park, Budongo forest reserve, Kyambura gorge.
Chimpanzees in Uganda can also be seen at the Ngamba island sanctuary which is found by the shores of Lake Victoria.
Before taking part in chimpanzee safaris in Uganda, there are some rules to follow including that children below the age of 12 years are not allowed to engage in chimpanzee trekking and tourists who are sick with colds or are not allowed to go visit the chimpanzees to avoid spreading diseases to them.
Littering in the forest during chimpanzee safaris is also discouraged, use of flash photography is not allowed, chasing the chimpanzees is not allowed, mimicking the chimpanzees is not allowed and tourists are told to keep a distance of about 8 meters from the chimpanzees.
Permits for chimpanzee tracking across destinations such as Kibale forest national park and the Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) which also sets the park fees for the different national parks in Uganda.
Kibale National Park
One of the most popular destinations for chimpanzee safaris in Uganda is Kibale National Park which is located in western Uganda.
Kibale forest national park is renowned for its high population of chimpanzees offering visitors the chance to track these primates through the lush forest which earned it the name “primate capital of the world”.
There are also over 13 primate species found in the Kibale forest including olive baboons, L’hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, patas monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys among others. Kibale national park also has numerous bird species and is among the best destinations for bird watching in Uganda.
Chimpanzee safaris in Kibale national park involve various costs like the chimpanzee permit which is 200 USD for foreign nonresidents, 150 USD for foreign residents and 150,000 Uganda shillings for East African citizens.
Briefing for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park is done at the Kanyanchu headquarters and the activity can be done in the morning and in the afternoon during tours in Uganda.
Tourists can also take part in chimpanzee habituation when visiting the national park and the permit costs 250 USD for foreign nonresidents, 200 USD for foreign residents and 200,000 Uganda shillings for East Africans.
Hiking and bird watching can also take place during chimpanzee safaris in Kibale forest national park.
Budongo Forest Reserve
Budongo Forest Reserve is located within the Murchison Falls National Park and is home to a significant population of chimpanzees.
The Budongo reserve offers exciting chimpanzee safari experiences for visitors interested in observing and learning about these chimpanzees creatures in their natural environment and this activity can be done in the morning and afternoon.
Permits for chimpanzee safaris in Budongo forest reserve cost 130 USD per person for foreign nonresident and allows tourists to spend 1 hour with the chimpanzees in the Budongo forest while the search for the chimpanzees can take about 3 to 4 hours.
Apart from chimpanzee trekking, tourists can also engage in bird watching around Budongo forest reserve and also visit Murchison falls national park for game drives in the morning and afternoon, boat safaris to the bottom of the Murchison falls, hiking to the top of the falls and also viewing of the falls.
Kyambura Gorge is located in Queen Elizabeth National Park in south western Uganda and is another location in Uganda where chimpanzee safaris take place.
The steep slopes and lush forests of Kyambura gorge provide an ideal habitat for chimpanzees, offering an exciting and challenging trekking experience for adventurous travelers on safari around Queen Elizabeth national park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is among the wildlife safari destinations in Uganda and in addition to chimpanzees, this park boasts diverse wildlife species such as the famous tree-climbing lions of Ishasha sector, elephants, buffalos, impalas, waterbucks, warthogs, hartebeests, leopards and many others .
Visitors can participate in guided chimpanzee tracking excursions led by experienced rangers around Kyambura gorge which costs 50 USD for foreign nonresidents, 40 USD for foreign residents and 30,000 Uganda shillings for East African citizens.
Other activities done around the Kyambura gorge include hiking and guided nature walks as well as game drives around Queen Elizabeth national park, boat rides on Kazinga channel, visiting the salt mines, community tours and bird watching.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
For those seeking a more intimate encounter with chimpanzees in Uganda, the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary provides a unique opportunity.
Chimpanzee experiences around the Ngamba island sanctuary take place along the Lake Victoria where the sanctuary is found.
Ngamba island sanctuary is dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of rescued chimpanzees in Uganda, offering day visits and overnight stays for visitors. There are about 52 chimpanzees found in Ngamba and the tours to the island involve boat rides on Lake Victoria.
The island is also a place where tourists can learn about how to take care of the chimpanzees, feeding habits and so much more about the chimpanzees. Activities done around Ngamba island include sunset cruises, fishing and volunteer programs can also be done around the island.
Best Time for chimpanzee safaris in Uganda
The best time for chimpanzee safaris in Uganda is during the dry seasons, from June to August and December to February, when the trails are more accessible, and the chances of encountering chimpanzees are higher.
Visiting the different places for chimpanzee safaris in Uganda can also be done during the wet season around March, April and May and in November although the trails can be muddy due to the rains received.
Chimpanzee safaris in Uganda offer an unforgettable adventure, allowing visitors to connect with these remarkable primates in their natural habitat while exploring the country’s diverse and beautiful landscapes.