Chimpanzee Trekking in Budongo Forest
Chimpanzee Trekking in Budongo Forest is one of the most amazing activities done in the country in Murchison Falls National Park to view chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are the intelligent endangered great ape which survives in natural forest and savannah tropical Africa. In Uganda, they can be found in several protected areas of the southern and the northern parts of the country that is kibale forest which habituates half of the remaining chimpanzees in East Africa with over 1500 individual, Queen Elizabeth national park in Kyambura gorge, Kalinzu forest and Bugondo forest which habituates with over 800 individuals.
However, budongo forest protects over 800 chimpanzees and the forest boosts as a tourism attraction on Uganda safari because of this endangered chimpanzees plus other small primates like black and white colobus monkey, olive baboon, blue monkeys, red monkey. Note that, the habituated chimpanzees are chimpanzees which are already trained to live close to human beings with no sign of danger.
Budongo forest is one of Uganda’s most spectacular tropical rainforest a home to primates, located in the northern part of Uganda. Budongo forest has the highest number of the endangered chimpanzees and the habituated ones are located in kaniyo pabidi, and it is about 4 to 5hours drive from Kampala on your way to Murchison falls national park. Above all, the forest is the largest natural rain forest in entire East Africa. Budongo forest is just 30minutes drive from main kichumbanyobo gate to the tourists’ centre inside Budongo forest. The forests cover an area of about 825 square kilometres and it is found on the boundary of Murchison falls conservation area. This natural forest is under the protection of Jane Goodall institute for research, besides being home to great apes, it also habitant for mahogany trees in Uganda and East Africa at large.
What time is favourable for chimpanzee tracking
In budongo forest chimpanzee tracking can be done twice a day that is, in the morning hours at around 8 am and in the afternoon at around 15:00 pm on a daily basis. Note that there are two activities which can be done but it depends on tourist choice such activities include chimpanzees tracking which can be done half-day or full-day, chimpanzee habituation this is a full day experience but it’s not done regularly.
How chimpanzee tracking can be done
Chimpanzee trekking is the most incredible experience which starts early in the morning after visitors breakfast, a guide or drive is the one to pick you from the lodge you spent in your night from drives you to the park headquarter on time to have a short briefing about the rules and regulation of the endangered chimpanzee tracking. After the briefing meet the ranger who accompanies you to the natural forest trails of this great apes, as you track one may get an opportunity of spotting other species in the forest such as primates like monkeys, baboons, bird watching as well as listening to sweet melodies of birds, encounter beautiful tree species of mahogany trees the most talls. The chimpanzee tracking takes approximately 30 to 7 hours in the wild. Once they are found, a guides can give you one hour to stay with them while observing as they carry out their day to day activities such as grooming, feeding their young ones, playing, display their nest high in the evening hours and you can enjoy photoshoot with them but flash digital cameras are not allowed to use because they scare them away. And since it can take a full day, trackers are given packed food which they can eat if they are caught of lunchtime in the midst of the jungle. After tracking a driver will drive you back to your lodge for refreshment. And this makes up a truly humbling and memorable experience in a lifetime.
Best time to do chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest
Note that, Budongo forest is a tropical rainforest and any time the rain might fall and the high season travellers tend to visit the forest in big number is especially in the month of December to February and June to September.
Booking Chimpanzee Trekking Permits
The chimpanzee trekking booking can be done in advance in order a tour operator starts chimpanzee permits arrangement early enough because the line of people who go to ‘’UWA’’ Uganda wildlife Authority to buy the permits can be many. The booking can be done to the recognised tour company or by the help of the tour operator who can as well do your accommodation arrangement, you decide to book with us Achieve global safaris because we are an expert in safari booking and we do care for our guest.
How much do chimpanzee trekking permits cost in Budongo Forest
For one to be able to engage in chimpanzee trekking in budongo forest has to pay USD85 and travellers are advised to book as early as possible because there can be 16permits on sell on the daily route and each permit costs at USD85 per person per day. Note that during peak season in dry months’ chimpanzee trekking permits seems to be expensive compared to the low season here the price lowers because of the rainfall which can be received in an area and making the forest trails slippery which normally occurs in the months of April to May and September to November.
Rules followed before embarking for chimpanzee tracking.
- The minimum age for tracking must be above 15 years old.
- Travellers are advised to keep a distance of at least 8 meters between you and the chimpanzees.
- Do not litter rubbish to the park.
- Do not smoke, eat food in the presence of the primates.
- Travellers with diarrhoea, flues, cold or certain illnesses are not allowed to go for tracking.
- Respect the allowed number of people in the track.
- There is a limited number of 6 people with two guides who are allowed to participate in this emotional experience, if the number is full you have to wait for other small groups who are going for tracking.
- The maximum time for you to interact with the chimpanzees is only one hour.
- Do not try to chase these endangered chimpanzees, they may harm you.
- You should stay in tight groups when you’re with them.
Where to stay on your chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest
Budongo forest is surrounded with nice accommodation facility like Budongo Eco lodge which is found in the heart of Budongo forest reserve, the lodge comprises of cabins, dormitory, restaurant with free WIFI and many more.
What to carry on chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest.
Travellers are advised to carry the personal essentials such as comfortable rubber hiking shoes, binocular, strong torch, insect repellent, saddle, long sleeved shirt and trouser, mineral water bottle, energetic snacks, sunglasses and many more.
Lastly, chimpanzee trekking in Budongo is one of the most emotional experience you will ever have in a lifetime, where you get a chance to live with your cousins in the wilderness and remember chimpanzee share 98% DNA to those of human genes.