Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park : Kibale national park which is also known as the primate capital is located in western Uganda in Kabarole district. Kibale national park is a home of different wildlife species including mammals like bush pigs, bushbucks, sitatungas, forest elephants, buffaloes, bird species and 13 primate species such as 1500 chimpanzees, other primates like black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, olive baboons, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, l’hoest monkeys among others.
Chimpanzee trekking is also done in other destinations in Uganda such as Kalinzu forest, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park, Budongo forest in Murchison falls national park and Toro-Semuliki game reserve.
Chimpanzee trekking experience in Kibale national park
Kibale national park is the most visited chimpanzee destination in Uganda because it harbors the highest number of chimpanzees. Trekking of chimpanzees in Kibale national park starts at around 8:00am with a briefing at the park headquarters about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing you will be subdivided into groups of 6 people where each group will be allocated a habituated chimpanzee family to trek and a well trained park guide who is well conversant with chimpanzee trekking trails and also knowledgeable about the chimpanzees.
Trekking 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 variety of bird species, different plant and tree species, colorful butterflies, mammals and other primates like red tailed monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys among others.
Once the chimpanzees are found you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their environment which helps you to learn about their lifestyle, habits, behaviors, take photos, record videos, watch chimpanzees carry out their daily activities like grooming young ones, feeding, breastfeeding, hunting, mating, playing, fighting among others.
Kibale national park also offers chimpanzee habituation experience an interesting activity where you will be able to spend four hours with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Chimpanzee habituation is a process where the wild chimpanzees are trained to get used to human presence for trekking. The habituation process takes a period of 2 to 3 year to be complete and it involves a team of researchers, scientists, trackers and park guides.
Cost of a chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale national park
A chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale national park costs USD 200 per person for foreign non residents, USD 150 per person for foreign residents and UGX 150,000 per person for East African citizens. For visitors who want to engage in chimpanzee habituation experience the permit costs USD 250 per person for foreign non residents, USD 250 per person for foreign residents and UGX 150,000 per person for East African citizens.
How to book a chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale national park
A chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale national park can either be booked directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) by contacting the head offices via email or telephone calls or booking through a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris. When booking through a tour operator you will contact us with your names and date when you wish to visit the chimpanzees.
We will check for permit availability and if there are permits available you will be asked to make a deposit for the permit. Once the payment has been made we will purchase the permit on your behalf and send you a scanned copy as confirmation. Booking a chimpanzee trekking permit through Achieve Global Safaris we will not only purchase the permit for you but also plan for your entire safari which includes transportation, accommodation, meals and organize other activities you can engage in alongside chimpanzee trekking.
However a chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale national park should be booked three months in advance before the trekking date because permits are competitive and usually get sold out quickly especially during the dry season.
When to go for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park
Chimpanzee trekking can be done anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season the national park receives little rainfall therefore vegetation in the forest will be thin which helps you to view chimpanzees and other wildlife species clearly. The dry season is also the best time for chimpanzee trekking in that the trekking trails will be dry and passable compared to the wet season when the trails are muddy and slippery hence making trekking difficult.
Where to stay during your chimpanzee trekking safari 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 accommodation range from luxury, midrange and budget including Kibale Forest Camp, Nyinabulitwa Country Resort, Isunga Lodge, Turaco Treetops, Papaya Lake Lodge, Rweteera Safari Park, Crater Safari Lodge, Ndali Lodge, Kibale Guest Cottages, Chimpanzee Guest House, Primate Lodge Kibale, Chimps Nest, Kanyachu River Camp, Kyaninga Lodge among others.
How to get to Kibale national park
Kibale national park is located in western part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala via Mubende, Fort Portal road to the park headquarters or via Mbarara, Kamwenge road to the park headquarters which takes about 5 to 6 hours drive in a 4WD safari vehicle.