Uganda Chimpanzee tracking tips – What to know before your Safari

Uganda Chimpanzee tracking tips – What to know before your Safari

by | Aug 15, 2019 | 0 comments

Uganda Chimpanzee tracking tips you should know before your Safari

Chimpanzees, scientifically called Pan troglodytes are one of the fourgreat apes”. They can live up to 60 years.

They are animals with a thickset body with long arms, short legs, and no tail, covered with long black hair.

They spend much of their daytime on the ground, however they do most of the feeding and sleeping on trees. They build nests high up in trees to sleep in at night.

Uganda Chimpanzee tracking tips – What to know before your SafariThey live in groups called troops of about 10 to 80 individuals, but higher or fewer numbers in a group are possible.

The average weight of an adult male chimpanzee is between 35 and 70 kilograms, with a height of approximately 3 meters whereas

Humankind’s closest relative, the chimpanzee, is found in a number of areas of Uganda. Some of these groups have been habituated to human contact in the same way as the gorillas.

Although their more energetic lifestyle and unpredictable nature make them slightly less approachable, there’s no doubt that chimps are one of life’s great experiences.

Chimpanzees feed mainly on fruits and leaves, but sometimes on buds and blossoms. They also feed on different kinds of insects, small mammals like monkeys.

Females have a gestation period of 8 months like humans, giving birth to one baby, which clings tightly to her breasts. The infant chimpanzee will sleep with its mother until about 3 years of age.

Chimpanzee tracking rules and regulations

It is advised to keep a distance of about 8 meters between you and the chimps. People with diseases such as flue or diarrhea may not be allowed in the park.

  • It is not advised to eat near the chimps.
  • Children below the age of 12 are prohibited from entering the park.
  • Trackers are required to track the chimps with a guide provided by the wildlife authority.
  • Trackers are not allowed to track chimps with flash cameras.
  • It is important to note that these rules and regulations are an abstract of a list of many, however, these give you an insight into what you don’t have to do before your Safari.

Booking Chimpanzee trekking permits

Just like gorilla permits, tracking chimpanzees in Uganda requires booking chimpanzee permits for any of the chimp tracking areas including Kibale National Park, Chambura Gorge, Karinzu and all the other chimp tracking areas in Uganda.

However, due to the big number of chimpanzee tracker and a daily tracking limit on trackers, trekking permits for each day is restricted.

We advise booking your tracking permit before your safari date so that the permit is ready by the time of your safari.

Chimpanzee tracking areas in Uganda

Uganda provides the greatest opportunities for tracking Chimpanzees in the East African region. You can do chimpanzee tracking in various parts of the country.

Chimpanzee tracking areas that are described here are habituated, meaning that they are used to humans and will go about their days while you are near them.

Kibale National Park

Kibale Forest is the leading Chimpanzee destination in East Africa. The recent census of Chimpanzees in Kibale forest puts it at about 1500.

Other animals that leave in this park include forest elephants, forest buffaloes, both local and exotic birds, and several butterfly species.

Budongo Forest

Budongo Forest Reserve is located in the northwestern part of Uganda. The forest, located in a moist, semi-deciduous tropical rain forest at the top of the Albertine Rift.

The forest is part of the largest wildlife conservation area in Uganda.

The area has incredible biodiversity that includes several primate species like Blue monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, Vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and Olive baboons.

Kyambura Gorge

Located in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura Gorge is another beautiful place to track Chimpanzees. The gorge is about 100 meters deep.

The gorge is part of the great Albertine Rift, having thick forest at the bottom commonly known as the underground forest.

Although the chimps are habituated to humans, there’s no guarantee they’ll show up for the party.

Kalinzu Forest

Also located in the Southwestern part of Uganda, Kalinzu forest is another chimpanzee habitat you have to explore.

Many researchers have labeled Kalinzu forest as the forest with the greatest Chimpanzee population density.

You can do Chimpanzee tracking; nature walk and birding in Kalinzu forest. There are two habituated chimpanzee groups in this forest, one for tourism and the other for research

Toro – Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Toro – Semliki Wildlife Reserve also the Semliki National Park is another great spot for Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. 

Uganda Chimpanzee tracking tips – What to know before your SafariToro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve offers quieter, and less certain, chimp encounters than nearby Kibale.

The chimps here also frequently venture out into open savannah, where they are more likely to walk upright.

The chimps in this reserve have been habituated and studied for many years by Indiana University researchers. Because of the lighter forest cover, sightings of these chimps tend to be clearer.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

The Island is part of the greater Koome islands found on Lake Victoria. It is located approximately 23 km South-East of Entebbe.

It is home to about 45 chimps rescued from various places in Uganda.

What to carry along

Since these chimp habitats are found in humid areas, we recommend wearing shoes that have a good grip especially boots, binoculars, rain gear, and a jacket.


Chimpanzee tracking is the most fascinating primate adventure that is worth including on your Uganda Safari.

With your permit at hand, you get a 95% chance to view these amazing apes in the jungles of Uganda.

Tracking the chimps in the morning as they are feeding guarantees you an adventure of a lifetime as they are most active at this time.

Chimps are just one of the many species awaiting you to this amazing Country, discover the rest with Friendly Gorillas Safaris.




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About the Author

Kabanda Ezra

Ezra is a content writer with a bias in adventure travel and here he shares some of the stunning destinations, travel tips and experiences about Uganda, Kenya & Rwanda.

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