08 Aug Best Places to See Chimpanzees in Uganda
Chimpanzee tracking is one of the best attractive activities in Uganda and all over Africa and one of the most enjoyful though hard. To carry out this activity, you are advised to first confirm yourself that you are physically fit and that you are not sick because you might spread diseases to the chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are very friendly to humans however it is not recommended for you to be close to them even though they are friendly.
The best place for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda is Kibale forests national park one of the most rewarding areas to explore. The park is found in Fort Portal (Western Uganda) and it protects 13 species of primates including Chimpanzees and chimpanzees are the most attractive primates in the park. These chimpanzees can be seen swinging in tree branches as one treks through the forest trails where you will also come to see a variety of bird species because the park also inhabits over 300 bird species.
Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park starts from Kanyanchu visitor centre at 08:00am and 02:00pm and lasts 2-3 hours. Well trained park guides will be there to take tourists through this ritual and this activity is for 6 persons per group and advance booking is essential.
Only children above 12 years are allowed to go into the forests to view the chimpanzees otherwise Kibale national park has many activities for children under 12 years such as educational forest walks of 1-2 hours followed by creative activities like pond dipping, cyanotype photography and batik-making.
Chimpanzee permits are supposed to be bought in advance and three weeks earlier before your tour and there are some tips and rules you will to look into before and when you are in the park such as; you are advised to be physically fit, you are advised to keep a certain distance while observing the primates to prevent spread of diseases to the primates, no smoking in the park, no using of flash light cameras, do not litter in the park, maintain maximum silence when trekking the chimps and for toilet issues you will be told to dig a hole aside in the forest for proper and good disposal of wastes.
Kibale Forest National Park has a variety of shelters where chimpanzee trekkers will live in during their Uganda tour and these include; Mount Gahinga safari lodge, Mucha hotel, Travelers rest hotel, Amajambere iwacu community camp, Kisoro tourist hotel and many more.
There are also other places in Uganda where chimpanzees can also be tracked from such as from Queen Elizabeth National Park where chimpanzees in this park are tracked in the thick forests of Kyambra Gorge within the park. Kyambura Gorge experience is more than discovering chimpanzees in their natural environment and it teaches visitors about the ecosystems of Kyambura Gorge’s atmospheric ‘’underground’’ rain forest including vegetation types. The park also has many lodges where visitors can stay for their tour and these include Kyambura game lodge, Mweya safari lodge, Hippo safari lodge, Ishasha wilderness camp, Jacana safari lodge and Kyambura gorge lodge.
Those are the best national parks in Uganda for the chimpanzee safaris though they can still be tracked in Ngamba island in Kalangala district whereby the island can be accessed on a ferry which runs from Kasenyi landing site in Entebbe to Ssese island in Kalangala district where you will find the speed boats which will take you direct to Ngamba island for chimpanzee tracking. Ngamba Island also has good facilitated lodges for the chimpanzee trekkers and from the island you will also get involved in other activities such as boat trips and adventuring of the nearby islands such as Kimi island where you will see fishermen on lake Victoria practicing fishing and the mostly fish species caught there is Tilapia, Nile Perch and Silver fish.