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Chimpanzee trekking is one of the most captivating activities best done in kibale national park. Kibale national park has the biggest population of chimpanzees in Uganda and is the reason as to why it is referred to as “the primate capital of the world”. Chimpanzee trekking starts early in the morning with the briefing from the rangers while encountering the chimpanzees. This helps to avoid fatal accidents that may result as a result of misconduct. Possibly this is the reason as to why children are not allowed to go for chimpanzee trekking. A group of six people is allowed to trek for the chimpanzees at a go; however there are two trekking shifts; morning and evening shifts.

The trek is guided by two rangers, one rangers goes inside a head to spot the alpha male of a certain community, then signals back so that the rest can get started in the trail to track that particular community; chimpanzee trekking takes about 2-3 hours however, a 1 hour interaction is allowed for you and these primates in their natural setting.

Chimpanzee trekking is the opportunity for you to see the chimpanzees in their authentic environment and also earn their behaviors such as the feeding habits, interactions, sociality with other groups and humans, plus, taking closer and clear photos of the chimpanzees is allowed but no flash light. Chimpanzee trekking is such a rewarding activity that you would not want to miss during your primates safari in Uganda.

How is chimpanzee trekking different from gorilla trekking?

Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park One of the most obvious difference between chimpanzees and gorillas is that the gorillas are larger in size. This implies that adult gorillas spend most of their time on the ground. They rarely climb trees unless it is absolutely necessary. Tree climbing is left to the younger gorillas. Chimpanzees spend most of their time on trees. They are very agile and can move at incredible speed on top of the trees. This makes it harder to see or take good photos of them. Chimpanzees are very lively and noisy while gorillas are gentler. Despite the drama and noise among chimps, you get the feeling that you are part of them. Members of a gorilla group are very close and protective of each other. Another noticeable difference between gorilla tracking and chimp trekking is that gorillas live in colder and higher altitude with more difficult terrain. Chimps live on lower and flatter ground and hence the trek is not as demanding or tiring.

To see both primates, you will need a permit. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $700 while chimp permits cost only cost $200. Only a certain number of people may visit a particular gorilla group or chimp community in a day. Chimpanzee trekking can be arranged in two sessions (morning and afternoon) while gorilla trekking can only be done in the morning. In Kibale Chimpanzee Trekking is now done three times a day. For both activities, you need good hiking boots and the right clothes to have the best possible trek.

The best time to for chimpanzee tracking in Kibale

Uganda has two rainy and dry seasons like most countries located along the equator. The rainy seasons are between April to May and October to November while the dry season falls between Decembers to early March. The best time for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest is during the drier season.  However, given the popularity of the forest for chimp tracking, it can get crowded during the dry season. If you have come to see the chimps alongside other activities and wildlife adventures in the other game parks, then the dry season would be ideal. I would recommend that you visit during the low season if you have come to see only the chimps in Uganda to avoid the crowds. Besides, Kibale is a rain forest and the rains should be expected any time of the year. If possible, book for the morning session because the weather in the afternoon is unpredictable (rains are common).

Are you wondering how to reach Kibale National Park? Well, if you are traveling on your own, you need to get a bus or taxi in Kampala city which will take you on a 300 kilometer journey to the town of Fort Portal. From Fort Portal you will drive for 36 kilometers to the Kanyanchu visitor center. The most convenient way to reach the park for international travelers is to book your safari with a reliable tour company. They will take care of everything including meals, transportation, accommodation and a Guide/Driver.

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