A chimpanzee trekking tour is an experience where a trekker goes to the forest to view the already habituated chimpanzees. The habituated chimpanzees are normally confined in one area and are not aggressive and stubborn. They are friendly. Chimpanzee tracking can take 1-3 hours. Tracking chimpanzees is a very interesting experience. Get you walking shoes on as we move through the bush and jungle to spend one hour with our fascinating relatives, watching them swing through the trees across the ground in front of us. The chances of seeing the chimps are more than 95% in Kibale Forest which makes it the best place in East Africa to track chimps.
We also have Chimpanzee Habituation Experience which entails you getting the chimpanzees used to the presence of human to remove the fear of humans from the group, a process that takes up to two years and today you are part of that process by your all day presence in the forests of Budongo and Kibale forest .Years ago, it used to be that you had a 20% chance of seeing chimpanzees in the wild, today because of the habituation process that has increased to over 90%. . It’s a unique, all-day trek and there’s no telling where the chimpanzees will lead you. Their movements are unpredictable whether it’s uphill, downhill or on even ground, you follow the agile group, sometimes at challenging speeds through dense vegetation, for rare, up-close encounters.
There are different tour operators organizing gorilla, chimpanzee trek and habituation safaris, in Uganda. If you are interested in a safari please check one of the tour operators listed on thos website.
The full day chimpanzee habituation experience (CHEX) works with a chimp community which is undergoing habituation. Early visitor can watch chimps leaving their overnight nests between 6:00- 6:30am before feeding, copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, resting, patrolling and displaying until it is time to build new nests around 7pm and you head back to your lodging for the evening.
Chimpanzee habituation permits cost USD 220 per person per experience, for foreign non-residents cost USD 150, foreign residents USD 7O for East Africans and in this cost; one is entitled to full day chimpanzee habituation experience guided by researchers, park entry fees and UWA guides. Chimpanzee habituation permits are issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority. Chimpanzees’ tracking permit costs USD 150 per person per experience and is entitled only one hour.
Just like gorilla permits, chimpanzee tracking and chimpanzee habituation permits should be booked in advance. I advised to book at least 3 months in advance, which will help you to arrange your safari once permits are guaranteed.
Chimpanzee tracking is done all year round but chimpanzee habituation experience is best in the months of March, April, May and November, when there is less tourist congestion. In a small group a ranger plus a maximum of four people, you get much closer to the chimps than during chimp tracking in large groups.