Budget chimpanzee trekking safari in Kibale forest national park
Budget chimpanzee trekking safari in Kibale forest national park: Kibale forest national park is protected area managed and controlled by Uganda wildlife authority in western Uganda. It was gazetted as a national park in 1993 to protect wildlife as well as the natural forest. The national park as of today hosts 13 primates, 76 mammals, and 370 bird species.
Chimpanzee trekking is the main activity carried out in Kibale forest national park and people think it’s a luxury. Well, chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park can be done by budget travelers as long as they can buy chimpanzee permits. On a budget trekking safari to Kibale forest national park we look at using budget lodges, being part of a few park activities, and accessing the park using road transport.
Chimpanzee trekking permits for budget travelers
The price of chimpanzee trekking permits for Kibale forest national park is the same for every individual. Budget travelers will get the chimpanzee trekking permits at the same price a luxury traveler will get it. A single chimpanzee trekking permit does cost $250 for foreign non-residents, $200 for foreign residents, and UGX150,000 East African citizens.
To get the chimpanzee trekking permit you will get a trusted local tour operator whom you will send your travel details and he will use them to check for the availability of the permits with the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Once the permits are available, you will be required to pay a certain amount of money and once you do your permit shall be booked. On the day your safari starts you will get your permit and you must move with to the briefing centre.
Chimpanzee trekking on a budget safari in Kibale forest national park
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park is not so expensive so it’s affordable to budget travelers. The chimpanzee trekking activity is done by travelers that have permits obtained from Uganda Wildlife Authority. With your chimpanzee trekking permit, you will have to wake up very early morning for breakfast and later move to Kanyanchu visitors center.
When all trekkers gather at the briefing point, they are taught about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity. Later they are grouped not exceeding 8 people and they are given armed ranger guides to lead them in the jungle searching for chimpanzees at the same time protecting them from dangerous wild animals.
The search for Kibale chimpanzees in Kibale forest national park takes 2-6 hours and the time taken depends on the location of the chimpanzee family as well as the speed of trekkers. After some time of searching and meeting chimpanzees, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around these apes and it helps them to learn about the chimpanzee habits, take photos and watch them do daily activities such as nesting, feeding, coupling, and breastfeeding among others.
Apart from chimpanzee trekking, budget travelers have a lot of more affordable activities they can do before leaving the park. There are nature walks activities that are organized by those that love exploring the wild by foot, bird watching for bird lovers because the area is home to more than 370 bird species, and community tours around Bakiga and Batoro communities surrounding the park.
What to pack for budget chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park?
Budget travelers visiting Kibale forest national park for chimpanzee trekking should pack waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, a pair of gaiters, long-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shorts, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellents, a camera, a pair of binoculars, drinking water bottle and energy giving snacks to mention but a few.
The most appropriate time to have budget chimpanzee trekking safaris in Kibale
The best time to have budget chimpanzee trekking safaris in Kibale forest national park is the rainy season. During the rainy season, a few tourists visit the park, and this forces lodge owners to lower the prices of accommodation in order to attract the few tourists visiting the park. During the low season, even tour operators give discounts to travelers which means that the safari price does reduce.
Tourists on a budget safari and not looking at cheap accommodation facilities need to visit Kibale forest national park in the dry season because it’s when the chimpanzee trekking is best done. The dry season happens from June to September and December to February when the park is receiving little or no rainfall. During the rainy season, trekking trails are dry and passable, vegetation is short and thin with good views of wildlife, and roads leading to the park are passable.
Where to stay on a budget chimpanzee trekking safari in Kibale
Budget travelers to Kibale forest national park have a lot of accommodation facilities where they can on their chimpanzee trekking safari. These accommodation facilities include Rwetera Safari Lodge, Kibale River Camp, Kibale Forest Camp, Chimpanzee Forest Lodge, Rwenzori View Guest House, Kitojo Forest Cottages, and Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve and Community Campsites among others.
Mode of transport to use on a budget chimpanzee trekking safari
Tourists visiting Kibale forest national park for a budget safari need to access the park using road transport. The national park is located 300km away from Kampala and getting there takes 6-7 hours only. By road transport, tourists can get to Kibale from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi, and Kasese or Kampala/Entebbe via Mityana, Mubende, Kyenjojo and Fort Portal.