Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park: Kibale forest national park is located in the western part of Uganda south of fort portal city. The national park is famous for its amazing primate watching activities. Kibale forest national park boasts the highest number of primates in the world making it a primate capital. Kibale forest national park is home to 13 primate species that live in a 776 sq. km area of tropical rainforest cover.
Chimp trekking is the main activity done in Kibale forest national park and t has attracted thousands of tourists from different parts of the world. The chimp tracking activity is loved because tourists get an opportunity of getting close to animals that are said to be their close relatives sharing 98% DNA.
Kibale forest national park is the top destination in Uganda when it comes to chimpanzee trekking activities. The national park has over 1500 chimpanzee species living in different areas of the forest. Some of these chimpanzees have been trained and are used to human presence around them. There are 13 families in Kibale forest national park and only 1 is fully habituated and open for chimpanzee trekking.
The fully habituated chimpanzee family of Kibale forest national park is open for trekking activities all throughout the year to tourists that have chimpanzee permits got from Uganda Wildlife Authority. The habituated chimpanzees of Kibale forest national park are very friendly, calm, and are okay with human presence around them. Kibale chimpanzees are very playful that they can get down from trees and come towards you which gives you an opportunity to have clear views and take photos.
The chimpanzee trekking experience in Kibale forest national park
On the day of chimpanzee trekking, tourists wake up early in the morning and have breakfast or evening after lunch then pack all they need and move to Kanyanchu visitors center. This is where all tourists that are going for the trekking activity gather to hear what the park wardens have to say. The tourists are checked if they have valid chimp trekking permits and then briefed about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity.
After the briefing, trekkers are grouped not exceeding 8 people and they are given armed ranger guides who lead them in the jungle knowing where the chimpanzees could be. The search for endangered chimpanzees goes for 2-6 hours and the time taken depends on the speed of trekkers, the nature of trails, and the location of the chimpanzee family.
During the search for chimpanzees, tourists get to meet different mammals, primates, birds, and vegetation cover. When the chimpanzees are found, tourists are given one hour to be around them and this comes with opportunities of knowing about their habits, taking photographs, and watching them do daily activities among which include climbing trees, nesting, playing, hunting, coupling, feed, and resting among others.
The price of chimpanzee trekking permits for Kibale forest national park.
For any traveler to participate in a chimpanzee trekking exercise, they must have a chimpanzee trekking permit obtained from the Uganda wildlife authority a government body controlling and managing all national park activities. Kibale chimpanzee trekking permits are sold to children above the age of 12 years and each permit does cost $200 for foreign non-residents, $150 for foreign residents, and UGX150,000 for East African citizens.
What to pack for a chimpanzee trekking safari in Kibale forest national park?
There is not much that you need to pack for a chimpanzee trekking safari in Kibale forest national park but here are a few things that don’t have to miss on your list. Things to pack for chimpanzee trekking safari include shorts, long-sleeved shirts, a pair of gaiters, gardening gloves, long cotton stocks, waterproof hiking shoes, a rain jacket, a sweater, sunscreen, insect repellents, light backpack, a camera, a pair of binoculars, energy giving snacks and a drinking water bottle
Best time for chimpanzee trekking Kibale
Are you wondering about what would be the best time for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale? This activity can be carried out all throughout the year however certain months are extraordinary. The dry months from June to September and December to February is the best time for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale and this is because the park receives little or no rainfall, the thick vegetation is thin and scattered due to sunshine, the trekking trails are dry, and easily passable and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.
Tourists can still carry out chimpanzee trekking in Kibale in the rainy season because the park is always open. The rainy season happens from March to May and October to November and it favors budget travelers more as the lodges are somehow cheaper. Chimpanzee trekking in the rainy season attracts a few tourists because there is too much rainfall, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the wildlife, trekking trails are muddy and slippery and the vegetation is tall and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Getting to Kibale Forest Ntional Park
Tourists visiting Kibale forest national park for chimpanzee trekking safaris can get to the park by using road transport or air transport. The most convenient option is to fly to Kasese airstrip which is located a few km from the park. Flights take 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Kasese airstrip from Kajjansi airstrip and Entebbe international airport.
It is also possible to use a good safari vehicle which is 4×4 from Kampala/Entebbe to Kibale forest national park. To travel to Kibale forest national park using road transport will take you 5-6 hours which are full of great views along the way. The routes are Kampala/Entebbe via Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi and Kasese. Kampala/Entebbe via Mityana, Mubende, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, and Fort Portal.
Where to stay in Kibale forest
Accommodation facilities in Kibale forest national park are very spacious and comfortable for travelers that want to spend a night or more on their chimpanzee trekking safari in Kibale forest national park. Accommodation in Kibale forest national park ranges from budget to mid-range to luxury options and where to stay depends on a number of factors which include travel budget, security, prices, food preferences, and much more.
The accommodation facilities where tourists can stay before or after a chimpanzee trekking safari include Chimpundu Lodge, Primate Lodge, Rwetera Safari Park, Isunga Lodge, Kibale Forest Camp, Turaco Treetops, Kibale Forest Lodge, Kyaninga Crater Lodge, Ndali Lodge, Papaya Lake Lodge, Chimpanzee Forest Guest House, and Crater Safari Lodge among others.