Uganda, often referred to as the “Pearl of Africa,” is a country blessed with stunning natural beauty and an incredible diversity of wildlife. One of the most exciting wildlife experiences you can have in Uganda is chimpanzee tracking. This thrilling adventure takes you deep into lush forests to observe these fascinating primates in their natural habitat. In this article, we’ll explore five incredible places in Uganda where you can go chimpanzee tracking and discuss the prices associated with this unforgettable experience.
1. Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park, located in western Uganda, is renowned as the “Primate Capital of the World.” It is home to the largest population of chimpanzees in Uganda, making it an ideal destination for chimpanzee tracking with a 95% success rate. The price for a chimpanzee tracking permit in Kibale Forest National Park is $200 per person. This fee grants you a permit to track chimpanzees and spend an hour observing them in their natural habitat. There is also the chimpanzee habituation activity that goes for 250 USD and this allows four hours plus with researchers and rangers in the forest with groups that are being habituated for tourism purpose. For those that want more than an hour like photographers, this is a great option.
2. Budongo Forest Reserve
Budongo Forest Reserve, situated within Murchison Falls National Park in northwestern Uganda, offers an exceptional chimpanzee tracking experience. The lush greenery of this forest provides an incredible backdrop for your adventure. The permit cost for chimpanzee tracking in Budongo Forest Reserve is approximately $80 to $120 per person. These are managed by Uganda Lodges under Budongo Eco Lodge. For those that would love a Big 5 safari with Chimpanzee tracking, you can do a 4 days safari to Murchison falls National Park with a visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for Rhinos and Budongo Forest Reserve for chimpanzee tracking, It is Uganda’s second best location for Chimpanzee tracking after Kibale National park.
3. Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura Gorge, often called the “Valley of Apes,” is found within Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda. Chimpanzee tracking in this unique location allows you to explore a gorge filled with dense vegetation. Permits for chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge are priced at $50 per person.
4. Kalinzu Forest Reserve
This is Uganda’s third best for seeing chimpanzees. It has about an 85% chance of seeing chimpanzee. The forest is on the Kasese-Ishaka about 35 minutes drive from Queen Elizabeth National Park. For those that wish to track chimpanzee at a cost better than Kibale and with a good success rate, this is the place.
5. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
If you prefer a more controlled and educational chimpanzee experience, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria is an excellent choice. While not a traditional tracking experience, you can observe chimpanzees up close during guided visits. The cost for a day trip to Ngamba Island, including the boat ride and sanctuary visit, ranges from $200 to $300 per person. This depends on the number of persons in a group and the means you would want to use to get to the island.
1. Booking in Advance: It’s advisable to book your chimpanzee tracking permits well in advance, especially during the peak tourist season, to secure your spot. The permits at Kibale National Park and Kyambura Gorge are sold by Uganda Wildlife Authority and at Kalinzu Forest Reserve, you pay to National Forestry Authority offices at the offices at the forest.
2. Group Size: Group sizes for chimpanzee tracking are usually limited to minimize disturbance to the chimpanzees and their habitat.
3. Health Precautions: Visitors are required to follow specific health guidelines to protect both themselves and the chimpanzees, especially in light of recent global health concerns.
Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda offers a unique opportunity to connect with our closest relatives in the animal kingdom while immersing yourself in the country’s breathtaking natural beauty. Each of the mentioned locations provides a distinct experience, from the dense forests of Kibale to the serene Budongo Reserve. While prices may vary slightly, the experience of encountering these intelligent primates in their natural habitat is priceless, making it an adventure worth embarking on for any nature enthusiast or wildlife lover.
Book a Chimpanzee tracking safari here.