Uganda is a basket of primates and among them include chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are considered to be our closest cousin for sharing 99% DNA with human being. Chimpanzees are the second Thought after Gorillas and most visitors taking Uganda safari tours engage in this rewarding adventure.
Chimpanzees are highly intelligent and are capable of using tools like sticks, stones and pods among others during their routine work. They are also social and they stay in communities of dozens of animals with alpha male chimpanzee. Chimpanzees commonly use fours (knuckle-walking), but can stand and walk upright. Chimpanzees have long arms, hands, and fingers, which help them climb trees and swing from branch to branch.
Though chimpanzees stay in tropical forest, they can also be found in woodlands and grasslands spanning from central to western Africa.
Below are chimpanzee destinations in Uganda:
- Kibale National park – Kibale National Park stands 1,590m above sea level. The lowest point is 1,100m on the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley to the south. 351 tree species have been recorded in Kibale National Park, some rise to over 55m and are over 200 years old. Kibale’s varied altitude supports different types of habitat, ranging from wet tropical forest on the Fort Portal plateau to woodland and savanna on the rift valley floor. Kibale is one of Africa’s foremost research sites. While many researchers focus on the chimpanzees and other primates found in the park, others are investigating Kibale’s ecosystems, wild pigs and fish species, among other topics.
Currently, Kibale National park offers Gorilla trekking at US$200 per person and chimpanzee Habituation at US$220 per person.
- Budongo Forest – Situated in northwest Uganda from Kampala city. Budongo forest is believed to be along the way to Murchison Falls National park. And it’s on the escarpment northeast of Lake Albert. It is known for its former abundance of East African mahogany trees as well as being home to a population of chimpanzees.
Today, the cost of chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest cost us$ 80 per person and Chimpanzee habituation at US$160 per person.
- Kyambura Gorge – Its situated in Queen Elizabeth National Park (the second largest National Park in Uganda). Kyambura is located on north-eastern side of QENP, approximately 30 km from QENP Headquarters. Kyambura Gorge spans a distance of 11 km and links to the Kazinga Channel, which forms the northern boundary of the reserve. Village and plantations lie to the south. The cost f chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge is US$50 per person and among the cheapest.
- Kalinzu forest – Its part of Queen Elizabeth National park and famous for chimpanzee trekking with over 300 individual chimpanzees and a bout 40 chimpanzees were habituated by Japanese researchers some few years back. The cost of Chimpanzee trekking in kalinzu Forest is US$40 per person and no park entry fees required.
- Ngamba island – It’s situated in Lake Victoria and one of the most popular Islands in Uganda. Ngamba Island is known for hosting orphaned chimpanzees captured from different parts of Uganda. The Island can be reached by water from Entebbe water front beach and Air from Kajjansi or Entebbe Airport. Over 49 chimpanzees living in a sanctuary setting where they have 95 acres of forest to roam every day. See how much food they eat, meet the team who care for them and watch chimpanzee social behavior up close from a viewing platform that overlooks the forest. The cost of chimpanzee trip: 1 Person $326. 2 Persons $168 each. 3 Persons $118 each.
- Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education centre (UWEC) – Formerly called “Entebbe Zoo”, UWEC was opened in 1952, by the Colonial Government in Uganda, as a reception centre for wild animals that were found as casualties. Among the primate there include chimpanzees- the orphaned ones which were rescued from the hostile human environment. The cost of chimpanzee up close at UWEC: Resident: $15. Non-East African: $35.