Chimpanzee Trekking

There are only 21 countries in Africa where you can find chimpanzees in the wild. Uganda is one of those countries. It is actually the best place in east Africa to see chimpanzees. In west and central Africa, there is a lot of human encroachment on chimpanzee habitats, and hunting of chimpanzees for meat, which will eventually bring down the number of countries that have chimpanzees in the wild if those activities are not controlled.

Chimpanzee trekking is the activity where travelers with the help of a guide through the jungle follow the trail left by a habituated chimpanzee family and when they find them, spend some time (usually an hour) with the chimps experiencing their cultures.

If you are looking to see chimpanzees in east Africa, Uganda is the best choice you could ever make. With various forests and national parks, One of Africa’s most important primate sanctuaries, Kibale Forest is home to 1,500 chimpanzees, offering a high return in terms of sightings for one’s efforts. In tracking the chimpanzee through high canopy rain forest, you will be exposed to the delights, foibles and routines of behavior not unlike our own; a rare and extremely rewarding experience.

The chimpanzee habituation experience on the other hand, is where you get to experience a day with researchers who are involved in the chimpanzee habituation process. Habituation is a two-year long process, so you get to spend the day watching the researchers go about habituating some chimpanzees.

A typical day for a chimpanzee habituation experience starts early. You need to be up early, take an early breakfast. You are advised to pack lunch.

You set off before dawn to meet your guide and then you chimpanzee adventure begins. Your guide will lead you to the chimpanzee nests for the night before.

The chimpanzees arise at the break dawn as you approach their nests. And your day of observing the chimpanzees begins. Chimpanzee habituation is aimed at getting the chimpanzees used to human presence and is a long process that can take up to two years before a group of chimpanzees can safely be considered habituated. As a visitor you are part of this experience for the day.