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PLACES TO TREK CHIMPANZEES IN UGANDA

PLACES TO TREK CHIMPANZEES, Chimpanzee trekking is one of the most sough-after and interesting tourist activities conducted in Uganda, with several places to enjoy the activity. Scientifically known as Pan Troglodytes, Chimpanzees are 98.7% relates to humans making the mankind’s closest relatives and a trip to the different chimpanzee trekking places in Uganda will bring you closer to your close cousins.

Chimpanzees weigh between 25 and 70 kilograms and can live for up to 50 years in the wild. These primates are primarily herbivorous with their diet mainly comprised of leaves and fruits as well as buds and sometimes insects. They live in communities/troops comprising of Alpha male, females, juveniles and infants.

The World population of these apes is estimated to be between 172,000 and 300,000 individuals, with most of them in African countries (up to 21 countries) especially Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Guinea among others. For Uganda, over 5000 chimpanzees are distributes across different areas that include Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest, Kyambura gorge, Kalinzu forest, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Uganda Wildlife Education Center and Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park in western Uganda is the top chimpanzee trekking destination with over 1500 of the total 5000 chimpanzees in the country. This activity in Kibale Forest National Park usually starts from Kanyanchu visitor Center with a briefing before trekkers enter the jungles for a moment with mankind’s closest relatives. Popularly known as the “primates Capital of the World”, Kibale Forest National Park is a home to other primates that include the grey-cheeked mangabeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos, Olive baboons and L’Hoests monkeys among others. The Park also shelters other mammals such as elephants, leopards and Sitatunga as well as several species of birds, reptiles, butterflies and Amphibians.

Budongo Forest

Budongo is a Tropical rainforest found in north-western Uganda, at the edge of Murchison falls National Park. It also shelters a significant population of chimpanzees that are trekked within the Kaniyo-Pabidi area and also offers an opportunity of participating in the immersive Chimpanzee Habituation Experience. Besides the chimpanzees, Budongo Forest offers shelter to other primates including the olive baboons that usually welcome tourists to the area, vervet monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys. Chimpanzee trekking is not the only activity in Budongo Forest but also nature walks and birding for forest species. With your visit to Murchison falls National Park, you can trek chimpanzees in addition to enjoying wildlife safaris.

Kyambura gorge

Kyambura gorge is an isolated underground forest within the vast savannah-dominated Queen Elizabeth National Park, in the western side of Uganda. Kyambura gorge is one of the rare jewels of this National Park with a thick forest and lies within the Albertine Rift Valley. You can trek the chimpanzees and after few hours spend one hour with them. Other residents of the Kyambura gorge are the olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys and snake species. Queen Elizabeth is another perfect spot for tourists interested in combining chimpanzee and wildlife safaris (with views of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, Uganda Kobs, Defassa waterbucks, elands, warthogs and Topis).

Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Toro-Semliki is one of the few Wildlife Reserves where chimpanzees can be trekked in Uganda. Nestled along the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border, the Reserve together with the greater Semliki National Park offer perfect opportunity of coming into close contact with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat. PLACES TO TREK CHIMPANZEES

Chimpanzees in the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve have been habituated and studied by the Indiana University Researchers. The forests where the chimpanzees are found are lighter, with less cover and sometimes the apes also go to the open savannah hence making it easier to sight them.

Kalinzu Forest

Chimpanzee trekking is the most sought-after activity for tourists visiting the verdant Kalinzu Forest and surprisingly, it is the second best for this activity after the popular Kibale Forest National Park. This south-western based Forest is a home to more than 300 chimpanzees, out of which 50 have been habituated for visiting. The activity is usually conducted twice a day-in the morning starting at 8:00am and in the evening starting at 3pm. Besides the Chimpanzees, other primates call Kalinzu Forest home and they include Olive baboons, vervet monkeys and pottos among others.

Apart from the chimpanzees found in the wild (National Parks, Wildlife Reserves and forests), there is a significant population of these great apes in captivity (zoos and Sanctuaries) and these include; Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, the Uganda Wildlife Education Center and many others.PLACES TO TREK CHIMPANZEES

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