Meeting the Delightful Apes, Where to see Chimpanzees in Uganda

The Uganda Chimpanzee trekking experience; where to see them and the ideal packages to encounter these Great Apes. In this article, you will be able to find out where you can be able to encounter the Chimpanzees in Uganda on safari.

For some reasons, Uganda could be the best place to see wild Chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Chimpanzee tracking safaris in Uganda’s forest reserves rank closely to the re-known adventurous Mountain Gorilla tracking experiences in Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Like the Gorillas, Chimpanzees are members of the world’s Great Apes and encountering them on a packaged wildlife safari in Uganda is an exquisite African holiday moment.

Chimpanzee tracking is somewhat affordable and the ideal package would range from 1’200 Usd on a standard 3 Day Chimp safari and the average cost depends on various factors such as the category (tier) of accommodation and other safari variables. Each of the Chimpanzee location in Uganda has a different cost of the tracking permit for various categories of visitors. In Kibale Forest national park the permit costs 250USD per person Foreign Non-Residents, about 130Usd in Budongo forest, 100 Usd in Kyambura Gorge as well as 130 Usd in Kalinzu Forest.

So if you’re wondering if the Chimpanzee tracking packages in Uganda are worthwhile, rest assured.


How is the Chimpanzee tracking experience in Uganda?

The Uganda Chimpanzee tracking experience involves walking through the dense African jungle canopies looking out for a troop of habituated Chimps. The country has some of the most ideal spots to track or see chimpanzees in Africa in natural and semi-natural destinations.

So on your Chimpanzee tracking tour in Uganda, you will meet a habituated group of these primates though the country also offers an opportunity for visitors to participate in a Chimpanzee Habituation Experience in Kalinzu Forest, Budongo forest reserve (only during low season) and Kibale forest national park, which is the mainstream.

In all the Chimpanzee tracking locations in Uganda, tracking sessions commence any time of the day between 8am to 5pm, with mainly sessions departing early morning at around 8:00am, Mid-morning hours between 10-11:00am and in the afternoon at around 2:00pm. As you prepare to meet these Great Apes, on the day of tracking, you assemble at the visitor reception area were you meet with the ranger who takes you through briefing about the tracking etiquette and the activity will last basically for about 3-5hours depending on various factors. These include the movement of the Chimpanzee group, pace of the trackers and much more but irrespective of the time, there is usually an hour spent once the visitors come across these primates. The walks through the forest are conducted in groups of 6 participants.

As a travel and tourism management brand, at ATW Holidays Africa, our travel designers will help you curate an ideal Chimpanzee tracking tour package to some of the best spots around Uganda. These tour packages are all-inclusive and are customized depending on your requirements. These programs range from primate only chimpanzee tracking packages of 3-Days in sites like Kibale forest to multi day safaris which can be combined with other activities and destinations.

Its important to know that Chimpanzee tracking sessions most times involve moving for longer distances than on gorilla tracking because Chimps are usually on the move and cover a wider area compared to their counter parts, this therefore requires one to be reasonably fit.


So Where could you go for Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and what would be the ideal tour packages?

At ATW Holidays Africa we arrange all-inclusive chimpanzee tracking packages. By default, the tour package comes with accommodation, ground transportation in a 4×4 safari vehicle, guiding services, a Chimpanzee tracking permit and other amenities or ancillaries which make your program and experience seamless. Therefore our travel expert will help you to put all your requests and needs in a perfect itinerary.

Below we briefly point out to you some of the best places you can visit or where we can curate a Chimpanzee tracking package in Uganda.


Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale forest national park is situated in the western part of the country covering districts like Fort Portal, the capital of Tooro Kingdom. The immaculate tropical forest is a prime Chimpanzee tracking tourist destination in Uganda and and Africa in general and its regarded as the “Primate Capital of the World”. Its one of Africa’s busiest and preferred destination to see the Chimpanzees in their natural setting. Kibale forest shelters more than 1’500 Chimps and several habituated troops available for tracking  as well as semi-habituated families which are available for the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience. The park is a fortress for primates with 13 identified species.

The approximately 3 hours you spend tracking in the forest with an hour of watching these Great Apes are some of Africa’s best wildlife moments only outshined by Gorilla tracking especially in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Volcanos National Park.  Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest commences from Kanyanchu visitor station with schedules of 8:00am, 11:00pm and 2:00pm. For those who would wish for more time to see these primates, there’s a half or full-day Chimpanzee habituation experience with prior bookings.

Our ideal chimpanzee tracking packages in Kibale forest range from 3-Days safari to 5 and more Days of Chimpanzee tracking with other wildlife experiences i.e. 8-Days Chimpanzee, Gorilla trekking and Game viewing safari


Kyambura Gorge – Meeting the Chimps in the “Valley of the Apes”

Kyambura Gorge is a stretch within the Kyambura Wildlife reserve which is part of the Queen Elizabeth national park conservation area. Sightings of the Chimpanzees in the gorge are not as common as other sites in Uganda, with a 50/50 chance of seeing them, but the nature and ambiance in the forest is truly magical. Kyambura gorge is referred to as the “Valley of the Apes” with its jaw-dropping terrain shrouded in luxuriant green forest and its beauty is emphasized by the noisy Kyambura river.

The experience in Kyambura is beyond just tracking or watching the Chimpanzees in Uganda, but enjoying the tranquility of the African jungle, which experience will remind you about the old-world movies about the impenetrable jungles of Africa or tales which regarded Africa as a dark continent.  So if your aim is not just about seeing the Chimpanzees, the gorge is the ultimate place to be.

Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area
Kyambura Gorge

Kyambura is located at the northeastern side of Queen Elizabeth national park which is about 30mins from the park headquarters. The reserve is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The gorge has a stretch of more than 10kms with the entire wildlife reserve covering about 156 The Kyambura river hosts lots of wildlife like Hippos while the resident chimps find it as the blood-life of the gorge.

Chimpanzee tracking sessions here start any time of the day but the most ideal times of the day would be the morning, mid-morning hours and late afternoon. There’re various species of wildlife like birds such as flamingos, Hippos, Elephants and other primates. So our ideal Chimpanzee tracking packages would be a 3-Day Queen Elizabeth Wildlife safari or 5-Days Gorilla and Queen Elizabeth Safari.


Kalinzu Forest Reserve

The 147 Kalinzu forest reserve is located in the western part of the country, a short distance of about 40mins-1hour from Queen Elizabeth national park.   The forest is located in Bushenyi district, under the management of the National Forestry Authority. It has a variety of ecological bio-diversity including 6 different types of primates, more than 300 bird species, 260 butterfly species among different other species of flora and fauna.

Kalinzu forest reserve has close to 40 habituated Chimpanzees and walks in the forest are guided by the station rangers with departures at anytime of the day. The ideal Chimpanzee tracking tour package in Kalinzu forest would be a 3-Day Wildlife Safari in Queen Elizabeth or other customized safari within the western circuit and it can be done as an en-route experience.


Budongo Forest Reserve

Budongo forest reserve is situated in the northwestern part of the country, and its part of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area which covers over 5’072 square Km. The reserve rests on a size of about 825Km2 of Mahogany and Iron-wood forest tree species.

Budongo is a bio diverse eco-forest with variety of forest species such as Butterflies, Birds and mammals and it shelters over 600 Chimpanzees and 8 other identified species of primates. Budongo forest reserve is another place in Uganda where you can take part in Chimpanzee habituation experience and safaris, though its not available in the peak season months of July and August. Trails through Kaniyo Pabidi forest section are superb for Chimpanzee tracking Uganda safari experience.

The most ideal Chimpanzee tracking package to Budongo forest is a 4-Days Wildlife Safari in Murchison Falls with Chimps


Ngamba Island; meeting the Orphaned Chimps

Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary is a semi-natural home offering shelter to more than 50 orphaned or rescued Chimpanzees. The sanctuary covers 40-ha of land and its located on an island in Lake Victoria which is the second largest fresh water in the world.  Ngamba Island can be accessed from off-shore at Entebbe mainland, a distance of about 24-kilometers by boat southeast of Lake Victoria.

There’re various Chimpanzee viewing sessions conducted during the day for visitors to see these Great Apes. Those with limited time would find the sanctuary of a great appeal to see the Chimps. So if you have limited time, you can visit the sanctuary on a 1-day Chimpanzee package or a multi-day visit to Ngamba with other sites is worthwhile.

Uganda’s primate diversity and concentration is a wonder of its kind with over 23species, closely following top primate destinations such as D.R of Congo in Africa. Uganda’s Chimpanzee population of more than 5’000 individuals and its wealth of Chimps sites make it a perfect destination to be for one seeking a Chimpanzee tracking safari package in Africa.

At ATW Holidays Africa, we curate customized Chimpanzee tracking safari packages in all top destinations around Uganda, a country tagged the “Pearl of Africa”. Reach out to us to talk to our travel planner by Tel/What’s App +256-773148649 or Email: