Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda
Chimpanzee habituation in Uganda is a once-in-a-lifetime event that no tourist cannot miss out on while on safari in the nation. The chimp habituation experience is full of adventure and thrilling experiences to take home with you.
It’s one thing to spend an hour with Uganda’s chimps; it’s quite another to spend a whole day with these wonderful creatures. Most visitors are unaware that they may choose between chimp tracking and chimp habituation. The two are diametrically opposed.
In Uganda, there are around 4950 chimps, with an estimated total of 1500 chimps in Kibale Forest alone. Tourists in Uganda can only participate in chimp habituation experiences in two approved locations: Kibale Forest and Budongo Forest. However, chimp habituation occurs on Ngamba Island, which also has a Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Chimpanzee habituation experience entails acclimating chimps to the presence of people, which can take up to two years. Visitors on a chimp habituation tour in Uganda spend a full day with chimps, watching them, studying their habits and eating patterns while in their natural habitat.
The chimp habituation experience in Uganda necessitates being both physically and psychologically prepared for the task. The action starts early in the morning, before daylight, around 6:00 or 6:30 a.m. This implies that tourists should have breakfast and carry a lunch before venturing into the forest.
Similarly to how chimp tracking and gorilla tracking activities begin with a briefing, all chimp habituation experience activities begin with visitors being informed by the UWA chief ranger at Kibale national park. You will be greeted by your guide, briefed, and then go off into the jungle before daybreak.
The chimp habituation experience includes recording the chimps’ latest behavior and where they constructed their nests the night before. Tourists on the chimp habituation experience learn to recognize the chimps individually based on their markings, scars, and other distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from the others.
The chimp habituation experience takes conducted in groups in Uganda. A small group can have up to six persons (an UWA ranger, a guide, and four visitors), whereas a big group can have up to eight people (UWA guide and ranger, plus 6 tourists.)
At the conclusion of the day (about 7 p.m.), the chimps return to their newly constructed nests for the night-time, while tourists return to their lodges. For most guests, this is the conclusion of the fantastic chimp habituation experience, with many of photographs to take home as memories of an incredible chimp habituation safari in Uganda.
Where to do Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda.
Chimpanzee Habituation in Budongo Forest-Murchison Falls National Park.
Budongo woodland near Murchison Falls National Park is another location in Uganda where travellers may go monkey tracking while on safari. However, chimp habituation experiences are only available during the low/off seasons, when there is less visitor traffic in the forest. A private company known as the Jane Goodall Institute for Research provides both chimp habituation and tracking experience in Budongo Forest.
Chimpanzee habituation in Budongo forest in Murchison Falls National Park began in 1992 with the express purpose of acquainting chimps with humans by riding the primates out of their fear of humans. The dread that chimps have and may still have for humans originated as a result of the species’ on-going hunting, particularly in recent years. Chimpanzees were hunted for their bush meat, which was then sold on the underground market. However, owing to continuing conservation and chimp rehabilitation initiatives, the once-endangered primates are now shielded from such external dangers, and their numbers have increased dramatically.
Chimpanzee habituation and tracking in the Budongo forest are only offered to tourists above the age of 15. This activity is strictly limited to the age groups mentioned since it requires a lot of rigorous trekking and tracking tasks that are not appropriate for youngsters. Furthermore, there is no telling how the chimps would respond to the presence of people in their midst, making it a dangerous pastime for youngsters to participate in.
Chimpanzees in Budongo Forest can occasionally be spotted walking about Budongo-eco Resort, which can be a thrilling experience for those staying at the lodge. Chimpanzee acclimatization may be done at Budongo Forest for USD 160 per person.
Tourists who want to view chimps in Budongo forest must travel 237 kilometers from Kampala, which takes around 4 hours. Most people, however, can visit Budongo woodland following a safari to Murchison Falls National Park. Budongo Forest is located in the south-eastern portion of Murchison Falls National Park, and it takes take one and a half hours of driving to reach there.
Visitors can enter Budongo forest through the Kichumbanyobo gate, which is located in the national park’s southern section. Visitors must travel 8 kilometres from here to the forest headquarters, which are located at the Budongo-eco Lodge.
Chimpanzee Habituation in Kibale National Park.
Tourists have a second option for chimp habituation in Kibale forest, which is located in the south-western portion of Uganda. Kibale National Park, operated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, provides chimp habituation and tracking experiences in Kibale Forest.
Chimpanzee habituation takes 6 hours in Kibale Forest, and visitors are placed in groups of no more than 6 persons, escorted by an armed UWA ranger and expert guide who can easily track and find the chimps.
During the chimpanzee habituation in Kibale Forest, guests will get the opportunity to observe other animals such as black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, buffalos, warthogs, bush pigs, and elephants, among others. Visitors may also view over 350 bird species that reside in the forest, including the olive long-tailed cuckoo, ground thrush, and grey parrot, to name a few.
Tourists interested in chimp habituation in Kibale Forest must first register at the tourist centre in Kibale National Park. You will then be instructed by the park’s top ranger before heading out into the forest. To reach Kibale National Park, tourists must drive approximately 308 kilometers from Kampala City. This route will take you around 4-5 hours to complete on the road.
Cost of Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda.
Tourists interested in chimp habituation in Uganda must pay $250 per person for foreign non-residents and foreign residents, as well as UGX 200,000 shillings for East African nationals. This price is for a full-day chimp habituation session at Kabale National Park.
Best Time for Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda.
The chimp habituation in Uganda is best done during the months of March and May, as well as in November. Because there is less tourist traffic in the Kibale National Park and Budongo forests at this season, tourists may simply track the chimps and get considerably closer to them.