Chimpanzee trekking ranks second after gorilla trekking tours in east and central Africa. The enticing stories about memorable chimpanzee encounters have encouraged more travelers from near and distant regions to meet face to face with critically endangered species. Chimpanzees share roughly 98% of human genes and hence posses most human-like characters that make them exceptional creatures with visiting. Just like gorillas, chimpanzees were once at the verge of extinction and are therefore listed in the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Just like in mountain gorillas, chimpanzee trekking involves several hours to hiking up and down through the jungle before meeting chimpanzees. Lucky travelers hear chimpanzees screaming in the jungle off and on which make it easy to trace them. Much as there are many chimpanzee destinations, we bring you the top chimpanzee destinations that reward you with memorable chimpanzee encounters. These include among others:
Kibale forest national park
Also known as “capital for primates”, Kibale forest national park is home to the highest number of chimpanzees in the world. The rain forest is located in Fort portal district. Spreading over 776 square kilometers. The park has over 351 tree species that provide food and habitat for different kinds of bird and wildlife. Chimpanzee hikes in Kibale forest start from kanyanchu visitor information Centre and travelers are advised to follow rules and regulations for the safety of chimpanzees and tourists. Besides chimpanzees, travelers to Kibale forest national park have an opportunity to see other animals such as red duikers, blue duikers, bushbucks, sitatungas, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, common warthogs and African buffalos, leopards, African golden cats, serval cats, different mongooses, red-tailed monkeys, white and black Columbus among others. Fortunately, chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest is presently done in sessions, which are morning, mid-morning and afternoon. Travelers who want to spend extended time with chimpanzees can do Chimpanzee habituation experience, which is a whole day’s interaction with these apes at a cost of $220 for a single permit.
Situated in Murchison falls national park, Budongo forest is yet another destination to see chimpanzees in northwestern Uganda. The rain forest spreads over 825 square kilometers 430 of which is natural forest and the other part covered by bushes and swamps. Travelers trekking chimpanzees in Kibale forest are advised to use KIchumbanyobo gate and it’s here that hiking starts from.
Also, called the “great valley of apes”, Kyambura gorge is a home to chimpanzees in the far eastern corner of Queen Elizabeth national park. The gorge is named after Kyambura River, which drains in the heart of it. Fortunately, the population of chimpanzees in kyambura gorge has increased to over 40 chimpanzees, which give hope for sustainable chimpanzee tours in Kyambura and Uganda as a whole. Also, chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge s much easier compared to Kibale forest which makes it the best spot for the physically unfit travelers.
Nyungwe forest national park
Situated in southwestern Rwanda, Nyungwe forest is the only destination to see chimpanzees in the land of a thousand hills. The tropical region forest is home to two groups of habituated chimpanzees each of which has over 50 members. Research shows that Nyungwe forest national park is a home to over 500 chimpanzees half of which are habituated for trekking. Trekking is done in two regions one in the main forest and another one in Cyamudongo forest. Besides chimpanzees, Nyungwe forest is home to Ruwenzori colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, Silver monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, vervet monkeys, golden monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkey, red-tailed monkeys, forest elephants, buffalos, and bush pigs among others. Also, Nyungwe forest offer travelers with a canopy walk 60- meters above the forest rewarding you with aerial views of the forest, wildlife, Virunga volcanoes and local communities adjacent to the national park. The national park comprises of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, swamps, and bogs, which provide food and habitat to different animals and birds.
Other destinations to see chimpanzees include Mahale national park in Tanzania spreading over 1613 square kilometers, Gombe stream national park, Gishwati and Kibira national park among others.
In general, chimpanzee trekking is one of the best wildlife experiences in the wild. Book a chimpanzee tour to any destination of your choice, meet face to face with these endangered species in the jungle and experience this memorable feeling.