Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Uganda

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda offer an exhilarating opportunity to observe these fascinating primates in their natural habitat. With several national parks and forest reserves scattered across the country, Uganda is renowned for its rich biodiversity and abundance of chimpanzee populations. Kibale National Park stands out as one of the prime destinations for chimpanzee tracking, boasting the highest concentration of chimpanzees in Uganda. Guided by experienced trackers and park rangers, visitors embark on trekking expeditions through dense tropical forests in search of habituated chimpanzee groups. Along the way, the lush surroundings teem with other wildlife species, including various monkeys, birds, and colorful butterflies, enhancing the overall safari experience.

During chimpanzee trekking safaris, visitors have the opportunity to witness the complex social interactions and behaviors of these intelligent primates up close. From playful juveniles swinging through the trees to the wise elders grooming one another, observing chimpanzees in their natural habitat offers a profound insight into their intricate lives. As travelers navigate through the forest trails, skilled guides share their expertise about chimpanzee ecology, behavior, and conservation efforts, enriching the safari experience with educational insights. With a blend of adventure, discovery, and conservation awareness, chimpanzee tracking safaris in Uganda offer an unforgettable wildlife encounter in the heart of Africa’s pristine wilderness.

The best times of year for chimp trekking are the same as for gorilla trekking – super convenient!

Where Can I Go For Chimp Trekking In Uganda?

Trekking to see chimpanzees in Uganda offers a thrilling opportunity to observe these fascinating primates in their natural environment. Among the most renowned locations for chimpanzee tracking are Kibale Forest and Kyambura Gorge, both of which are home to habituated chimpanzee groups. Additionally, Budungo Forest presents another option for those seeking to encounter these remarkable creatures in the wild.

Kibale Forest National Park


Kibale Forest National Park stands out as a premier destination for chimpanzee trekking, boasting a population of approximately 1,200 chimpanzees. Alongside these charismatic primates, Kibale Forest is inhabited by a diverse array of other primate species, including red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and olive baboons, among others. As trekkers venture through the forest’s verdant trails, they may also encounter Uganda mangabeys, patas monkeys, blue monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys, adding to the richness of the wildlife experience. Moreover, sightings of Prince Demidoff’s bushbabies and Bosman’s pottos contribute to the park’s reputation as a biodiversity hotspot.

Kyambura Gorge (Queen Elizabeth National Park)

Located on the fringes of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura Gorge is a hidden gem renowned for its lush tropical rainforest and its unique population of around 16 chimpanzees. Secluded from larger forests like Kalinzu and Maramagambo, these chimpanzees have earned the moniker ‘the lost chimps of Kyambura’. Despite their isolated habitat, the gorge is teeming with biodiversity, hosting a plethora of bird species and other primates such as red-tailed monkeys, black-and-white colobuses, baboons, and vervet monkeys.

Trekking into Kyambura Gorge is not for the faint-hearted, as it involves a steep descent into the depths of the gorge, followed by the equally challenging ascent back to the surface. However, for those willing to undertake the adventure, the experience is nothing short of extraordinary. The opportunity to encounter these elusive chimpanzees in their natural habitat, amidst the stunning backdrop of the rainforest, makes the strenuous journey immensely rewarding.

Budongo Forest (Murchison Falls National Park)


Chimpanzee trekking is also available in Budungo Forest, situated near Murchison Falls. This stunning rainforest harbors a population of approximately 800 chimpanzees and is celebrated as the largest remaining tropical forest in East Africa, spanning an impressive 825 square kilometers. Under the vigilant protection of the Jane Goodall Institute, Budungo Forest is home to several habituated chimpanzee groups, offering visitors a unique opportunity to observe these fascinating primates in their natural habitat.

What You Need To Know About Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda

  • Chimpanzee Trekking Permits:
    • Cost: US$200 per person.
    • Two departure times: 8 am and 2 pm.
    • Group size: Limited to six people per group.
  • Briefing and Preparation:
    • Briefing by a ranger before departure, providing information about the trek and what to expect.
    • Option to hire a porter to carry backpacks and assist over difficult or slippery terrain.
  • Trekking Experience:
    • Led by a ranger, the group sets off into the forest, amidst the vibrant sounds of birdsong and monkey calls.
    • Upon encountering the chimp troop, spend one hour observing and interacting with them.
  • Chimpanzee Habituation Permit (optional):
    • Cost: $250 per person.
    • Departure time: 6 am.
    • Allows four hours of time with the chimpanzees.

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