Primate Holidays

What to expect in Kibale National Park

What to expect in Kibale National Park : Living inside the dense rainforest of Kibale National Park is human nearest relative: the chimpanzee, one of the planet’s most iconic, endangered primates. There are about 1500 wild chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park, spread among 13 communities. Some of these have been successfully acclimated for scientific research, while others are for chimpanzee trekking tours.

If you add on a gorilla tour or wildlife safari in Uganda, you can witness these gregarious and clever tailless apes up close. It is one of the forces of nature rarest, most emotionally-charged experiences one that should be included on any safari to Uganda.

What to expect in Kibale Forest National Park. 

What’s it like to go chimp trekking in Kibale?

Trekking the chimpanzees in Kibale Forest is an amazing safari experience. You awaken at or near sunrise.

After a hearty breakfast, you make your way to the Kanyanchu Visitor Centre in the Kibale Forest National Park in time for your 8:00 a.m. chimpanzee trekking adventure.

The encounter starts with a briefing when you will receive some dos and don’ts and learn a little bit about the Great Apes you are going to visit.

It’s also not a good idea to mimic chimpanzee sounds. Imitating them can sound like fun, but if you do it carelessly, you could unwittingly trigger a war cry that summons over 120 chimps to attack you.

After a briefing, you are divided into groups of no more than seven people, each of which is escorted by a local ranger guide who carries a gun in case of an emergency.

They may be high up in the treetops, grooming, playing or feasting on figs.

However, if fortune favors you, a few will have fallen to the ground, at which point the actual enchanted meeting takes place.

Face to face with wild chimps.

There’s nothing like having your first-hand, up-close experience with chimpanzees in the wild. Their intelligence will astound you with their expressions, stances, and nearly human interactions.

Their beautiful eyes will captivate you as they look directly into yours and even pose for your camera. You can be wondering if they are taking pleasure in the conversation even more than you.

Although visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda is the main draw for tourists, seeing chimpanzees in their natural habitat is equally thrilling.

No, there is no assurance of seeing chimpanzees in Kibale. But the chances of meeting chimpanzees on any one trekking trip are over 95%, which is far higher than the chances of seeing chimpanzees anywhere else in the world.

Chimpanzee sightings are less certain than gorilla trekking primarily due to their greater degree of mobility. If you’re planning a Uganda wildlife tour, you might want to consider scheduling two trekking excursions to increase your chances of sighting chimpanzees.

You can schedule one for the morning and one for the afternoon, or you can visit two different spots in Uganda for chimpanzee trekking.

What fitness level is required?

You should be in good enough shape to be able to spend two to four hours walking about, as you will be searching for the chimps and then going with them.

It might be a good idea to engage in some light training before to your vacation if you are not.

Nonetheless, Kibale Forest National Park is largely level. The majority of your time will be spent on clear paths.

And depending on how soon the chimps are spotted, some trekking expeditions end up being far less strenuous than others.

Your ability to stay healthy and move quickly will help you deal with situations where you have to chase chimpanzees through dense vegetation in a forest.

Apart from chimps, what other wildlife might I see?

Although chimpanzee trekking expeditions typically prioritize their main objective to the detriment of other wildlife, you can still see other creatures within the beautiful vegetation of Kibale Forest.

One of East Africa’s most biodiverse jungles is preserved by the park. More than 375 bird species have been documented to date, along with more than 60 animal species and 12 species of monkeys.

The endemic Uganda mangabey, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, and red colobus are the most often sighted monkey species in Kibale Forest.

The Green-breasted pitta, African pitta, great blue turaco, double-toothed barbet, Dusky Crimsonwing, blue-breasted kingfisher, and red-bellied paradise flycatcher are among the important bird species found in Kibale National Park.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is the marshy hub of a community-based ecotourism initiative abutting the park. Guided nature walks there are a great chance to see a good variety of these forest-dwelling bird species and primates.

Is a chimp trekking trip in Kibale safe?

Chimpanzee trekking safari at Kibale Forest National Park is considered a safe activity for Uganda safaris.

We have never heard of a guest getting hurt by a chimpanzee.

But please note that a large chimpanzee is similar in size to a human adult. It is also far stronger. So it is vital you follow your guide’s instructions to ensure your safety.

Children under the age of 12, being more vulnerable than adults, are not allowed to go chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest.

For explanations of both safety and comfort, it is an excellent choice to put good hiking shoes, long trouser and a long-sleeved shirt.

What to expect in Kibale National Park
Trekking the chimpanzees in Kibale

You can tuck your trouser legs into your socks reduces the risk of being attacked by safari ants. These are not harmful insects. They do, however, have a severe bite and are rather frequent.

It is also recommended that you wear muted colours that complement the shrubbery.

It is advised to use grey, green, and khaki.

You might find it helpful to utilize a walking stick to get around difficult places.

How much does chimpanzee trekking in Kibale cost?

A chimpanzee trekking fee of US$200 for non-resident foreigners, US$150 for foreigners with a work visa, and UGX 150,000 for citizens of East Africa constitutes the base cost. The Uganda Wildlife Authority is the one who charges the fee.

This covers both the cost of park admission and a guide’s services. It is all you will have to pay if you go solo to the trekking trailhead at Kanyanchu.

Packages for independent 3 or 4 day chimpanzee trekking to Kibale National Park that depart from Kampala or Entebbe typically cost between US$750 and US$2,000 per person sharing, primarily based on the standard of accommodation.

Generally speaking, most visitors to Kibale National Park do so as part of lengthier trips that also take in other western Ugandan parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Murchison Falls National Park.

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