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Other Chimpanzee Destinations

Apart from Kibale Forest National Park, Which other Chimpanzee Destinations do you know in Uganda?

Other Chimpanzee Destinations, Chimpanzee Trekking refers to the activity of embarking on guided walk into the forests of Uganda to observe and interact with Wild Chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Uganda renowned for its rich biodiversity including its populations of Chimpanzees which are closely related to humans and share over 98% of our DNA. During Chimpanzee Trekking, visitors join trained guides and trackers who lead them through the forests, pointing out signs of Chimpanzee activity and helping locate Chimpanzee groups. Once a group  found, visitors observe these amazing primates as they go about their daily activities. Such as searching for food, grooming, playing, protecting each other and caring for their young. Once Chimpanzees  found, visitors usually spend a maximum of 1 hour with these primates.

Chimpanzee Trekking experiences in Uganda often take place in National Parks and Wildlife Reserves. Apart from Kibale Forest National Park, there are other destinations which include Budongo Forest Reserve, Kalinzu Forest Reserve, Ngamba Island Chimpazee Sanctuary and Kyambura Gorge. These are some of the common destinations to observe Chimpanzes.These experiences not only offer the opportunity to witness Chimpanzees in their natural habitat but also contribute to conservation efforts by supporting local communities and promoting the protection of these endangered animals and their ecosystems. The following are the Chimpanzee Trekking Destination in detail.

Budongo Forest Reserve:

Budongo forest reserve  situated in the North-western part of Uganda, Masindi District. It has been a forest reserve since 1932. Budongo Forest Reserve is one of the largest and most biologically diverse tropical rainforests in East Africa. Its lush canopy shelters a remarkable array of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species that thrive within its dense vegetation. The reserve lies in the southern extension of Murchison falls National Park.

Budongo forest considered the biggest mahogany forest found in whole of East Africa as well as a habitat to the largest number of Chimpanzees all over Uganda. Budongo forest has a rich biodiversity of wildlife. A home to over 9 species of primates. As it’s a nature habitat to over 600 chimpanzees, of which a small community  habituated for eco-tourism purposes. This family consists of over 80 individuals permitting visitors an outstanding opportunity to view these incredible apes in their natural location. Other primate species include black and white colobus monkeys, Olive baboons, blue monkeys and Grey –cheeked Mangabeys. Not only primates but the forest reserve a home to over24 species of small mammals. Such as Buffaloes, Elephants, Antelopes, Leopards and lions reside in the forest but  rarely seen , 280 butterflies, 465 species of trees and shrubs.

Best Time to Visit:

The dry season (from December to February and June to September) is generally considered the best time to visit Budongo Forest, as wildlife sightings are more frequent, and hiking conditions are optimal.

Getting There:

Budongo Forest Reserve is located within Murchison Falls National Park, approximately 4-5 hours by road from Uganda’s capital, Kampala. The nearest major town is Masindi, which serves as a gateway to the park.

Kalinzu Forest Reserve:

Kalinzu forest reserve was established in 1932.The reserve covers an area of about 137 square kilometers in Bushenyi district. One of the highlights of Kalinzu is its population of the endangered Chimpanzees. Guided Chimpanzee Trekking expeditions offer visitors the opportunity to observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. In addition to Chimpanzees, Kalinzu Forest is also a home to several other primate species such as black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and vervet monkeys. Birders will have chance to spot numerous species including the iconic Great Blue Turaco, African Broadbill, Yellow Billed Barbet, African Green Broadbill, and Black Bee-eater.

Best Time to Visit:

Kalinzu forest reserve can be done at any time of the year although the best time to visit the destination is the dry season around June, July, August and September and around December to February when chimpanzees among other primates can easily be spotted.

Getting There:

The forest reserve can be accessed using the Kampala-Mbarara-Bushenyi route by suing private or public means of transport. It is about 5 to 6 hours’ drive from Kampala city.

Kyambura Gorge:

The Kyambura gorge and the former Kyambura Game Reserve were incorporated into the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The gorge was formed by a river that flows off the Kichwamba Escarpment and into the Kazinga Channel at Katunguru. The gorge is 10 Km long and supports dense forest, which is home to many different forest-living species, including Chimpanzees. One of the most enchanting aspects of Kyambura Gorge is its rich biodiversity, which supports a remarkable array of flora and fauna.

Meanwhile, as you embark on a guided trek through the gorge’s trails, you’ll have the opportunity to encounter a diverse cast of wildlife, including chimpanzees, monkeys, and a variety of bird species like African Finfoot, blue headed bee-eater, Martial Eagle, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African skimmer etc. With an estimated population of over 30 individuals. Inhabiting the dense forests within the gorge, sightings of these intelligent primates practically guaranteed. Witnessing these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat is an experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors of all ages.

Best Time to Visit:

In Kyambura Gorge, Chimpanzee Trekking is possible although out the Year. However, the best time is the dry season from June, July, August and September and December and February because the trails are easy to navigate while on the journey in search for Chimpanzees.

Getting There:

By road transport, the route via Kampala – Mbarara – Bushenyi is 420 kilometers, while Kampala – Fort Portal – Kasese is 410 kilometers.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary:

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is the leading primate conservation initiative in Uganda. This sanctuary situated on Lake Victoria in Entebbe, it offers a haven where these intelligent and charismatic creatures  thrive in a protected environment. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary  established in 1998 by the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, represents a remarkable effort in primate conservation.

The sanctuary spans approximately 100 acres of lush forest habitat, providing a naturalistic setting where chimpanzees can exhibit their natural behaviors. One of the primary objectives of Ngamba Island to rehabilitate and care for chimpanzees. That rescued from illegal trade, habitat destruction, or other unfortunate circumstances. The sanctuary serves as a refuge for these individuals offering them a safe haven where they can recover from their past traumas and live out their lives in peace.

Ngamba Island serves as an educational hub, enlightening visitors about the plight of chimpanzees and the importance of conservation efforts. The sanctuary offers guided tours and interactive educational programs, allowing visitors to observe chimpanzees up close while learning about their behavior, social structure, and conservation status. These educational initiatives play a crucial role in raising awareness about the threats facing chimpanzees in the wild, such as habitat loss, poaching, and disease. Meanwhile, by fostering a deeper understanding of these issues, Ngamba Island inspires visitors to become advocates for wildlife conservation and champions for the protection of our primate cousins.



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