Chimpanzee Tracking

Chimpanzee Tracking in East Africa

Chimpanzee tracking in the wild is only done in East Africa mostly in two countries that is Uganda and Rwanda. East Africa has an intense number of primates in the different national parks.

East Africa currently has seven countries that is Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and the most recent Democratic Republic of Congo.

Uganda has more than 5000 chimpanzees majority staying in the Kibale forest national park also known as the “Primate capital of the world

Uganda is a top destination for primate trekking and if you want to enjoy a chimpanzee tracking safari; a booking for a Uganda primate safari will be rewarding for you.

Chimpanzee Tracking in East Africa
chimpanzee tracking Kibale forest

Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans with 98.7% of their DNA similar.

Chimpanzee habituation is mostly done in Uganda and Rwanda to allow you have a deeper interaction and experience with the chimpanzees.

You get to see these primates with the help of trained trackers,  learn more about the primates and their behaviours such as grooming.

What to carry going for a chimpanzee tracking safari

  • Long sleeved clothes as this will help shield you from tree scratches as you are trekking and insect bites from the tropical insects especially during the wet season.
  • A chimpanzee tracking permit will be needed after paying a specified amount of money and this is issued by the game park and it’s advisable to contact us to book for you a permit in advance prior to your trip.
  • A wide brimmed hat and sunscreen to use especially during the dry season because the heat can be unbearable sometimes.
  • Trekking shoes: you will need to get strong trekking shoes as these will help you not to slip especially during the times when the trekking routes are a bit slippery.
  • Garden gloves:  these will help grip the trees properly without getting your fingers scratched.

Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda

Uganda is a diverse country that has a lot of things you can see and do and the one of the best things to do in Uganda is chimpanzee tracking.

The minimum age for all those who always want to go for chimpanzee trekking in most parks is fifteen years apart from Kalinzu forest where it is twelve years.

Where is chimpanzee tracking done in Uganda?

Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park

Kibale forest National Park is the best destination for chimpanzee trekking in East Africa.

Located in the western part of Uganda, Kibale national Park is a home to 1500 chimpanzees including other primates that are located in the Park.

There are thirteen different chimp species that are found in the Kibale National Park and other primates. There are also other wild animals that can be seen in the park including a variety of bird species that can be found in the park.

Chimpanze Tracking in Kibale forest national Park is done mostly in the morning hours. Each group of tourists consists of 5 to 6 people led by an armed park ranger. There can be over six groups in a day that go for chimpanzee tracking.

The tracking process involves walking afew kilometres depending on the location of chimpanzees and interaction takes only one hour for each group of tourists.

Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest has two sessions; the earlier one in the morning which begins at 7:00am and the second session which begins at midday.

Chimpanzee Tracking in Budongo Forest

Budongo forest is located near the famous Murchison falls in the north western part of Uganda in the Albertine rift valley.

A chimpanzee tracking safari in Budongo forest can be combined with a wildlife safari in Murchison falls national park.

Budongo forest is most famous for it’s abundant natural East African mahogany trees covering most of the forest.
Budongo forest also offers both  chimpanzee tracking and habituation safari experiences.

Chimpanzee Habituation is the process of getting the chimpanzees used to the humans who keep on visiting the area and the two activities can be joined.
There are plenty of chimpanzees and you will be able to see them as soon as you drive near Budongo forest.

Chimpanzee tracking here is mostly done in the mornings. If you are planning to go to Budongo forest for tracking the best thing to do is book accommodation for the night before at nearby lodges.

Accommodation near Budongo forest ranges from luxury accommodation such as Budongo Eco lodge to hostels.

Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Gorge

Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Gorge
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Gorge

Kyambura gorge is located in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in the western part of Uganda and it is known to be one of the top chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda and East Africa.

It is locally known as the valley of apes due to the presence of a small family of chimps that is about twelve of them that live in the area. It is part of the Kyambura game reserve adjoining to Queen Elizabeth national park.

A park ranger will take you on the trek and you will be able to interact with the chimps since habituation has been done at the Kyambura gorge. Trekking is also mostly done in the mornings.

Chimpanzee tracking at Kyambura gorge can be combined with a game drive during your Uganda safari in Queen Elizabeth national Park.

Chimpanzee Tracking in Kalinzu Forest

Kalinzu forest also located in Queen Elizabeth National Park; is a top and unique destination for chimpanzee tracking.

The forest has about 300 chimpanzees of which 40 are habituated and all these can be seen with just a visit to the forest. The Kalinzu forest is also a home to other species that can be found in the park including a number of bird species.

The chimpanzee tracking permits for Kalinzu forest are at $50 per person for foreigners. This makes them cheaper compared to $200 for Kabale forest.

You will also be able to see other primates as you enjoy your trekking in Kalinzu and the minimum age for people who can participate in the trekking is twelve years here.

Toro-Semiliki Wildlife Reserve

Tooro-Semiliki conservation reserve is another place where you can go and enjoy the chimpanzee tracking in the area. It is a gazetted area which was put up to conserve the Kobs and other wild animals that were leaving in the area.

It is located in a valley and is covered with acacia woodland which houses most of the chimpanzees in the Reserve.

Chimpanzee trekking takes place in the morning and it takes three to four hours in the reserve.

Chimpanzee trekking is on the rise and is one of the top safari activities in East Africa.

These human like primates behave like humans and that is why most people are attracted to come and see how they look like physically, their different behaviors and the how they take care of each other. Remember that they live in groups and it is very hard for these groups to sleep in the same place twice. They keep on moving to the different places in search of food and water.
Therefore you should not miss the chance of getting to know these wonderful primates.

Grab yourself a ticket and permit by booking with us at Bujuku Eco Tours and come enjoy chimpanzee trekking in East Africa because this is an experience you do not want to be told about but it needs you to come and physically feel it.


Chimpanzee tracking in Rwanda is done in Nyungwe forest National park and Cyamudongo National Park which are located in the south Western part of Rwanda. The minimum age for one to track chimpanzees in Rwanda is sixteen (16) years.

A Rwanda chimpanzee tracking safari will give you a rich safari experience in Rwanda with additional activities such as a canopy walk in Nyungwe forest, ziplining, cultural tour, etc.

Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest national Park

Nyungwe Forest National park has a large number of chimpanzees that amount to 500 registered chimpanzees and one troop has been habituated. The chimps keep on changing their resting places every night and that is why when you go for chimp trekking in Nyungwe, a tracker will first go before your group too find out exactly where they spent the night so that you do not have to trek in the wrong direction.

chimpanzee tracking safari
chimpanzee tracking

The park has three Centres where tourists gather before they go for trekking at 4:30 or 5:00am in the morning and these Centres include the Gisakura, Kitabi and Uwinka. It is almost nearly impossible to see the chimps due to the dense forests but you will be able to see a few of them.

Chimpanzee tracking in Cyamudongo forest

Cyamudongo National Park is located in the south western part of Rwanda and is near the Nyungwe national park. It is much easier to trek the chimps in the Cyamudongo more than in Nyungwe since it is not densely filled with trees although the number of chimps here is a little bit limited. One of the habituated troops of chimps is located in Cyamudongo forest and you can go and interact with them and get to know more about the chimps.

Briefing for Chimpanze tracking in Cyamudongo usually takes place in Gisakura from 6am Kigali time. You can have accommodation around Gisakura in Nyungwe or near Lake Kivu in the town of Kamembe.


Tanzania might not be the top destination when it comes to chimp trekking but that does not mean that one cannot enjoy a chimp trek safari when they visit the country. Chimpanzee tracking in Tanzania is mostly done from.

Mahale Mountains National Park

Mahale mountains national park is located near Lake Tanganyika and it is considered to be one of the most scenic game parks in Tanzania.

The Park can be accessed by boat and it has a number of chimps that amount to 800 and these are divided into different groups.

The best time to go for trekking in the Mahale Park is between October and it is a good experience that can be good only on foot. Some of them are habituated and therefore you can get a closer feel of these primates when you visit Tanzania.

Gombe National Park

Gombe national park is the smallest National Park in Tanzania and is located in Kigoma and you can get a flight from Arusha. Gombe Park can be accessed by use of a boat and it is famous because that is where Jane Goodall conducted her research on the chimpanzees.

The most common troop of chimpanzees in the area is known as the Kasakela and it was the same troop that the research was carried out on and there are several books explaining her experience with these primates.
It has quite a number of chimpanzees that are located in the area and the trekking normally takes place in the mornings and mid afternoons.

Some of the chimpanzees are also habituated which gives tourists a chance to get a closer look at the primates and get to know more about their behaviors from a personal feel.


Kenya is not a native home to the chimps but a few of them can be found in the Sweetwater chimpanzee sanctuary.

It was opened in 1993 when Jane Goodall saved some chimpanzees from Burundi and brought them to be conserved in Kenya and up to now many chimpanzees some of which arrive in Kenya when they are wounded or near death but they are nursed back to health so that they do not become extinct.
So far there are 37 chimpanzees in the sanctuary and during the chimp trekking, you will get to see the different chimps and learn more about them and how they can be saved from the poachers.

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