Where to track Chimpanzees in Uganda and Ideal packages

ATW Holidays Africa
6 min readFeb 13, 2024

The Chimpanzee tracking safaris and experience; where to see them and the ideal packages

Close to the epic and extreme Mountain Gorilla tracking adventures in Bwindi Impenetrable forest are the Chimpanzee tracking safaris in Uganda’s pristine forest reserves. Like the Gorillas, Chimpanzees are members of the world’s Great Apes and encountering them on a packaged wildlife safari in Uganda is an exquisite African holiday moment. Tracking these primates is quite affordable, with a permit in Uganda’s Kibale Forest national park running for 250USD per person Foreign Non-Residents, about 100Usd in Budongo forest, 100 Usd in Kyambura Gorge as well as 130 Usd in Kalinzu Forest.

The Chimpanzee tracking packages in Uganda are worth the time and effort. The experience involves walking through the dense African jungle canopies looking out for a troop of habituated Chimps. Uganda has some of the most ideal spots to track or see chimpanzees in both natural and semi-nature destinations.

At ATW Holidays Africa, we organize Chimpanzee tracking tour packages to some of the best spots around Uganda. Our safari packages are all-inclusive and the ideal tours range from primate only chimpanzee tracking packages of 3-Days in Kibale forest to multi day safaris which can be combined with other activities and destinations. The walks through the forest are conducted in groups of 6 participants who are led by a professional ranger-guide and these walks start with briefing about the tracking etiquette. The time spent tracking these Apes is dependent on various factors such as the movement of the Chimpanzee group, pace of the trackers and much more but irrespective of the time, there is usually an hour spent once the visitors come across these primates. On normal occasions, a tracking session may last between 3–4hours.

Clients tracking chimpanzees in Uganda’s Kibale Forest
Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda’s Kibale Forest

An important aspect to note about chimpanzee tracking, the sessions most times involve moving for longer distances than on gorilla tracking because Chimps are usually on the move and cover a wider area compared to their counter parts, this therefore requires one to be able to endure longer walks.

Chimpanzee tracking safari packages in Uganda are extraordinarily flawless. The UKs, Wanderlust Travel Magazine listed 3 of the country’s sites among the 7 places where you can meet the Chimps in the wild in an article; “Glimpse at the Chimps: The top 7 Places to Track Chimpanzees in the World”.

Where to go Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and the ideal tour packages?

On our ATW Holidays Africa chimpanzee tracking safaris, the packages are all-inclusive. By default, the tour package comes with accommodation, ground transportation in a 4x4 safari vehicle, guiding services, a Chimpanzee tracking permit and other amenities or ancillaries which make your program and experience seamless.

So below we highlight for you some of the best places you can visit or where we can curate a Chimpanzee tracking package in Uganda.

Kibale Forest National Park

Located in the western part of the country, the pristine tropical forest of Kibale is a premier Chimpanzee tracking site in Uganda. Kibale forest is regarded as the “World’s Primate Capital”, and its undoubtedly Africa’s busiest and preferred destination to encounter the delightful Chimps in a natural setting. It is home to a number of habituated groups and a count of more than 1’500 individual Chimpanzees. The park is a fortress for primates with 13 identified species.

The approximately 3 hours you spend tracking in the forest with an hour of watching these Great Apes are some of Africa’s best wildlife moments only outshined by Gorilla tracking especially in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Volcanos National Park. Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda’s Kibale forest originates from Kanyanchu area with schedules of 8:00am, 11:00pm and 2:00pm. It is also possible for one to have a half or full-day Chimpanzee habituation experience with prior bookings and this allows one more time to spend in the forest to see these primates.

Our ideal chimpanzee tracking packages in Kibale forest range from 3-Days safari to 5 and more Days of Chimpanzee tracking with other wildlife experiences i.e. 8-Days Chimpanzee, Gorilla trekking and Game viewing safari

Budongo Forest Reserve

This roughly 825Km2 Mahogany and Iron-wood forest is located at the northwestern end of the Albertine rift valley, and it’s part of the greater Murchison Falls conservation area which rests at an area of 5’072 sq.km. Trails through Kaniyo Pabidi forest section are superb for Chimpanzee tracking Uganda safari experience.

This bio diverse eco-forest is home to more than 600 Chimpanzees and 8 other identified species of primates. More to its diversity are wildlife species like butterflies, birds and small mammals among others. Apart from Chimpanzee tracking, it is Uganda’s other location where one can participate in Chimpanzee habituation experience and safaris, apart from the peak season months of July and August.

The most ideal Chimpanzee tracking package to Uganda’s Budongo forest is a 4-Days Wildlife Safari in Murchison Falls with Chimps

Kyambura Gorge

As its name goes, the gorge is a Chimpanzee sanctuary located in the depth of the Kyambura Wildlife reserve which is part of the Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area. This gorge offers a 50/50 chance of seeing and not seeing these Great Apes but its offer is more than just watching these primates to the beauty and sounds of nature in this jewel of a reserve. It’s also referred to as the “Valley of the Apes” and if your aim is not just about tracking the Chimpanzees but immersing in the splendor of nature, Kyambura gorge is the ultimate answer.

It is situated at the north-eastern side of the park just about 30mins from the park headquarters and its managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The gorge has a stretch of more than 10kms with the entire wildlife reserve covering about 156 sq.km. It’s traversed by the river Kyambura which lots of wildlife like Hippos and the resident chimps find as the blood-life of the gorge and entire reserve.

Tourists on a nature walk in Kyambura Gorge with in Queen Elizabeth national park conservation area
Clients on a Nature Walk and Chimp trek in Kyambura Gorge

The Chimpanzee tracking sessions here start at any time of the day but the most ideal times of the day would be the morning, mid-morning hours and late afternoon. The gorge is home to various species of wildlife like birds, hippos and other primates. So our recommended Chimpanzee tracking packages in Kyambura take in other sites and activities. The ideal package would be a 3-Day Queen Elizabeth Wildlife safari or 5-Days Gorilla and Queen Elizabeth Safari.

Kalinzu Forest

The 147 sq.km forest is also one of Uganda’s Chimpanzee tracking site, located in the western part of the country just a reasonable distance from Queen Elizabeth national park. It is located in Bushenyi district and it’s under the management of the National Forestry Authority. It has a variety of ecological bio-diversity including 6 different types of primates, over 300 bird species, 260 of butterflies among other wildlife both flora and fauna.

The reserve has over 40 habituated Chimpanzee individuals and walks in the forest are guided by the station rangers. Walks start at any time of the day and there are higher chances of seeing these interesting primates than in Kyambura Gorge.

The ideal Chimpanzee tracking safari packages in Kalinzu forest would take-in visits to other tourist destinations and a customized 3-Day Wildlife Safari in Queen Elizabeth with Chimps would be perfect as well as the ATW Holidays Africa Primates only or Chimpanzee tracking safari packages around Uganda would be ideal.

Ngamba Island

Ngamba Island is a chimpanzee sanctuary located on a 40-ha land amidst the world’s second largest fresh water; the Victoria. It offers home to orphaned Chimps and it is situated about 24-kilometers by boat south-east of Lake Victoria from Entebbe mainland. Ngamba Island is home to more than 50-Chimpanzees and there’re various sessions conducted during the day to see the Great Apes. The sanctuary is of a great appeal to those who may have limited time to travel to countryside in the parks and reserves where most of Uganda’s Chimps are found. Important to note is that the sanctuary does not offer those ultimate natural wilderness encounters of the Chimps like in the sites mentioned above. So with limited time, you can take on a 1-day Chimpanzee package Ngamba sanctuary.

Uganda’s primate variety and density is a wonder of its kind with over 23species, closely following top primate destinations such as D.R of Congo in Africa. Uganda’s Chimpanzee population of more than 5’000 individuals and its wealth of Chimps sites make it a perfect destination to be for one seeking a Chimpanzee tracking safari package in Africa.

At ATW Holidays Africa, we curate customized Chimpanzee tracking safari packages in all top destinations around Uganda, a country tagged the “Pearl of Africa”. Reach out to us to talk to our travel planner by Tel/What’s App +256–773148649 or Email: : atwholidaysafrica@gmail.com

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ATW Holidays Africa
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ATW Holidays Africa, is an African Safari brand championing sustainable tourism, handcrafting Luxury Gorilla safaris, Big Game Safaris, Honeymoons, Adventures