The Ultimate Guide to Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda Updates for 2024,2025

The Ultimate Guide to Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda Updates for 2024,2025

Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda is a popular activity for tourists interested in wildlife and primate conservation. Uganda is home to several species of primates, including the common chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes), and offers various opportunities to observe and track these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. One of the most renowned places for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda is Kibale Forest National Park, but other locations also offer this experience.

Overall, chimpanzee tracking in Uganda is an incredible experience that allows you to witness these amazing creatures up close while supporting conservation efforts. It’s important to plan your trip responsibly and be mindful of the environment and the well-being of the chimpanzees and other wildlife.

Key Points to Consider When Planning a Chimpanzee Tracking Adventure in Uganda

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale is one of the best places in Uganda to track chimpanzees. The park is located in western Uganda and boasts a diverse range of primates, including a large population of chimpanzees. Guided treks are available for visitors to track and observe these great apes in their natural environment.


To track chimpanzees in Uganda, you will need a permit. Permits are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and should be booked in advance. Permit prices can vary, and it’s advisable to check with the UWA for current rates and availability.


When tracking chimpanzees, it’s essential to follow guidelines provided by park authorities and guides to ensure minimal disturbance to the animals and their habitat. These guidelines typically include maintaining a safe distance, not feeding the chimps, and not visiting if you’re feeling unwell.

Age and Fitness

Some chimpanzee tracking treks can be physically demanding, involving hiking and sometimes challenging terrain. Ensure you are physically fit and check the age restrictions if you plan to bring children along.

Where to Go for Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda?

Uganda offers several locations where you can go chimpanzee tracking, providing different experiences and opportunities to observe these great apes in their natural habitat. When planning your chimpanzee tracking adventure, consider the location that best suits your interests and the overall itinerary of your trip. Remember to obtain the necessary permits, book your trek in advance, and follow the guidelines provided by the Uganda Wildlife Authority or the specific park authorities for a safe and respectful tracking experience.

Top Destinations for Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda

Kibale Forest National Park

Located in western Uganda, Kibale Forest is one of the most famous and popular destinations for chimpanzee tracking. Kibale is home to a large population of chimpanzees, making it an excellent place for sightings.

The park offers both morning and afternoon chimpanzee tracking treks. Apart from chimpanzees, Kibale is also known for its diverse primate species and beautiful tropical rainforest.

Budongo Forest Reserve

Budongo Forest Reserve is located in the Murchison Falls National Park area in northwestern Uganda. It’s known for its thriving chimpanzee population and offers guided treks to observe these primates.

The forest reserve is also a habitat for various other primates and bird species.

Queen Elizabeth National Park (Kyambura Gorge)

In Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura Gorge is a location where you can track chimpanzees. This area is located in the southern part of the park and is known for its stunning landscapes.

In addition to chimpanzees, you can also spot other wildlife and bird species in the gorge.

Kalinzu Forest Reserve

Situated in the southwestern part of Uganda near Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Forest Reserve is home to a habituated group of chimpanzees.

The reserve is known for its lush, hilly terrain and offers chimpanzee tracking experiences with knowledgeable guides.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

While not a natural habitat, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is located on Lake Victoria and provides a unique opportunity to observe chimpanzees that have been rescued and are undergoing rehabilitation.

The sanctuary offers day trips from Entebbe, making it accessible for visitors with limited time.

Best Time for Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda

The best time for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda largely depends on your preferences, as Uganda’s climate is relatively stable throughout the year. However, there are a few factors to consider when determining the optimal time for your chimpanzee tracking experience.

The best time for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda depends on your preferences for weather and crowds. The dry season is often favored for its more predictable conditions, but tracking can be enjoyed year-round. Regardless of when you go, be sure to book your permits and accommodations well in advance to ensure availability and have a successful tracking experience.

Dry Season

The dry season, which typically spans from June to August and from December to February, is often considered the best time for chimpanzee tracking. During these months, the weather is generally more predictable, and you’ll encounter fewer rain showers, making it easier to navigate the trails.

Shoulder Seasons

The shoulder seasons of March to May and September to November are also good for chimpanzee tracking. These periods offer a balance between smaller crowds, lush landscapes, and the potential for lower prices on accommodations and permits.

Wet Season

The wet season in Uganda, which includes the months of April, May, and November, can make tracking more challenging due to heavy rains. Trails can become muddy and slippery, and chimpanzees might be harder to spot since they move deeper into the forest to find food.

If you choose to track during the wet season, be prepared for rain, and make sure to have appropriate rain gear and clothing.

Primate Behavior

Chimps are generally active year-round, but the dry season can make tracking more comfortable for humans and can result in more reliable sightings.

However, it’s essential to note that chimpanzee behavior and movement can be influenced by various factors, including food availability, so sightings are never guaranteed.

Permit Availability

The availability of chimpanzee tracking permits is an important factor to consider. Some months, particularly in the dry season, may have higher demand for permits, so it’s advisable to book your permits well in advance to secure your spot.

What is the Price for Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda?

The price for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda can vary depending on the specific location you choose and the policies of the park or reserve. Additionally, permit prices can vary between different parks and reserves and may be subject to changes over time. It’s essential to check with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or the specific park authorities for the most up-to-date permit costs and availability. Also, consider that there might be different rates for international tourists, East African residents, and Ugandan citizens. It’s advisable to book your permits well in advance, as they are often limited in number and can sell out during peak tourist seasons.

Kibale Forest National Park

The permit cost for chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park was approximately $150 to $200 per person for international tourists.

For East African residents, the permit cost was lower, typically ranging from $40 to $50.

Budongo Forest Reserve

The permit prices for chimpanzee tracking in Budongo Forest Reserve were in the range of $80 to $100 for international tourists.

East African residents usually paid a lower fee, around $40 to $50.

Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park

The permit cost for chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge was approximately $50 to $100 for international tourists.

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