Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda is carried out in only two designated locations that is Kibale forest where it is done at any given period of time throughout the year and in Budongo forest where it is done only during the offseason. Chimpanzee habituation is a process where visitors join the guides, researchers, Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers and the habituators deep into the forest in search of the Chimpanzee groups which are not used to human. This activity starts early in the morning around 6:00 to 6:30am.
Therefore, visitors are supposed to wake up very early in the morning, take their breakfast and start the journey in search of the chimpanzees order to catch up with the chimpanzees when they are just waking up from their nests, then follow them up during the feeding, hunting, copulating, breastfeeding, patrolling until the evening time around 7:00 pm when they are building the new nests to sleep in at night. The group of maximum 6 people including the game ranger and the tour guide from UWA is allowed to habituate a certain group of the chimpanzee. Once a certain group is found, the visitors are allowed to spend enough time observing these special creatures in their comfort zone closely and this process is called the “Chimpanzee habituation experience”. This is the most tiring activity as the involved chimpanzee groups are less familiar with the presence of people. This process is very long and can take up from 2 years to fully habituate a certain chimpanzee group depending on how long it takes to get used to human.
For the visitors who prefer something longer, unique, tiring, but enjoyable experience in Uganda, look no further than the chimpanzee habituation as you will have the whole tiring day of joy by yourself with the chimpanzees in the jungle moving up and down and learning more about them.
If you want to ease your gorilla habituation process, then take part in feeding these wild animals as they always wonder in search of food in the deep forest trust me they will be your best friends. However, this procedure is dangerous to the chimpanzees because it will make them used to all people including poachers hence it is best encouraged in some areas where the animals are well protected from hunters and other predators.
Chimpanzee Habituation In Kibale Forest
Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale forest requires visitors to join the game rangers and move in the jungles of Kibale forest in search of the chimpanzees that have not been habituated and once they are found, the visitor is given enough time intimate to associate with them training them how to get used with a human being. This is the most tiring but enjoyable experience by the visitors who visit Kibale Forest for Habituation being the primate world as the chimpanzees keep on moving and you follow them up through the daylight until you feel exhausted and worn out by the day. The experience can be done half-day at a cost of $100 per person for foreigners and UGX. 75,000 for East African community members. Also, this chimpanzee habituation experience is available for visitors who wish to do it for a full day at a cost of $200 for foreigners and UGX. 150,000 for Ugandans and other East African community members.
However, with effect from July 1st, 2020, the cost of both chimpanzee trekking permits and chimpanzee habituation experience permits for Kibale forest will increase by $50 from $200 to $250 for foreigners who wish to do a full day chimpanzee habituation in Kibale forest, and for half-day habituation it will increase from $100 to $150 per person.
I, therefore, encourage visitors who wish to do the chimpanzee trekking and habituation in Kibale forest to book their safaris before July 2020 to avoid the extra charge. The cost of chimpanzee habituation experience for East African community members will remain fixed at a cost of UGX.150, 000 for full-day chimpanzee habituation and UGX 75,000 for half-day chimpanzee habituation in Kibale forest. This is done to encourage more east African community members to involve in the chimpanzee habituation process as tourists or researchers. During the chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale forest, visitors get an opportunity to see other wildlife including 13 primate species and mammals in the Kibale forest. These mammals include; the black and white colobus monkeys, the central African monkey, the L’Hoests monkey, the red and blue duikers, otters, buffalos, African golden cats, lions, common warthog, Giant forest hogs, Elephants, bush pigs, over 350 bird species including the Grey parrot, olive long-tailed cuckoo, ground thrush which is endemic, western tinker birds, among others and several butterfly species all seen during the chimpanzee habituation in Kibale forest
Chimpanzee habituation in Budongo forest
Chimpanzee habituation in the Budongo forest started in 1992 with the aim of making the chimpanzees familiar to humans without disturbing their natural behaviors. This activity is best done in Budongo forest during the offseason and the cost of chimpanzee habituation experience in this forest is $160 making it cheaper than that in the Kibale forest. Apart from chimpanzee habituation experience, some other activities are also enjoyed by the visitors in Budongo forest including; forest walks where visitors are able to see the beautiful scenery during a walk through the tropical rainforest and in the process several tree species such as mahogany are observed, different butterfly species and also there is birding in the Budongo forest which is a home to over 360 bird species including the kingfisher and the paradise flycatcher.
Visitors who wish to carry out the chimpanzee habituation experience in Uganda should know the following;
- First and foremost, you need to book the chimpanzee permit in advance. This can be obtained directly from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or through a trusted travel agent like “achieve global safaris” which will help you to organize your entire trip to Uganda.
- Visitors are advised to carry enough drinking water to quench your thirst and avoid dehydration as this experience requires moving long distances with the chimpanzees. Lunch box and some snacks is yet another thing that shouldn’t miss in the visitors’ backpack as this activity requires using enough and physical fitness to move the whole day.
- Wear light but long sleeved shirts, long trousers, and good hiking boots and gloves to avoid horns from piercing you and other rough tree species from harming you
- Also, visitors are encouraged to put on the hats to avoid the direct heat from the sun, carry the sunscreen lotions and insect repellants
- Children below 12 years are not allowed to carry out the chimpanzee habituation.
- Visitors are not allowed to use the flashlight while taking photos in the park
- You must be in good health to carry out the chimpanzee habituation. This is done to prevent sick visitors from spreading diseases such as flue to the chimpanzees since they share the same DNA with the human.
- And finally, please do not provoke the chimpanzees because they are so sensitive and dangerous and besides that, chimpanzees know that human beings are their worst enemies so they can easily attack you in case of anything for protection.
“Primate Lovers always find Uganda the most refreshing environment for chimpanzee habituation. Come and be part of the chosen visitors who go back to their home countries after the chimpanzee habituation experience alongside gorilla habituation, birding, nature walks, and many more activities in Uganda with everlasting smiles on their faces”