Fairend Safaris

Chimpanzee habituation in Uganda

Chimpanzee habituation is the process of training the chimpanzees to get used to human presence. It helps in preparing them to be tracked and this can take up to 3 years before they are allowed to be trekked by tourists. Uganda has about 5,500 chimpanzees and of these, 1500 chimpanzees are found in Kibale National Park . This park is the only place where Chimpanzee habituation is done in Uganda. Travelers spend 4 hours in the presence of chimpanzees compared to one hour of chimpanzee trekking. Chimpanzee habituation requires one to have a permit to engage in this activity.

The cost of a chimpanzee habituation permit in Uganda

A Chimpanzee habituation permit in Uganda costs USD 250 for foreign non-residents and $200 for foreign residents per person.  East African citizens pay  200,000 Ugandan Shillings per person.

How to book a chimpanzee habituation permit in Uganda

A chimpanzee habituation permit in Uganda can be booked by visiting Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) head offices in Kampala. Alternatively, you may contact them via a telephone call or email. Chimpanzee habituation permits can also be booked through a tour operator like Fairend Safaris. Contacting us with the dates when you wish to visit the chimpanzees will enable use get a permit on your behalf. After contacting us, we will check for permit availability and if there are permits available you will be asked to deposit for the permit. When we receive the payments, we will purchase the permit and send you a scanned copy of the receipt as confirmation.

When does chimpanzee habituation take place in Uganda?

Chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale national park can be done anytime throughout the year. However, the best period is during the wet season which is the low season in March, April, May, and November. During this period there is less congestion in the park and there is plenty of food for the primates. It is easier to locate them easily compared to the dry season when chimpanzees move deep into the forest.

What to expect during a Chimpanzee habituation experience  in Uganda

Chimpanzee habituation starts in the morning with a briefing at Kanyanchu Visitor Center. Travelers are given rules and regulations to follow, this is done by the Park’s experienced guides and rangers. After briefing you move to the forest to locate the group undergoing habituation. Travelers are always in the company of researchers, conservationists, and trained guides.

When you locate the chimpanzees, you spend 4 hours learning about their behavior. You watch them feed, play, breastfeed, and the way they relate with each other. Remember to keep a distance of about 8 meters from the chimpanzees when you meet them. You may take photographs but remember to keep the flashlight off. Look out for other primates like L’Hoest’, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and bush babies.

What to Pack for a Chimpanzee habituation safari in Uganda 

  1. Long-sleeved shirts, a sweater, and long trousers protect you from mosquito bites, branch scratches, nettles, and thorns.
  2. Garden Gloves are part of the essentials because as you trek through the forest you might slip off to the ground.
  3. Rain Jacket is a must-have since these treks are done in tropical forests.
  4. Insect repellent is highly required to have since forests have many mosquitos.
  5. Hiking/trekking boots to enable you walk with little difficulty on slippery and muddy trails.  
  6.  Cameras and extra long-lasting batteries for photography.
  7. Sunscreen; Well this is optional but depending on the season it might get too hot and you end up getting sunburns.

Where to stay during a chimpanzee habituation safari in Uganda

There are several lodging facilities ranging from luxury to budget facilities. It all depends on your budget, some of the luxury lodging facilities are; Kyaninga Lodge, Crater safari lodge, Ndali Lodge.

Midrange accommodation facilities include; Isungu Lodge, Kibale forest camp, Kibale guest cottages, Chimp Nest, Mountain of the moon hotel, and Kibale safari lodge.

Budget accommodation facilities include; Rwenzori view guest House, Kitojo guest cottages, and Lake Nkuruba nature reserve.