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From the blog

Chimp Trekking in Uganda.

Why should I choose a chimp trekking safari?

Chimpanzee trekking is totally different from the usual safari experience. As chimpanzees live in rainforest, the only access is by foot. Chimpanzee trekking is active and usually requires hiking for several hours to see chimps up close. A chimp trekking safari offers people a welcome break from game drives. Watching these great apes up close on foot is an amazing experience, almost on a par with gorilla trekking. Most African safaris are centered on car-based wildlife viewing, and activities such as chimp trekking offer a nice break from time sitting in vehicles. Chimp trekking is mostly done as part of a longer tour that includes other activities, such as wildlife viewing in savannah reserves and gorilla trekking.

Ngoni Safaris Clients Carrying Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park.

Which countries offer chimpanzee trekking tours?

“Chimp trekking can be done in several African countries. Chimpanzees occur naturally in West and Central Africa, and their range includes some East African countries such as Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. The East African countries are the most popular countries for chimpanzee safaris as they are more developed for tourism than West Africa. There are several parks in Uganda that offer chimp trekking and the activity is standard on most Ugandan safaris. One of the most reliable places to see chimpanzees is in Kibale Forest in Uganda. It’s arguably the most popular place in Africa to see chimpanzees. Sightings can get a bit crowded. Chimp trekking in Tanzania is only available in Mahale and Gombe Stream, two very remote parks on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. Gombe Stream National Park is famous as the place where Jane Goodall did her chimpanzee research. Although chimp trekking is highly recommended here, it is not usually part of a standard Tanzania safari. As Rwanda is still an emerging destination, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest is not as well-known at this stage and sightings are possibly more hit and miss. Virunga Mountains National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) offers chimpanzee trekking as well.

What fitness level is required?

“Chimpanzee trekking requires a reasonable amount of fitness. It depends on where you will be trekking ¬– and to some extent it just depends on the day. Even in a particular park, every day can be different. You might find the chimps after 10 minutes or after two hours. And then they might be stationary, or feeding in trees, or they might be on the move. The latter can result in a very challenging trek as you try to keep up with them moving through the undergrowth at high speed. The terrain in some of the parks is hillier than in others. One of the easiest places to see chimpanzees is in Kibale Forest in Uganda. Other rewarding places to see chimpanzees are Mahale and Gombe Stream in Tanzania. However, here the terrain is very hilly, and a fair amount of fitness is required.”

Our Guests After Carrying Out Chimpanzee Tracking.

How close can I get to the chimps?

“Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives and they share 98.8% of our DNA. That means they can easily pick up human diseases. For this reason, and also for safety reasons, it is vital to keep a reasonable distance when watching chimpanzees. You will track chimpanzees in a small group of up to 10 people. Your guide will give you very clear instructions on where to stay when you get close to the chimps. Having said that, the chimps themselves are very habituated and they don’t abide by rules. On top of that, the thick forest growth might make backing off difficult at times. So, it is very possible a chimpanzee may come within a meter of you.

How much will this safari cost?

“The cost of chimp trekking packages depends on the country and the park. In Tanzania, the chimpanzee trekking fee is included in the park entrance for Mahale and Gombe Stream, which is respectively US$80 and US$100 per person per day. This is very affordable, but due to the exclusivity and remoteness of these parks, the overall price of a safari here is high. A chimp permit in Kibale National Park in Uganda costs US$150. In Queen Elizabeth’s Kyambura Gorge, the fee is US$50 on top of the general entry fee of US$40. A very affordable and popular alternative in Uganda is chimp trekking in Kalinzu Forest, an ecotourism project outside Queen Elizabeth National Park. The total price is only US$40. Chimp trekking in Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda costs US$90, on top of the park entrance fee of US$40.”

Travelers after Successful Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi.

How does chimp trekking compare to gorilla trekking?

Gorilla and chimp trekking are very comparable experiences. You set out with a maximum number of visitors – eight for gorilla trekking and up to 10 in some places for chimp trekking. For gorillas, trackers go ahead, and your guide will be in touch with them by radio to guide you directly to the gorillas. This is not always the case with chimp trekking. Your guide might have to do the tracking themselves, which can make the hike more challenging and the success rate lower. Once you have reached the gorillas or chimps, you get an hour to spend time with them before heading back. Gorillas don’t cover as much ground as chimps, and you will most likely stay with gorillas in a small area. Chimps, on the other hand, when on the move, can be hard to follow. All gorilla groups for tourist visits are very habituated, so time spent with them tends to be of a very high quality. This isn’t always the case with chimpanzees. They are very habituated in places such as Mahale, Gombe and Kibale, but they might be less so in other places, and tend to move off slowly. In some cases, the males are more relaxed than the females and babies. I think both experiences are highly rewarding, but the chimpanzee trekking experience is more variable depending on several factors. As well, being close to an ape the size of a gorilla has a thrill factor that might not be quite the same with chimpanzees.”


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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Michael T 06/June/2021

Above & Beyond
Review of: 3-Day Gorillas trekking and Batwa Experience
Sedrick went above and beyond to accomodate our request for an itinerary alteration due to our compressed time in Uganda. He also compeltely took care of scheduling our covid 19 testing and drove us to the site on arrival.

Our driver/guide Ben was also outstanding!

**We highly recommend using a porter during gorilla trekking as their are some complex parts to the trail/terrain. This also benefits the local people by providing them work.**

David 24/June/2021

Seeing Lots of Animals and Uganda
The schedule suited my time in Uganda exactly and was a great opportunity to view some of the top wildlife and natural wonders of the country. Lodgings range from mid-range to near upscale and are in beautiful locations. Food is good and ample. My driver, Stanley, was expert at spotting wildlife and, very importantly on the Ugandan roads, a careful and skilled driver. You see various parts of the country on this tour, and due to distances, be aware you'll spend quite a few hours on the road. One thing they might add is an itinerary going into more detail ahead of time on each day's activity and suggested things to bring. I was concerned about the needed COVID test for return home, but they took care of arranging that, and it turned out successfully. Overall the tour was a real highlight and is highly recommended.

Justo Nov 18, 2019

I went on an 11 day safari visiting Kampala, Jinja, Lake Mburo NP, Bwindi NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Kibale NP. Communications with Ngoni were prompt and easy from the start. As soon as I made my booking, Sedrick contacted me through WhatsApp and guided me through the rest of the process. Leading up to the tour he made sure I was well-prepared to begin. He was always very clear and friendly. Service was exceptional. I had the pleasure of going on this safari with three members of Ngoni's staff - Sedrick, Nelson and Joel. These guys made my comfort their priority from the moment we met. Whether it was checking if I was okay with the accommodations or making sure I always had a bottle of water, I always felt like I was being well taken care of. Nelson is an excellent guide. His knowledge about the flora and fauna of Uganda was extensive, always able to answer any questions I had and was eager to teach - it's obvious that he has a great love for his country and it's environment and is eager to share this love with his clients. My experience with Ngoni and Uganda surpassed all expectations I had. Absolutely amazing, and thanks to the guys at Ngoni it feels like a new home - can't wait to come back and visit. Webale, brothers!

Stephany Aug 13, 2019
Sedrick was unique and stood out from the rest in the high quality communication he provided since the first inquiry. He called me to provide information about the itinerary and see if I had any questions even before booking the tour. We communicated through WhatsApp for any other questions that came to mind after that call. After picking me up from the airport, he and Pilot (additional tour guide) provided plenty of information about the country to give me some context and we started our long drive to the impenetrable forest. The food was delicious with many options; the accommodation was very clean with exceptional service; and the transportation from Entebbe to Bwindi park was very comfortable (although long). As a solo female traveler, both tour guides (Sedrick and Pilot) did an exceptional job at enduring I accomplished everything intended to in Uganda, and always made me feel safe. I highly recommend to book your safari with this company because the quality and professionalism will not let you down.

Shakira Dec 14, 2018

Ngoni safaris uganda is the best tour operator in Uganda. A few weeks back we traveled to Bwindi impenetrable with sedrick to explore the beauty that is Uganda. This company took care of us . with most comfortable car , Great guide .We highly recommend it to the next travelers

Winnie Dec 19, 2018
I was going on a gorilla safari with my friend and this was going to be the first ever safari for the both of us. Luckily, the communication with the office was super easy and we got answers to all of the questions we needed. The driver / guide (Sedrick) was very professional and funny and made our time very pleasant. Also, he had a proper knowledge of the local area close to the Mgahinga national park and he promptly spoke some 7 languages which we thought was super positive. The safari was surely the highlight of out East African trip!

Ritah Jan 2, 2019
My Team and I did a five day trip, including Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls and Kidepo. It was truly an incredible experience. Our guide, Sedrick, was knowledgeable, skilled in driving in some challenging settings and just plain fun to hang out with for five days. The lodging was perfect, especially Savannah Lodge. The tents and beds were high quality. The views were spectacular. Meals were delicious and varied. I recommend Ngoni safaris Uganda with all my heart and soul!

Pilot May 28, 2019
Our six days trip was amazing. The driver/guide had an incredible knowledge of animal and bird-life and are so interesting to talk to. His driving skills through lashing rain and massive puddles was admirable! The cooks managed to produce varied and delicious meals from the kitchen, which we ate both at accommodation or roadside when we were travelling from one place to another . At all times we felt safe and well-looked after. All in all, an incredible experience, due not only to the abundance of wildlife we were lucky enough to see, but also to the great efforts put to have our Safari a better one . The safari was full of fun. Traveling with ngoni safaris is my life time memorable experience and I highly recommend it to travellers who would love to visit uganda or EastAfrica for holidays, vacations or Adventure.. Even five stars are too small .