Chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, have been a popular tourist attraction in Uganda. With the mountain gorillas, chimpanzees are responsible for garnering the most attention from national & international tourists. Most of the chimpanzees safaris in Uganda will take you to the Kibale National Park which has around 1,450 chimps; this population of chimps in the park happens to be the largest in Uganda. In totality, this park has 13 primate species including endangered red colobus monkey, mangabey, hardly seen L’Hoest’s monkey, black & white colobus, red-tailed and blue monkey, baboon, bush baby, potto, etc.
Chimpanzees trekking in the Kibale National Park starts from the Kanyanchu Visitor Centre twice a day; you can take the early morning slot which starts at 8 am or the afternoon one starting at 2 pm. These treks are generally for 2-3 hours and tourists are divided in groups of 6 each. It’s highly recommended that you opt for advance booking as the number of trekking permits are limited. The cost of a permit in the park is US $150. It’s important to note that children who are less than 15-year old are not allowed on these treks. Kibale National Park is in a close proximity to the other famous national parks in Uganda such as Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semuliki National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Tourists can easily include these parks as well in their itinerary to have a richer experience of Uganda.
The probability to spot chimpanzees and other primates is quite high here when compared to the other national parks in Uganda such as the adjoining Queen Elizabeth National Park. Also, since it has the largest population of chimps in a comparatively lesser area of 766 km², you will not be disappointed at all. Apart from this, in this park you will find 70 mammal species (including famous big five game animals like elephants, cape buffalo, and leopards), 350 tree species (in the second largest remaining tropical forest in Uganda), and 375 distinct bird species (ideal for birdwatching).