Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda
Chimpanzees sharing 98% of human DNA. Uganda is the best destination for chimpanzee tracking with over 5,000 chimps, 1 hour visits and all day Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (HEX).
Kibale Forest might be the most popular place in Uganda in which to view chimps but it’s far from the only option — there’s Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Toro-Semuliki National Park, Ngamba Chimpanzee Sacturary Island and Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda
Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans sharing about 98% of their DNA composition. They are Sociable, intelligent as well as communicative and among their very fascinating traits are the ability to utilize tools like rocks for crushing nuts, empty pods for hollowing out water plus sticks for capturing termites from their holes. These skills are for long been passed on from generation to another and researchers say that different troops have specialist tasks, basing on their habitat as well as diet.
The average weight of an adult well grown male chimpanzee is between 35 and 70 kilograms, with a height of approximately 3 meters whereas an adult female chimpanzee weighs between 26 and 50 kilograms and a height between 2 and 4 feet.
A chimpanzee’s life expectancy is at 40 years whereas that for those living in captivity can extend up to 60 years. They stay in groups of 10 – 100 members. They can babysit each other’s young, kiss, groom one another and even hold hands. The young chimps become independent at the age of 4 years. Nonetheless, chimps can be aggressive and unsociable, mainly if disturbed. Although they spend some time on ground, they normally feed and do make their sleeping nests up in the trees. Their diet varies comprising of leaves, seeds, fruit plus flowers.
Chimpanzee Tracking Rules
For your own safety and the protection of the Chimpanzees, any one intending to track chimpanzees is required to follow a few rules along the forest trails.
- Chimpanzees can catch human diseases; you must not enter the forest if you are sick.
- Do not leave litter in the forest.
- Keep as quite as possible in the forest such that you will see more.
- Keep at least 8 meters (25 feet) from the chimpanzees at all times.
- Do not mimic Chimpanzees’ vocalization (you do not know what you might be saying)
- Do not eat near the Chimpanzees.
- Do not chase the Chimpanzees
- Do not use flash photography
What you should bring for Chimpanzee Tracking
Wear shoes that have a good grip suitable for climbing and walking in steep moist muddy slopes.
A number of people actually feel more ease when wearing clothes that are long sleeved as this protects them from pricking thickets as they move through the verdant jungle.
Do not forget a rain gear since the weather here is highly unpredictable.
Carry a pair of binoculars if you can (optional)
If taking photos, keep in mind that these animals live in forests with dim light. So a camera flash is strictly not permitted.
Better to have a fast film of 400-800ASA or even utilize the settings on your camera