Differences between Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park and chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest
What is the differences between Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park and chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest in Uganda? Kibale forest national park is the most famous chimpanzee park with the highest number of chimpanzees in western Uganda. The Park has the highest number of primates in the country and these are over 13 including more than 1500 chimpanzees. The primates in Kibale forest national park include L’Hoest’s monkey, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys, Demidoff Galago, Uganda mangabey, grey checked mangabeys, vervet monkeys, patas monkeys, Uganda red colobus, and pottos. Kibale forest national park is not only home to primates but also over 70 mammals, and over 375 birds making the park one of the best birding destinations.
Chimpanzee trekking is the most done activity in Kibale forest national park and it is done in two sessions with one in the morning and the next in the evening. There are 90 chimpanzee trekking permits and 12 chimpanzee habituation permits in Kibale forest national park every day and these are issued out by the Uganda wildlife authority.
Kalinzu forest is found in Rubirizi district near Bushenyi in southwestern Uganda. Kalinzu forest is near Maramagambo forest and the famous Queen Elizabeth national park. There are 6 primate species in the Kalinzu forest and these are chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, baboons, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and L’hoest’s monkeys. There are 2 habituated gorilla families in Kalinzu forest and these are open for trekking at any time of the year.
Comparing Chimpanzee trekking permit price in Kibale forest national park vs Kalinzu forest
Chimpanzee trekking permits for Kalinzu forest costs $50 making it far less than the $200 for Kibale forest national park. Booking a chimpanzee trekking permit for Kalinzu forest can be got from any trusted tour operator or the Reception Centre at Kalinzu. Even though Kalinzu forest chimpanzee trekking permits can be got even on the day of trekking, this shouldn’t stop you from booking in advance most especially in the dry season when so many tourists are coming to the country.
Kibale forest national park permits cost $200 for foreign non-residents, $150 foreign residents while East African citizens pay UGX150,000 and the permits can be got from the Uganda wildlife authority or through any trusted tour operator.
In both places, chimpanzee trekking starts in the morning with the briefing at the park headquarters where they are taught about the dos and don’ts of trekking. After briefing the trekkers are grouped and led by the ranger guides into the forest in search of chimpanzees. Trekking chimpanzees in these places take 2-4 hours depending on the location and movement of chimpanzees. After allocating the chimpanzees you are given 1 hour to be around them as you learn about behaviors and take pictures.
Trekking chimpanzees in these places gives you an opportunity to see other animals such as red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, baboons, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and L’hoest’s monkeys to mention but a few. There are 95% chances of seeing chimpanzees at both Kibale forest national park and Kalinzu forest.
Best time to trek chimpanzees in kibale foest national park or kalinzu forest
Chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu or Kibale can be done at any time of the year but the drier months of June to September and December to February are the best for trekking since there is little or no rainfall. During the dry months, the vegetation in the parks is thin making clear views of animals, the trekking trails are dry and the roads leading to the parks are passable.
How to access Kibale forest national park
By road transport
Kibale forest national park can be easily accessed from Kampala via Mubende and Fort Portal or from Mbarara and Kamwenge districts.
By air transport
You can get to Kibale forest national park from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip using Aero link and Fly Uganda to Kasese and then use ground transport to Kanyanchu in Kibale forest national park.
Accessing Kalinzu forest for chimpanzee trekking
By road transport
Kalinzu forest can be accessed from Kampala via Kasese – Fort Portal – Bushenyi and this might take you 6-7 hours. You can also get to Kalinzu from Kampala via Fort Portal Kasese highway and from Kasese, you will have to connect to Kalinzu forest. You can also use Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara – Bushenyi and get to Kalinzu forest.
By air transport
You can get to Kalinzu forest by air transport from Kajjansi airstrip and Entebbe international airport to Kasese airstrip where you will use ground means to connect to Kalinzu forest.
Where to stay in Kibale forest national park
Kibale forest national park has several accommodation facilities where one would stay on a chimpanzee trekking safari. The accommodation facilities in Kibale forest national park range from budget to mid-range to luxury and where to stay depends on your travel budget. Some of the accommodation facilities in Kibale forest national park include Primate lodge, Papaya Lake Lodge, Ndali Kasenda Crater Lodge, Kibale Forest Lodge, Crater Safari Lodge, Aramaga Rift Valley Lodge, Chimpundu Lodge, Lodge Bella Vista, Rwenzori Guest House, Chimpanzee Forest Guest House, Chimp Nest, Nyabulitwa County Resort and Safari Camp, Kibale Forest Camp, Mountains of the moon hotel, Kibale forest camp, and Kyaninga Crater Lodge to mention but a few.
Where to stay in Kalinzu forest
There are so many accommodation options where one can stay on a chimpanzee trekking safari to Kalinzu forest. These range from camping to budget to mid-range to luxury options. The campsites in Kalinzu forest are set deep inside the forest for you to enjoy the nature of the forest. Other accommodation facilities in Kalinzu forest are those of queen Elizabeth national park and these include Mweya hostels, Jacana Lodge, Mweya Safari Lodge, Katara Lodge, Engiri Game Lodge, Park View Safari Lodge, Kyangabi Crater Resort, Katara Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge, and Irungu Forest Safari Lodge among others.
Where to see chimpanzees in Uganda?
The popular places where one can meet eye to eye with chimpanzees are Kibale forest national park with the highest population, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park, Budongo forest in Murchison falls national park, Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, and Kalinzu forest.
Requirements to see chimpanzees in Kalinzu forest or Kibale forest national park
The most important thing needed to see chimpanzees in Kibale forest national park is a chimpanzee trekking permit which is issued out by the Uganda wildlife authority or they can be got from a trusted tour operator. Permits for Kalinzu forest are issues out by the National Forest Authority. The chimpanzee trekking permits allow you to spend a maximum of 1 hour around chimpanzees as you learn about their behaviors and take photos. The other thing considered before trekking chimpanzees is age, the person must be aged 15 and above to trek. You are advised to book your chimpanzee trekking permits in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconvenience most especially if you want to trek chimpanzees in the dry season.
How long does one stay with chimpanzees?
Trekking chimpanzees in Uganda is done for 2-4 hours depending on the location of chimpanzees, speed of trekkers, and season. After locating chimpanzees, trekkers are allowed to stay around chimpanzees for a maximum of 1 hour. This is done to allow chimpanzees to get back to their normal daily activities and also to reduce human interaction with the endangered primates. Spending fewer hours with chimpanzees allows reduces the risks of transmitting diseases to these primates. Travelers who are interested in seeing chimpanzees for more than 1 hour are advised to go for chimpanzee habituation because this allows you to stay around chimpanzees for up to 4 hours.
Chimpanzee trekking age limit in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking age limit is 12 years just like any other primate trekking age limit. This is confirmed by requesting passport details during the booking time or on the day of trekking. As long as you are physically fit, there is no maximum age limit for trekking chimpanzees in Uganda.
How to book a chimpanzee trekking permit for Kibale forest national park or Kalinzu
The chimpanzee trekking permits for Kibale forest national park or Kalinzu forest can be booked directly from the Uganda wildlife authority or National forest authority respectively. The trekking permits can also be booked using a trusted tour operator after confirming your travel dates, you can send your details and send money to our bank accounts. Once we have received the money, we shall help you book and afterward send you a scanned copy of the payment.
How many people are allowed to trek a chimpanzee family?
Unlike gorilla trekking where 8 people are allowed to trek a gorilla family, it’s not the case of chimpanzee trekking. Even though chimpanzees live in groups of 50-150, they do break up during the day to avoid competition for food. Only 6 people are allowed to trek a chimpanzee family and these people are headed by a ranger guide into the forest who helps them to search for the chimpanzees.
Other attractions in Uganda apart from chimpanzees
Uganda has several animal species and other attractions that can be seen while on a safari. The country has over 10 national parks among which include mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla park, different national parks such as Lake Mburo, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo valley to mention but a few where you can see different mammals, birds, and primates on game drives, there are boat cruises on different lakes found in different national parks among which include Kazinga channel which happens to be the biggest in the world in queen Elizabeth national park. There are cultural visits in Uganda and the most visited people are the Karamajong and IK in northern Uganda and Batwa pygmies in the southwestern part of Uganda.