How long can one be with chimpanzees in Budongo forest reserve?
How long can one be with chimpanzees in Budongo forest reserve? Are you intending to visit Budongo forest national park and you are not sure of what time you can spend with chimpanzees while on your safari? Budongo forest reserve is one of the forests right next to Murchison falls national park where you can make your dream come true of seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. Chimpanzees are among the endangered primates sharing 98% of human DNA. You can either spend 1hour or 4 hours with chimpanzees in Budongo forest reserve based on your permit details.
Budongo forest reserve is one of the places to find chimpanzees in Africa and it’s located in the northwestern part of Uganda next to Murchison falls national park. The park can be accessed from Kampala or Entebbe by road transport taking 4-5 hours or by air transport to either Bugungu airstrip, Chobe airstrip, or Pakuba airstrip. The forest can be visited at any time of the year and it’s home to over 600 chimpanzee individuals of which some of them are habituated for trekking and others habituation. The park is home to other animals such as black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, pottos, galago, olive baboons, and different bird species.
For anyone to trek or habituate chimpanzees at Budongo forest reserve, you need to have a valid chimpanzee trekking or habituation permit from the National Forest Authority which you can even book using a tour operator like Africa adventure vacations. The trekking permit allows you to spend 1 hour with chimpanzees while the habituation permit allows you to spend 4 hours with these peaceful apes. If you are planning to trek chimpanzees at Budongo forest, here at Africa adventure vacations we do organize trips to this area, book permits, transport, and accommodation on behalf of our clients.
How long can one be with chimpanzees in Budongo forest?
Depending on the activity, one can spend up to 4 hours with chimpanzees in their natural habitat if they have paid a chimpanzee habituation permit or they can spend 1 hour with them if they have paid for a chimpanzee habituation permit. The chimpanzee habituation permit for Budongo forest reserve costs $230 for foreign non-residents, $160 for foreign residents, and $90 for East African citizens. The Chimpanzee Adaptation Permit in the Budongo Forest Reserve is sold to people over 15 years old
The chimpanzee trekking permits on the other hand cost $100 for foreign non-residents, $90 foreign residents, while East African citizens pay $55. The permits are issued out by the national forest authority and allow persons above the age of 15 years to be with chimpanzees for 1 hour. The trekking in Budongo forest is done twice a day that’s morning and evening hours.
Trekking chimpanzees in Budongo forest reserve starts in the morning or in the mid-morning with a briefing at the forest headquarters where the trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of the activity and later grouping is done. From here, the trekkers are led by the rangers into the jungle to search for the chimpanzees and this process takes 2-4 hours going through different trails of the forest with opportunities of seeing different monkey species, baboons, birds, and different trees. When the chimpanzees are finally located, the trekkers are given 1 hour to be with chimpanzees, watch them do daily activities like breastfeeding, learn about the habits and that’s for the case of those with chimpanzee trekking permits. Trekkers with chimpanzee habituation permits are given up to 4 hours to be with the chimpanzees making them get used to human presence, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
How many chimpanzee families are in Budongo forest reserve?
There are over 600 chimpanzees in the Budongo forest reserve and some of these are habituated while others are semi habituated. Some of the habituated chimpanzee families in Budongo forest include Sonso chimpanzee family that is found near river Sonso and it consists of over 85 members, Waibira chimpanzee family that has over 100 members, there is also Kaniyo-Pabidi chimpanzee family that was habituated by Goodall institute, and there is also Waisoke chimpanzee community staying near River Waisoke. Chimpanzees don’t stay in one area they keep on moving from one place to another and trekking them requires one to have a valid chimpanzee trekking permit and must be physically fit.
Ways of booking chimpanzee permits for Budongo forest reserve
One can book a chimpanzee trekking or habituation permit for Budongo forest direct from the national forest authority or a local tour company. Africa adventure vacations is a tour company based in Uganda and we can book you chimpanzee permits for Budongo forest reserve. We are licensed by Uganda Tourism Board and we are members of the association of Uganda Tour Operators. While booking a chimpanzee trekking habituation permit with us, all we need from you is your travel dates so that we ask check for the availability of the permits for that day with the national forest authority. Once we have found the permits available, we shall request you to send us the money to book for you permits and once we have received the money we shall go ahead and secure permits for you and send you scanned copies
Why spend time with chimpanzees in the Budongo forest
Spending time with chimpanzees in Budongo forest reserve is relatively cheap when you compare it to Kibale forest national park as the permit price for Kibale is $230 and that of Budongo is $130 per person per trek. Visitors who trek or habituate chimpanzees in Budongo forest national park get an opportunity of visiting Murchison falls national park which is one of the most visited places and the biggest national park in Uganda.
Can I get to Budongo forest national park in a day?
You can get to Budongo forest reserve in just 4-5 hours from Kampala/Entebbe to Masindi and then Budongo. On your way to Masindi, you can have a stopover at Ziwa rhino sanctuary where you can see the rhinos and continue to Masindi where you branch off to the Murchison falls national park and use its main gate, pay the entrance fee and continue to your lodge or the forest. Luxury travelers can access Budongo forest reserve using scheduled flights to Pakuba airstrip, Chobe airstrip, and Bugungu airstrip all found within Murchison falls national park. The flights to Murchison falls national park is available in the morning, mid-morning, and afternoon with AeroLink Uganda from Kajjansi airfield or Entebbe international airport to any of the airfields in the park. You will find our experienced driver guide at the airport ready to drive to your lodge or the forest.
When can one have a comfortable night on a chimpanzee trekking safari in Budongo forest?
Budongo forest reserve provides a range of accommodation facilities so depending on your travel budget, you can stay in campsites, budget, mid-range, or luxury accommodation facilities in and around the forest. the only accommodation in Budongo forest reserve is Budongo eco-lodge but you can stay in Murchison falls national park lodges such as Paraa Safari Lodge, Chobe safari lodge, Saltek Forest Cottages, Amuka Safari lodge, Murchison River lodge, Palm Garden Hotel, Nile safari lodge, Kabalega Resort Hotel, Pakuba safari lodge, Masindi Hotel, and New Court View Hotel among others.
What is the best time to book chimpanzee safari activities in Budongo forest?
Budongo forest reserve can be visited at any time of the year as the place is open for trekking activities throughout. The best time we do recommend you to visit the forest is the dry season and this normally happens in June to September and December to February when it is little or no rainfall, roads leading to the forest passable, vegetation thin for clear views of the forest animals and birds, and the trekking trails are passable. You can as well visit the forest in the rainy season to enjoy huge discounts on trekking permits and accommodation facilities but during this time there is too much rainfall.
What to do with Africa Adventure Vacations?
Africa adventure vacations is a tour company based in Uganda licensed by the Uganda Tourism Board and a member of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators. Booking with Africa adventure vacations provides you safety and confidence during your safari courtesy of well-trained safari driver guides who are well conversant with all routes and tourism destinations in Africa. You can book with us any of the activities you want to do in Africa such as mountain gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla habituation, birding, game drives, hiking, nature walks, and community tours among others. Booking chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest reserve can be done all year round.