Next to Gorillas, chimpanzees are the most sought after primates. Sharing 95% of their DNA with humans, they have the similar facial features and are highly intelligent. They use tools like rocks to crack nuts and sticks to entice insects out of the anthills. Chimpanzees live in family groups of up to 50 strong and are led by a dominant male. With up to 12 vocal calls, each with a different meaning, chimpanzees are the most intelligent of the primates. They are typically found in the tropical forests of Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.
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Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.
Chimpanzees are found in the central and western regions of Uganda. Kibale forest national park is the ultimate destination for Chimpanzee trekking in Africa. With up to 1,500 members, the park offers excellent chimpanzee interactions. Budongo forest in the Murchison falls is home to over 500 chimpanzees while the Kalinzu forest in the western part of Uganda has over 300 chimps. These chimps have been habituated and are ready to interact with visitors.
These chimpanzee trekking safaris are done throughout the year. However, the dry seasons of June- August and December- February offer the ideal conditions for trekking. A minimum age of 15 years is required for the trek. For a comfortable chimpanzee trekking safari, a certain level of fitness is required.
Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda.
Nyungwe forest national park is the ultimate destination for chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda. With up to 500 individuals, Nyungwe forest is the ultimate chimpanzee trekking destination in Rwanda. The full bloom of the trees in the summer offer spectacular viewing as the food is in plenty. The experienced guides lead you through the lush green forest, tracking the chimps on the move. The vocal calls can be heard as they communicate with one another.
The habituated family in Nyungwe forest has over 60 members. The thick forest and terrain sometimes offers few chances of encountering the chimps. The Cyamudongo forest offers the best viewing experience. The 30 strong family group offers the best sightings because of the easy terrain. The age limit for chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda is 15 years. This allows for a stronger of adherence to the rules and maturity when faced with the level of excitement and adventure.
Chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania
Mahale National park harbors the densest population of primates. These range from red colobus, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, yellow baboon but the famous is the chimpanzees. With over 1,000 individuals, the first habituated family was the Mimikire clan in 1965 and has 56 as of today. They are comfortable around people and offer close encounters during your chimpanzee trek. Due to the fact that this family group is very comfortable around people, you are offered a face mask to avoid transferring any communicable diseases.
The hike up to encounter the Mahale chimps varies from 30 minutes to 3 hours. The dry seasons of June-August offers the best conditions for the hike. Dry forest paths offer a comfortable hike. More to that, chimps are close to the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Person above the age of 12 are eligible to trek the chimps. Dress appropriately in long trousers, carry enough drinking water and don’t forget to capture your safari moment with a camera.