Chimpanzee trekking is difficult work, but it’s thoroughly rewarding once you come upon a family of chimpanzees quietly preening, playing, relaxing and with their remarkably human behavior.
Chimpanzee tracking actually is a very fascinating experience because you spend a number of hours tracking these impressive creatures. One can spend some time (at most an hour) with our mesmerizing relatives, as you observe them swing from one tree to another, feed, play about or progress speedily on the ground.
Chimpanzees share over 98 percent of their DNA with humans.
However these animals being wild, chances of spotting them in the wild is not always guaranteed although they are over 95% within the Kibale Forest National Park found in Uganda hence making it the most perfect destination in the whole of East Africa.
It is in addition probable to take part in the fascinating habituation experience, meaning that you can actually get a chance to spend the entire day with them. Chimpanzees are a fascinating species to observe in the wild
However, because the number of chimpanzee trekking permits for each day is restricted, one is greatly advised to book in advance.
Usually lunch boxes are offered to the trekkers that are taking part in the habituation process since it requires the entire day to search observe and be with them.
The minimum age required to take part in the chimpanzee tracking experience is 15 years.
The Chimpanzees share about 98% of our genes and are humanity’s closest living relatives. Possessing long arms, opposable thumbs, black fur, and bare faces, palms and soles, they look and act every inch like humans.
These animals are highly sociable, living in groups of between 15 and 80 members with a dominant male. Chimpanzees communicate using a complex mixture of body language, hoots, pants, and barks. They are capable of both bipedal (two legged) or quadruped (knuckle-walking) movement. They are also capable of moving at great speed over great distances through the trees where they feed from.
Chimpanzees are omnivorous animals which primarily eat fruits and other plants, but are also capable of digesting insects, eggs, meat, and even carrion.
The male chimpanzees can stand up to 1.7 meters and weigh approximately 70kgs. Females tend to be smaller and spend a great deal of their adult looking after their young.
Chimpanzee Tracking Rules and Regulations
a) A distance of just about 8m should be maintained between you and the chimps.
b) People with diseases such as flu or diarrhea are not allowed in the park.
c) Avoid eating near the chimpanzees.
d) Children below the age of 12 are prohibited from entering the park.
e) Guide is the only one to help get access to the forest.
f) The chimpanzees should not be provoked because they need their freedom
g) Flash photographic cameras are not allowed in the park.
What to carry along for the Trek
The average weight of an adult well grown male chimpanzee is between 35 and 70 kilograms, with a height of approximately 3 meters whereas tan adult female chimpanzee weighs between 26 and 50 kilograms and a height between 2 and 4 feet.
A chimpanzee’s life expectancy is at about 40 years for those in the wild whereas those living in captivity can extend up to 60 years.
Chimpanzees are Sociable, intelligent as well as communicative animals and among their very fascinating traits is 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 have been passed on from generation to another for a long time.
Chimpanzees stay in groups of 10 – 100 members. The young chimps become independent at the age of 4. Nonetheless, chimps can be aggressive and unsociable when disturbed or faced with danger.
Although chimpanzees spend some time on ground, they normally feed and make their sleeping nests up in the trees.
About Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
This is an experience of a lifetime that allows research and habituation of chimpanzee during daily activities. Habituation helps chimps to get used to human presence without changing their natural habitat.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to see the chimpanzees is during the wet season. While the rain tends to make the hike less pleasant, the abundance of water and food also means that the chimpanzees have a short distance to look for food since it is plenty during this time.
For this reason, the rainy season is the best time to track chimpanzees. Depending on which country you’re in, the rainy season may vary.