Chimpanzee Tracking at Budongo Forest – Uganda Safari News

chimpanzees at Kibale Forest National Park

Chimpanzee tracking /Chimpanzee trekking / chimp tracking is a top Uganda safari activity mainly for Uganda wildlife safari tourists who wouldn’t want to leave without have a lifetime encounter with man’s closest relatives. Uganda is known as the best destination for Chimpanzee trekking with the top destinations being Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest adjacent to Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park‘s Kyambura Gorge.

About 600 chimpanzees, live in their natural habitat of Budongo forest coming second to Kibale Forest National Park that is home to about 1,400 chimpanzees. It’s the second-best chimpanzee trekking destination in the world. Not all of the chimpanzees are habituated for chimpanzee tracking. Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris are made possible by the 115km trail throughout the forest as tourists follow the trails alongside guide. The same trails are used for birding and nature walks. You can choose to go for chimpanzee trekking either in the morning or in the evening or chimpanzee habituation.

Lively, energetic and charming chimpanzees are fascinating to watch and this is one of the reasons why chimpanzee trekking is one of the key activities for tourists on Uganda wildlife safaris. In Uganda, it’s rare to encounter wild chimps by chance or just by driving through their habitat so you will need to plan a safari in Uganda with a trusted tour operator. On the morning of your planned trek, park rangers will set off in advance to find the nests the chimps made the night before. They then track the group’s movements, listening for calls and looking for dung, knuckle prints and scraps of half-eaten leaves and fruit. When they locate the chimps, they’ll alert your guide, who will lead you through the forest.

It all starts by following paths in a time range of between 30 minutes and several un predictable hours one that is an amazing experience of its own. As soon as you can see the chimps clearly, your one-hour encounter officially begins. After the 1 hour you return to the trek start point where you meet your Uganda tour guide for a transfer to your next destination.

About Budongo Forest

Reserved since 1932, Budongo Forest is a medium altitude semi-deciduous moist tropical rainforest forest covering 825 sq. km on an altitude ranging from 1110 to 1590 m above sea level in Masindi district. This is the biggest Mahogany forest in the whole of East Africa popular for the age-old Mahogany trees which can grow up to 80 meters. Out of the 825km2 only about 430sq km are continuous forest with the rest being grassland. The Budongo forest reserve sits within the Albertine rift valley within the boundaries of the spectacular Murchison Falls National Park. Budongo Forest is about 211 northwest of Kampala north east of Lake Albert. The forest is drained by four streams known as Waisoke, Sonso, Kamirambwa and Siba, drain the forest and flow into Lake Albert.

Before being gazette in 1932, Budongo Forest was protected by the King of Bunyoro and only with his permission could local chiefs hunt inside the forest. Official gazetting later on found the forest well conserved with wildlife and flora flourishing and for this, many tourists till date visit the forest during their wildlife safaris in Uganda. The forest derives its name from a word in the Bunyoro dialect that refers to “fertile soil”.

Budongo Forest has a high biodiversity with 24 species of small mammals, 9 being primates including the chimpanzees, 465 species of trees and shrubs, 359 species of birds, 289 species of butterflies and 130 species of moths all creating a beautiful eco system.

Other attractions and Chimpanzees in Budongo Forest

A side from chimpanzees, other primates seen in Budongo forest include the Black-and-White Colobus Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys and Grey-cheeked Mangabeys.

Other activities in Budongo forest include birding especially at Royal Mile with about 360 species of birds recorded in the total area. These include the rare Puval’s Illadopses which is endemic to the region. Other species include the Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Chestnut Crowned Eremomera, Dusky long-tailed Cuckoo, Yellow-browned Camaroptera, Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher, Slender-billed Greenbul, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Forest Robin, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow and Grey Longbill, Little Green Sunbird, Western Black-headed Oriole, African Emerald Cuckoo, Yellow-manted Weaver, Crested Malimbe and Cassin’s Hawk Eagle among others.

On your Uganda wildlife safari or any other kind of safaris Uganda, as long as you take the route to Murchison Falls National Park don’t miss to visit Budongo Forest and get so close to man’s closest relatives.

Recommendable Chimpanzee Trekking safaris in Uganda

Being the primate capital of the world, Uganda is a top chimpanzee trekking destination. However, this doesn’t make other destinations less interesting. Chimpanzees can also be tracked on a Tanzania wildlife safari to Gombe stream National Park, a Rwanda wildlife safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park and on a wildlife safari in Congo to Virunga National Park.