Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park

With the largest chimpanzee population in Uganda, numbering at around 1300 individuals, Kibale is one of the best places on the continent to observe these wonderful creatures.
Where and When
In the forests of the Kibale National Park. All year round.
The duration of the stay with the chimpanzees is about one hour. The trek varies between 1 and 5 hours, depending on the distance.
What's Included
Trekking and national park permit fees, trackers and national park ranger-guide.
More information
Kibale National Park is home to a population of approximately 1,500 chimpanzees, making this the largest population in all of Uganda. Kibale is currently the best place in all of East Africa to view chimpanzees in the wild. The chimpanzees that are visited in Kibale have been tracked and visited since 1993, so these chimpanzees are very used to human presence, which is why the chances of finding and observing them are always high. To this we have to say that every traveler we know who has visited the Kibale chimpanzees has seen them. Chimpanzee trekking can be done all year round, but the chances of getting better chimpanzee pictures are in the dry months (December to March and June to September).
Chimpanzee trekking:
Difficulty: Medium Approximate time: from 1 to 5 hours one way Type of route: With a guide from the P.N. of Kibale and in group Due to the orography of the terrain, the distance at which the chimpanzees could be found and their own behavior, trekking can take hours to find them. Once the chimpanzees are located, the maximum stay time is 1 hour. At the end of this time, the group begins the march back to the starting point of the trekking.
Visiting time and number of visitors:
Only 12 permits are issued daily, which are divided into 2 groups. The first group leaves in the morning (08:00 hrs) and the second group in the afternoon (14:00 hrs). Registration at the National Park office must be done at 07:30 a.m. for the first group and at 01:30 p.m. for the second group. The schedule will depend on the group assigned based on the availability of permits. The minimum age to see the chimpanzees is 15 years old.
Chimpanzees, unlike gorillas, are restless by nature, so they move around a lot. During the drier months, chimpanzees tend to forage in higher and deeper areas of the forest, so the distances to travel are longer. Depending on the season and location you may have to walk between 1 and 4 hours to find the chimpanzees.
Environmental conditions:
The trekking takes place through the rain forest so even during the dry season rains can occur in the Kibale forest. The possible rains during the dry months are generally light and short, but enough to make the terrain muddy. During the rainy season the ground will be very muddy so the march will be slower. Inside the forest there is humidity, there are insects and there are plants, some of them nettles. But it may also be the case that for other people getting into nature is a challenge.
Chimpanzee encounter:
The chimpanzees that are visited are very used to human presence, which is why Kibale is the best place in Africa for their observation in the wild. Sometimes they can be seen on the ground and in open areas, while at other times they can be seen in trees and surrounded by vegetation. It must be taken into account that due to their restless nature, chimpanzees tend to keep themselves in constant movement. For this reason, unlike gorillas, it is normal to have to follow them through the forest. Chimpanzees spend time in the trees so the chances of seeing them in the treetops is high. Chimpanzees, unlike gorillas, sleep in nests that they build daily on the treetops. Sometimes the encounter with chimpanzees is when they are on the ground, surrounded by vegetation or in lighter areas. On other occasions they are found when they are in the trees and surrounded by branches, so it is possible to predict what the encounter with these apes will be like. The guide is the authority in the park so you should always follow his instructions. When the time comes, he will give instructions to start the return march.
Best time to see chimpanzees in Kibale:
In general it can be said that during the dry months (December to March and June to September) they are better because the terrain is drier and mainly because the risk of rain is lower. However, also during the rainy months there have been wonderful experiences with chimpanzees. Remember that the dry season months coincide with the high season for travelers. This means that housing prices are much higher and chimpanzee permits are required to be purchased at least 1 year in advance. During the rainy season there are fewer travelers and accommodation prices are lower. It is also easier to reserve permits for chimpanzees.
Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park
200.00 USD per person
Maximum number of people:
6 people
Minimum age:
15 years old