CHIMPANZEE HABITUATION EXPERIENCE IN KIBALE FOREST UGANDA
Chimpanzee habituation experience (CHEX) is an amazing experience that allows visitors spend more time with chimpanzees as they train them to get used to human beings being around them. Chimpanzee habituation experience is done with the help of researchers and park rangers who habituates by continuously visiting the chimpanzees to get accustomed to human beings. This experience is done well in Kibale forest national park Uganda, the home to over 13 primate species including over 1500 chimpanzee and Red colobus monkeys.
Chimpanzee habituation takes 2-3 years for the chimpanzees to be fully accustomed to human presence and later opened for trekking. Visitors have a chance to spend 6 hours to full day with the chimpanzees. During this time, you learn about the behaviors of chimpanzees, feeding habits, mating, making nests to rest and more. The activity is both exciting and challenging being that the chimpanzees are not habituated they are still shy and keep moving away so you have to keep up with their pace and follow them.
Chimpanzee habituation experience is one of a kind not like the usual chimpanzee tracking that allows visitors one hour with these primates once found, it allows visitors up to a full day with chimps. CHEX is so competitive since only 4 people are allowed to join the group of researchers to see chimpanzees so visitors are advised to book at least 6 months in advance not to miss out.
The day of Chimpanzee habituation visitors join the guides very early in the morning to set off into the forest. If early enough and lucky you will find chimpanzees waking up from their nests where they spent the night and you start the day with them. You will then follow them for the day observing their habits, what foods they eat, communication styles, grooming and many more until they lay their nests for the night’s rest. A lot of nice pictures can be taken during this period.
Spending the day with our closest relatives is so amazing but always remember to follow the guidelines of your guide and the rules of chimpanzee tracking to avoid annoying the chimps. Visitors need to wear appropriate clothes like long sleeved shirts and trousers, a rain jacket, sunglasses, a hat and carry some sunscreen plus insect repellant. Visitors have to carry packed lunch and enough water since they spend most of the day in the forest. Chimpanzee habituation experience permits cost USD 250 for foreigners and 150,000 shillings for East African citizens. Permits are booked directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority or through your tour operator.
Chimpanzee habituation experience is done all year round in Kibale national park alongside other activities like chimpanzee tracking, bird watching, nature walks and many more. Chimpanzee trekking unlike Chimpanzee habituation experience is done in other protected areas in Uganda like Budongo forest, kyambura gorge, Ngamba island and Kibale national park the primate capital of the world.