Chimpanzees are one of the most sought primates by tourists who visit Uganda apart from mountain gorillas, chimpanzees in Uganda are distributed across Kibale forest national park, Budongo forest reserve at Murchison falls national park, and Kalinzu forest and Kyambura gorge at Queen Elizabeth national park. All these areas receive the same type of climate that makes Uganda a favorable destination for chimpanzee trekking.
Uganda has got two main seasons, the wet season and the dry season. The short dry season occurs in October- November while the long wet season occurs from March, April and May. The long dry season is from June, July, August and September and the short dry season is from December to February.
The dry season of June to September and December to February is the best time for trekking chimpanzees in Uganda, during this time the forests are not thick and the trekking trails are also not muddy and slippery making it easy to see chimpanzees.
The dry season is also favorable for visiting other national parks like Kidepo Valley National Park, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison falls for wildlife viewing.
The wet season of March to May and October to November might not be the best time for chimpanzee trekking but this doesn’t stop the activity in the park, the wet season is characterized with heavy rains making the trails muddy and slippery and some roads leading to the parks inaccessible.
The advantage of trekking chimpanzees in the wet season is that during this time food is readily available and fruits are ripe in the forest therefore chimpanzees don’t move for long ranges in search of food so they can easily be found during the trek. Another added advantage of trekking during the low season is that budget travelers get discounted rates from many hotels.
Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary can be visited all year round without any much inconveniences. If you are planning to combine chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation, then you have to visit in April, May and October when chimpanzee habituation takes place at Kibale forest national park.
Chimpanzee Trekking Permits
Chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda cost $150 in Kibale forest national park, $110 in Kalinzu forest, $50 in Kyambura gorge and $80 in Budongo forest. Chimpanzee trekking permits can be booked through Uganda wildlife authority or a trusted tour operator and all permits should be booked in advance of three months in the peak season due to shortage.