Chimpanzee Tracking is a unique and one of the most exciting primate experiences. The excursion begins at the Park Offices where you meet your Chimpanzee tracking Guide/Ranger. Following a pre-tracking briefing; on the chimps as well as the tracking do’s and don’ts, you transfer by car or on foot to the trailhead for the start of an unforgettable adventure – hiking in the footsteps of these cheeky apes that are man’s socially and genetically closest relatives (98.8%).
Your hike, into the dense but very beautiful rain forest, until you find the chimps will usually last between 45min to 1hr/30mins but could be longer depending on how far deep the chimps are. En-route, your guide keeps you enthralled with interesting stories and facts about the forest and the chimpanzees as well as her other inhabitants; over 12 other species of primates including black and white colobus monkeys, red colobus monkeys, potos, baboons and red tailed monkeys; antelopes, forest elephants, duikers and other mammals; numerous species of birds including the blue breasted kingfisher, black billed Turaco, a variety of Greenbuls, white napped pigeons, Narina’s Trogon, Pied Hornbill, Purple headed and Chestnut winged Starlings, white headed wood hoopoe, Petit’s cuckoo shrike; butterflies, the forest vegetation, trees and shrubs and so much more; it is always very interesting even as he/she answers any questions. You will know you are coming close to the chimps by their loud, sometimes a little intimidating noises. Chimps are said to communicate in over 65 different sounds each of which means something different.
Upon sighting the Chimpanzees, you will stay with them for one unforgettable hour as they go about their daily life. Chimp families are normally big and individuals act relatively independently except for acknowledging the kingpin Alpha Male. Participants often have the opportunity to see the animals in either of many different settings; either up in trees, or on the ground, grooming or resting on fallen logs, feeding, mating, taking care of their young; growling, barking, screeching and howling; agilely climbing up the trees and dropping off in thuds before disappearing like they were spirits all over and around you – it can get a bit tense. At any time, there is so much action in front, besides, behind, up above and down below it’s hard to keep up. It certainly is one unforgettable experience and the hour is always over too soon.
You then hike back to base where your Driver/guide will be waiting to transfer you back to the lodge for a shower and lunch.
NB: This write up depicts Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park and Budongo Forest in Uganda.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Nyungwe forest National Park and Cyamudongo Forest, Rwanda normally begins earlier, at 0400hrs, in order to try and catch them before they de-nest. The chimps family tracked is semi-habituated and tends to move far and widely within a rather hilly terrain and a comparatively reduced probability of sighting. the park does not practice a refund policy. As an alternative, Nyungwe has many other fun and lovely activities which we recommend including Angola Colobus Monkeys Tracking, The Nyungwe Canopy Walk, regular Guided Forest Hikes down to beautiful valleys, Guide Bird Walks and quite a lot more.