In the morning, you will be transferred to the meeting point to join a small group led by a Ugandan Wildlife Authority specialist guide to track the chimpanzees on foot in Kibale Forest. The activity lasts approximately 3-4 hours with up to 8 people in a group.
Tracking chimpanzees is usually considered more difficult than tracking gorillas because they move faster & high up in the trees, therefore sightings are not guaranteed. However for the last 12 months we have had 100% success rate in sightings for our clients which illustrates the skill and experience of the rangers and how well run this activity is in this particular location.
Sightings of the black & white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, or the grey cheeked mangabey are possible. Your guide will also point out bird species as well as endemic plant species within the forest.
When you discover the chimps you will be asked to keep a minimum 10 metres distance and similar regulations to the gorilla trekking must be followed. As with the gorilla trekking, you are advised to wear shoes with a good grip, long trousers (pants) and long-sleeved cotton shirts with a waterproof jacket & gaiters to cover your ankles. A lightweight pair of binoculars is also recommended.
Chimps share 98% of human DNA and the average weight of an adult well grown male is between 35 & 70 kilograms, with a height of approximately 3m whereas an adult female chimpanzee has an average weight of between 26 & 50 kilograms and a height of between 2 & 4 feet. The average life expectancy of a chimpanzee is 40 years although those in captivity have been known to live for 60 years. Chimpanzees are sociable, intelligent and communicative and among their very fascinating traits is the ability to utilize tools including rocks for crushing nuts, emptying pods and hollowing out water. Chimps have even been witnessed sheltering from the rain under large leaves acting as cover (as do gorillas). These skills have been passed down between generations and researchers have identified specific skills & diets between different troops.
Although they spend some time on ground, chimps normally feed and sleep in nests up in the trees. Chimps generally reside in groups of between 10 & 100 members. They can babysit each other’s young, kiss, groom one another and even hold hands. The young chimps become independent at the age of 4 years. Chimps, however, can be extremely aggressive and unsociable, mainly if disturbed, and therefore the instructions of your specialist guide must always be followed