In all of East Africa, Uganda is the premier chimpanzee destination with more than 5,000 members.
Chimpanzee trekking includes a 1-hour visit with a chimpanzee troop. Alternatively, you can opt for the all-day Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX).
The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience is where you participate on an all-day activity with chimps to learn and observe them. This is a learning experience, just like gorilla and golden monkey habituation. You will also get opportunity to learn about other forest inhabitants including butterflies, birds, and other mammals.
Where to see chimpanzees
Chimpanzee treks and the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience take place in tropical rainforests such as Kibale Forest, Kalinzu Forest, Semiliki, Budongo Forest and the Kyambura Gorge in Uganda. Trekking also takes place in Nyungwe Afro-Montane Forest in Rwanda.
Chimpanzee tracking is done throughout the year although the best time would be from May to August where there is abundant food and the chimpanzees are easier to spot.
Between October to January, food is scarce and the troops tend to move further in search of food and water.
Our closest relatives
Chimpanzees are humans closest relatives with 98.7% of the same DNA. Chimpanzees live in troops numbering between 30 and 80 individuals.
Adult chimpanzees weigh from 55-110 pounds and grow to about 4 feet in height. They have long strong arms, short legs and they have no tails. They feed on fruits, termites, ants, and sometimes other smaller monkeys.
They have strong hands and can grip firmly on tools such as stones and sticks used for hunting and gathering. They spend most of their time on the ground, walk erect on two hind legs, and build their nests on the ground.
Chimpanzees are great communicators, they are very organized and correspond in a variety of ways such as warning cries, screams, grunts, hoots, and hitting hollow tree trunks like drums. They even show affection by kissing, holding hands and grooming each other.
Chimpanzees reach sexual maturity at 8 to 10 years. Females give birth to babies every 4 years. Babies can sit and walk after 5 months. Young chimps stay with their mothers for 3 years and set off on their own in their fourth year.