Chimp Trekking in Kibale Forest
The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) offers the chance to spend a half-day or full-day in the presence of the chimpanzees in Kibale Forest.
Habituation is the process of slowly introduction chimpanzees to humans so that they become more comfortable with their presence. In time, these groups of chimp can be tracked as part of a standard chimpanzee trek. The habituation process also gives the rangers a chance to learn more about the chimpanzee's behaviour.
The entire process takes at least three years to complete. Joining the habituation team is once-in-a-lifetime experience, you'll learn a lot more about the chimps than on a standard trek, but it does require patience.
A typical day
The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience is available exclusively in Kibale National Park. The trekking is more challenging than a standard chimp trek because non-habituated groups live deeper in the forest away from the busier trails, and they move more quickly to new locations.
The full-day experience starts from around 6am when the chimpanzees first get up, and lasts until around 7pm when they build new nests and settle down for the night. Throughout the day you see them carry out their day-to-day activities: feeding, hunting, patrolling the area, resting, and caring for the young ones.
A habituation experience is the best way to get incredible photographs of the chimps. It also allows you to get close enough to identify individuals by their distinct markings and personalities and learn more about their group dynamic.
Beyond the chimps, Kibale Forest is home to a huge range of flora and fauna - and spending a full day in the park allows you to see much of this, including elephants, buffaloes, bush pigs and birds.
Protecting the Chimpanzees
By taking part in a Chimpanzee Habituation Experience, you're playing a crucial role in the conservation efforts of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Habituating the chimps to the presence of humans is an important way for researchers to learn more about them within their natural habitat, without changing their behaviour. The more we learn about these incredible primates, the better we are able to protect them.
The finance provided from chimp trekking in Kibale is fundamental to the continued conservation and protection efforts of the chimps, and the forest itself. The price of the experience is $250 at time of writing, only slightly more expensive than a regular chimpanzee trekking experience which costs $200.
Ready to meet the chimps?
The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.
Murchison and Kibale Driving Safari
Discover the exceptional bio-diversity of Uganda by combining the beautiful savannah grasslands of Murchison Falls National Park with chimpanzee trekking in the forests of Kibale National Park. Connect the dots with epic road trips looping through northwestern Uganda.…
- 7 Days
Classic Southwest Safari
Game drives and boat safaris connect the dots between chimpanzee and gorilla trekking. An epic adventure across the wilderness of Uganda's southwestern safari circuit.…
- 12 Days
Uganda's Epic Southwest
Open top road trips looping through Uganda's epic southwestern pocket; this is the safari adventure of your imagination. Track chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, go in search of gorillas in Bwindi, cruise the savannah plains of Queens, and look out for…
- 14 Days
Lakeside Retreats, Safaris & Adrenaline Activities
Light adventuring and charming safaris in Lake Mburo National Park coupled with lakeside retreats and days of reflection and exploration around Lake Mutanda. Close out the trip with a few days canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking and more in Jinja, Uganda's…
- 12 Days
Safaris & Gorillas of Uganda
Combine safaris in Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park with a 4 day gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Top and tail with overnights in the bustling capital of Kampala.…
- 12 Days
The Very Best of Uganda
The quintessence of Ugandan exploration. Start your adventure in the wild Kidepo Valley in the northern tip of Uganda before weaving down to meet the gorillas in southwestern jungles. Epic landscapes, incredible safaris, and luxury lodges; this is a proper…
- 20 Days
Volcanoes, Gorillas and Great Lakes
Travel to the farthest corners of Uganda where towering volcanoes mark the border between the thick jungles of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and the untamed vastness of central Africa. After trekking the gorillas in Mgahinga, head inland for a couple…
- 6 Days
Chimpanzee & Gorilla Fly-In Safari
Combine chimp trekking in Kibale Forest with mountain gorilla treks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A well-paced highlights tour unlocking some of Uganda's most impressive experiences. Consider breaking up the journey from Kibale to Bwindi with a classic safari at…
- 7 Days
The full western circuit complete with luxury lodges, gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, and the best safaris Uganda has to offer. Close out your adventure with kayaking and canoeing on the rapids of the river Nile.…
- 16 Days