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, so that they can later be tracked as part of a standard chimpanzee trek. The habituation process also gives the rangers a chance to learn more about the chimpanzees 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, to 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.
An 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 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 as of 1st July 2020, only slightly more expensive than a regular chimpanzee trekking experience which costs $200.
Ready to meet the chimps?
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