Chimpanzee Trekking In Murchison Falls National Park

Chimpanzee Trekking In Murchison Falls

What To Do In Murchison Falls National Park

One of the most thrilling things to do when visiting the area is go chimpanzee trekking in the Budongo forest. One of the very few sites in Uganda where chimpanzees can be walked from is the Budongo jungle. The forest has a total area of 500 square kilometers, and it is home to a wide range of animals and plants. The forest is situated between Murchison Falls National Park and the northwest region of Uganda. The largest mahogany forest in the nation is Budongo Forest, which is also home to the eco-tourism destinations of Kaniyo Pabidi and Busingiro. Together with many other animals, the forest is home to approximately 370 kinds of birds, 460 tree species, 24 primates, 130 monkeys, and 250 butterflies.

Budongo & Rabongo forest

Budongo forest is part of Murchison Falls conservation area and has the largest number of chimpanzees in Uganda. It’s also home to over 360 species of birds, 450 species of trees (including mahogany), and 24 species of mammals.
Alongside chimpanzees, you may come across olive baboons, white and black colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and blue monkeys. Budongo has two ecotourism sites, Kaniyo Pabidi and Busingiro, and is managed by The Jane Goodall Institute.
Rabongo forest is an island covered by tropical-river forest, where you will find chimpanzees and other primates such as baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys. Chimp trekking is less common in Rabongo than Budongo, as there are fewer chimp families here.

What does a typical day of trekking entail?

Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national is run twice a day, morning starts at 8:00am, and again afternoon commences at 2:00pm with a briefing at the park headquarters, you will need to arrive at the Kaniyo Pabidi eco-site for a briefing on the rules and regulations of Chimpanzee trekking. after the guide will lead you into the forest, following trails. The guides are well versed with the trails and the location since they all keep their movements.
The trek can take up to three hours depending on the location of the chimps and includes an hour of observing the chimpanzees after you have found them.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
For the travellers having interest in spending a little longer with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat, you can join the chimpanzee habituation experience where you get to spend the whole day with the chimps. The habituation experience is quite different compared to Chimpanzee trekking, during habituation, you will be accompanied by team of experts, scientists and rangers in the forest and seek out one of the chimpanzee groups. The day starts with an early breakfast before you head out to meet your guide at 6am.
During the trek in the forest, you will look out where the chimpanzees built their nests the night before, when you find them, will spend the day with the chimpanzees, watching them in their natural habitat, from the moment they wake up (around 6/6.30am), to the moment they build their new nests for the night then you will exit the park.
This experience is designed to make the chimpanzees used to the sight of human presence, the exercise takes about 2 3years to be complete and thus ready for Habituation, Budongo Forest in Murchison and Kibale national Park are the only two places that offer the chimp habituation experience in Uganda.

When is the best time to go?

The best time to go chimp trekking is between October and January. During these months, the trails are dry, the grass is short, and the fruits are ripening. However, the chimps may move deeper into the forest, as food and water are scarce thus, they move longer and deeper in search for food. Therefore, the trek may take quite some time before you finally spot the first chimpanzee. They are not as harder to trek compared to the Gorillas since the chimpanzees live in low land areas and only live up in trees during feeding and resting.
During the month of June and July, there is a high competition for both accommodation and permits and they get sold out, by this time, the temperature is cooler and there is little or no rainfall. Therefore, if you’d like to visit during this time, make sure you book permits and accommodation several months in advance.
How much does it cost?
You will need to purchase a permit prior to your tracking dates and also, it’s the only document that will give you access to track the chimpanzee. The permits are purchased from the UWA offices governing body managing all the national parks in Uganda. The permits cost $200 per person per permit for foreign nationals and $150 per permit for foreign residence, adults are children ages 15 years and above are allowed to track the chimpanzees.
If you’re wanting to partake in the chimpanzee habituation experience, the permits cost $250 per person per permit. The easiest and convenient way to book your permits is If you are booking your trip with us, all of this will be taken care of for you.
Besides Murchison falls national park, chimpanzees are also found in kibale forest national park where you can do both chimp trekking and chimpanzee habituation among other activities. Kibale boosts with the highest population of chimpanzee in Africa.

Budongo Forest Reserve

Where can I stay? Accommodation facilities in the park

The accommodation options in Murchison Falls National Park are split between three locations: the Albert Nile, Paraa and the Victoria Nile, and Kaniyo Pabidi and the Masindi Road.
These lodges cater for a range of budgets: from modest, through the mid-range, to luxury lodges both designed to meet the interest of international and local clients.
While choosing the best accommodation for you, depends on many factors, including your budget, group size, and how long you will be staying.

Accommodations in Murchison fall National Park

A comfortable cabin at Budongo Ecolodge.
Others lodges in Murchison falls include; Paraa safari lodge for luxury clients, Pakuba safari lodge for mid-range and Heritage safari lodge for Budget accommodation among others.

Others things/ activities to do and see in Murchison falls national park

Murchison Falls National Park is the best safari destination in Uganda. Its diversity of habitats, wildlife densities, and natural landscapes make it one of the most exciting wilderness areas on the western safari circuit.
It’s the largest safari park in Uganda, with over 76 species of mammals and 451 species of birds.
Game drives in Murchison offer excellent wildlife sightings. The park is home to four of the Big Five game including; the lions, buffalo, elephants, and leopards’ other animals include; the warthogs, Uganda Kob, bush bucks, water bucks Jackson hartebeests, oribi, grey duiker, giraffes, Zebras among others.
The park is intersected by the Nile River as it winds its way through cataracts and falls, before entering into Lake Albert. The boot cruise on the river Nile, offers great views where you will see the crocodiles, hippos, and plenty of water-birds.
Combined with chimp trekking in the Budongo Forest, you have got an action-packed 3-day safari in Murchison falls national park.

What do I need to bring?

Lightweight waterproof trousers
Camera and binoculars for easy viewing of distant birds and the camera to capture you epic moments.
Long-sleeved T-shirt
A lightweight waterproof jacket
A hat
Thick socks
A sturdy pair of hiking boots
Bottled water and snacks
Sun cream
Insect repellent among others.

Popular Safaris

  • 10 Days Kibale Forest Chimp Trek
  • 15 Days Kibale Primates Safari
  • 20 Days Unique Primates Of Kibale
  • 8 Days Chimps & Red Tail Monkey
  • 7 Days Kibale Birding In The Forest
  • 25 Days Colobus Monkey Kibale

All About Kibale

  • History Of The Park
  • Things To Do
  • Places To See
  • Getting There