Uganda is a premier, year round travel destination for primate trekking enthusiasts – with a high species count, including the rare mountain gorilla.
A typical primate safari encounter in Uganda includes the following activities:
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest
Kibale Forest is known for its chimpanzee experience. There are approximately 12 other species of primates in the park, including red-tailed monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and olive baboons.
Encountering these primates in their natural habitat is why chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park is one of the most exciting activities for tourists.
Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest
Budongo Forest is located north-west of Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. Covering 825 square kilometres, it is the largest mahogany forest in East Africa, home to approximately 600 chimpanzees – of which 100 are habituated.
Trekking is done either in the morning or afternoon. Morning trekking sessions begin at 7:00am. Before heading out, tour groups will be given a briefing at the information centre by a guide. Chimpanzee trekking is an activity that can be done at any time of the year, but the best time to visit is from May to August.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Uganda is home to more than half of the remaining mountain gorilla population, many of them living in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. A group of up to eight people can track a family of gorillas per day.
Tourists require a permit to trek for gorillas, at about USD 600 during the high seasons. Tourists who track mountain gorillas in Bwindi in the low seasons benefit from discounted permits.
Gorilla trekking can be done throughout the year, but the optimum periods are from June to September or December to February.
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest park in Uganda. There is one habituated gorilla family, and groups are limited to six people.
Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga
Mgahinga National Park is also home to habituated golden monkeys. In order to track the golden monkeys, a booking needs to be made through a tour operator in Uganda or at the park headquarters. A session lasts for up to four hours.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura Gorge is located in the far eastern corner of Queen Elizabeth National Park in south-western Uganda. The only primates in the entire park are located here.
Besides chimpanzee tracking, other activities include birdwatching and guided nature walks.