Filter Options

Your Safari

Where To
Start Date
Start Date
2 Adults
Age at the end of the tour

Tour Length

Rates in USD $ Change Currency

Per person, excl. international flights

Comfort Level

Private or Shared Tour

Safari Type

Operator Rating

Specialized Tours

+ Show more

Other Tour Features

Filter by Operator

Filter by Accommodation

Operators From

+ Show more

Budongo Forest Chimpanzee Trekking Tours

A southern extension of the popular Murchison Falls National Park, Budongo Forest ranks among Africa’s best and most underrated chimp tracking destinations. Comprising some 790km²/305mi² of medium-altitude rainforest on the edge of the Albertine Rift, this vast reserve is home to a diverse assemblage of forest monkeys, butterflies and birds. The main attraction of Budongo, however, is tracking chimps, which share almost 99% of their DNA with humans, and have many decidedly humanlike traits. True, it can sometimes be challenging to locate chimps in the wild, but that’s part of the adventure. And for those who do get lucky, watching these fascinating apes forage and interact in the jungle interior will be a highlight of a holiday in Uganda.

Selected filters:
Clear All Filters
1-20 of 21 chimp tracking trips, holidays and vacation packages to Budongo Forest

4 Questions About Budongo Forest Chimpanzee Trekking Tours


4 Questions About Budongo Forest Chimpanzee Trekking Tours

Answered by Philip Briggs

How does Budongo compare with other Ugandan chimp trekking reserves?

“Budongo is one of the best places in Uganda to track chimps. The success rate for locating chimps is not quite so high as it is at Kibale National Park, but it compares favorably with most other chimp watching sites in Uganda. As with its counterpart in Kibale, the chimp community visited in Budongo was first habituated in the 1990s, so it is very used to tourists and relaxed in their presence. Of all the chimp tracking reserves you might visit on a Uganda safari tour, Budongo probably has the flattest terrain and the best network of footpaths. This is a plus for relatively unfit travelers, as it means they are less likely to need to scramble long distances through the undergrowth or to be challenged by steep, slippery slopes when following the chimps. Another advantage of Budongo is that despite being about 40% cheaper than Kibale, it is more remote and attracts far fewer visitors, so you are unlikely to come across too many other chimp trekkers on any given day.”


Which other places are recommended to visit before or after chimp trekking in Budongo?

“Budongo slots well into any itinerary packages that also include Murchison Falls National Park and/or Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch. The package might be a shortish round trip from Kampala and Entebbe to Murchison Falls, or a longer safari tour that continues southwest from Murchison to Kibale, Queen Elizabeth and/or Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks. The reason why Budongo pairs so well with Murchison Falls is that, while the two are treated as separate destinations, the chimp tracking trailhead and associated ecolodge at Budongo lie right alongside the main road to Murchison Falls. Indeed, this trailhead now actually lies inside the main entrance gate to Murchison Falls, so chimp treks can be arranged en route to, or as a day trip from, any lodge or camp in the national park. Budongo and Murchison Falls also complement each other in terms of wildlife. Where Budongo is strong on chimps and other forest wildlife, Murchison Falls is a good place to see savannah dwellers such as lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and giraffe. The waterfall for which the national park is named is among the most spectacular anywhere in Africa, and it lies on a stretch of the Nile River where hippos, crocodiles and waterbirds are abundant. En route to or from Entebbe, it is also worth slotting in a visit to Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch, where Uganda’s only rhinos can be tracked on foot.”


Are chimp sightings guaranteed in Budongo Forest?

“Chimp sightings cannot be guaranteed in Budongo, nor for that matter in any other destination where chimp treks are offered. However, Budongo has enjoyed a hit rate of around 85% in recent years, which within Uganda is bettered only at Kibale National Park and probably Kalinzu Forest. Odds of a good chimp sighting are highest in the relatively dry months of December to February and June to July, and the early morning outing (leaving at 7 AM) tends to be most productive. To improve your odds of seeing chimps, consider booking onto a second tracking excursion, either in Budongo or elsewhere in Uganda. This success rate at Budongo and other chimp trekking destinations is far lower than it is for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and other places where gorillas can be seen. The reason for this is nothing to do with levels of habituation (the process of making the animals used to people and easy to view), but rather reflects the relative ease of locating the two great apes. Put simply, chimps are more restless than gorillas, and tend to move around a lot more, often at a pace no human could match in the thick jungle undergrowth. Chimps also tend to spend more time obscured by foliage in the high canopy.”


Is chimp trekking in Budongo safe?

“Chimp trekking in Budongo and elsewhere in Uganda is a very safe activity. Habituated chimp communities such as those in Budongo are invariably very relaxed around people, and so far as we are aware, no visitor to Uganda has ever been injured by a chimp. That said, an adult male chimp is bulkier and far stronger than the average human adult, and there is also a very slight chance of bumping into other large mammals (for instance, elephant and buffalo) in the forest, so trekkers are urged to listen carefully at the pre-activity briefing and to follow their guide’s instructions at all times. Because young children are more vulnerable than adults (and less likely to obey instructions), the minimum age for a chimp trek in Budongo and elsewhere in Uganda is 12 years. The biggest danger associated with chimp tracking is probably slipping or twisting an ankle in the tangled forest undergrowth, so wear solid shoes and ask for a walking stick.”


Budongo Forest Holiday Reviews

3.8/5 13 Reviews
Alan Murphy  –  
Australia AU

Alan is a travel writer and author of over 20 Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guides to Southern Africa and Zambia & Malawi.

Chimp tracking amongst forest giants

Walks here are about 3 hours and the tracks are easy to negotiate in the beautiful Budongo Forest. Your chances of seeing chimps (the main reason to come here unless you are a birder) are very high. The guides will often take you off the...

Full Review

Ariadne van Zandbergen  –  
South Africa ZA

Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.

Chimpanzees en route to Murchison Falls

Budongo Forest can easily be visited en route to Murchison Falls National Park. In fact, the main road to Murchison runs through the forest. The main activity here is chimp tracking. We were lucky enough to see a chimp cross the road...

Full Review

Davyth  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Mar 8, 2020

It took a while but the chimp trek was amazing. After 2hrs 45 minutes our guide heard from the tracker where the chimps were. It took us another half hour walk, then we heard an amazing racket. 30-40 chimps had cornered 3 colobus monkeys. 2...

Full Review

Yasuyo Tsunemine  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jan 13, 2019

We did chimp trekking. We did not even see their tail. My guide/drive later told me that he took tourist for the last four times, but none of them saw chimps....ummm I wish he told us before we did!

Full Review

Owor Patrick  –  
Uganda UG
Reviewed: Aug 17, 2015

The major attraction here is the large population of chimpanzees which the closet primate related to man. There is also a very rich swamp with other primate species close to the park part located to the community giving visitors a unique...

Full Review

ritabrita  –  
Portugal PT
Reviewed: Aug 24, 2012
A very green paradise!

Budongo Forest Reserve was a very good surprise i had heard about the conservation efforts for the budongo chimps, but it was better then i had imagined. The tropical forest is amazing, and i had never seen so many butterflies in one place....

Full Review