Cookie Settings

By clicking ‘Accept’ you agree that we use Analytical cookies for gathering information about how our website is used, as well as Advertising and social media cookies (including cookies from trusted partners) to personalize our advertising campaigns and to allow you to share on social media. About our use of cookies

Manage Cookie Settings

Please select which cookies you would like to keep switched on. Open a list of all cookies

Below you can decide which type of cookies you would like to keep switched on. Open a list of all cookies

Functional cookies

Functional cookies are essential to using our website and cannot be switched off. These cookies do not contain personal information and are not used for analytical or advertising purposes. Show Hide description

Analytical cookies (anonymous)

Analytical cookies gather anonymous information about how our website is used. The information collected does not contain personal information, cannot be traced back to you, and is not used for advertising purposes. Show Hide description

Advertising and social media cookies

Advertising and social media cookies (including cookies from trusted partners) enable us to personalize our advertising campaigns, and enable you to share on social media. Show Hide description

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

Kibale Chimpanzee Trekking Tours

Chimpanzees are fascinating creatures. These forest-dwelling apes share almost 99% of their DNA with humans, and despite their hairier coat and more stooped posture, they’re recognizably human-like, both in appearance and behaviorally. For this reason, chimp trekking in Kibale National Park, though less iconic, perhaps, than gorilla tracking, is one of the most thrilling wildlife experiences Africa has to offer. True, it can be challenging to locate chimpanzees in the Ugandan jungle, but that’s part of the adventure. And it’s difficult to think of any sound more spine-tingling than the explosive pant-hoot call with which chimps announce their presence. It’s a bucket-list experience, one that should be included on any holiday to Uganda.

Selected filters:
Clear All Filters
1-20 of 465 chimp tracking trips, holidays and vacation packages to Kibale National Park

7 Questions About Kibale Chimp Trekking Tours


7 Questions About Kibale Chimp Trekking Tours

Answered by Philip Briggs

How does chimp trekking compare with gorilla trekking?

“The two experiences are more different than you might think. Gorillas seldom climb high in trees or move long distances, which means they are generally easier to locate than chimpanzees, and good sightings are almost guaranteed. By contrast, chimps spend most of their time racing restlessly along the forest floor or foraging in the high canopy, which often makes them more difficult to find and/or to view clearly through the foliage. On a positive note, my experience is that even the most frustrating of trekking excursions generally results in at least one excellent close-up view of chimps on the forest floor. Also, chimp trekking is far cheaper than gorilla trekking, and the terrain is less challenging than the steep, high-altitude habitats favored by Uganda’s gorillas.”


How does Kibale compare with other chimp trekking destinations in Uganda?

“In most respects, Kibale is the best place in Uganda for chimp watching. It has the highest hit rate of any of the country’s chimp trekking destinations. Also, because the community visited by tourists has been habituated since the 1990s, the chimps are now very relaxed in the presence of human visitors. This means that when they do settle down, you will often enjoy extended close-up encounters of grooming and other interaction. Two ways in which Kibale compares unfavorably to other chimp trekking destinations in Uganda is that it is relatively expensive and can be quite crowded when several tour groups are in the area. For a more affordable chimp encounter, try Kalinzu Forest Reserve, which borders Queen Elizabeth National Park and offers trekking excursions run by the local community. Another good off-the-beaten-track option is Budongo Forest, which is easily visited on the way to Murchison Falls National Park. Both Kalinzu and Budongo have a high success rate, though they are not quite as reliable as Kibale.”


What fitness level is required?

“Typically, you’ll spend up to three hours on the move, first looking for the chimps, then moving with them, so you need to be fit enough to manage that sort of time on your feet easily. If you’re not, then it would be a good idea to do a bit of light training before your trip. That said, Kibale is relatively flat, you’ll spend most of your time on clear trails, and some trekking excursions turn out to be a great deal less demanding than others, depending on how quickly the chimps are located. The fitter and more agile you are, the more easily you will cope if you find yourself chasing the chimps into the tangled jungle undergrowth.”


Is a chimp trekking trip in Kibale safe?

“Chimp tracking in Kibale is widely regarded to be safe. We have never heard of a visitor being injured by a chimpanzee. Having said that, a large chimp is comparable in size to a human adult, and far stronger, so it is important to follow your guide’s instructions to ensure your safety. Children under the age of 12, being smaller and more vulnerable than adults, are not allowed to go chimp trekking in Kibale. For reasons of both safety and comfort, it is a good idea to wear good walking or hiking shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers. Tucking your trouser legs into your socks minimizes the risk of being attacked by safari ants (which are harmless but quite common and have a nasty bite) and other creepy-crawlies. Neutral colors that blend into the bush (khaki, green, gray) are recommended, and a walking stick might be useful for navigating through tricky areas.”


How much does chimp trekking in Kibale cost?

“The baseline cost is a chimp tracking fee of US$200 levied by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. This includes the entrance fee to Kibale National Park and the services of a guide. If you make your way to the trekking trailhead at Kanyanchu independently, it is all you will need to pay. Stand-alone 3- or 4-day chimp trekking packages to Kibale National Park, leaving from the cities of Kampala or Entebbe, generally range in price from US$750 to US$2,000 per person sharing, depending largely on the quality of accommodation. In practice, most visitors to Kibale include it on longer tours that also incorporate other parks in western Uganda, such as Bwindi Impenetrable, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks. Depending on the itinerary, the duration and the type of accommodation provided, these tours typically cost upwards of US$250 per person per day sharing.”


Are chimp sightings guaranteed?

“No, chimp sightings are not guaranteed in Kibale, but the odds of seeing chimps on any given trekking excursion probably stand at higher than 90%. The main reason why sightings are less certain than is the case with gorilla trekking is that chimpanzees are a lot more mobile, and typically more difficult to locate. To improve your chances of seeing chimpanzees, you could consider booking two trekking excursions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, or visiting two different locations in Uganda.”


Apart from chimps, what other wildlife might I see?

“Chimp trekking excursions tend to focus on their primary goal, at the exclusion of other wildlife, but you can expect to see plenty of monkeys and birds on general forest walks. Kibale protects one of the most biodiverse rainforests in East Africa, with more than 60 mammal and 370 bird species recorded to date. The most commonly seen primates are red colobus, black-and-white colobus, red-tailed monkey, l’Hoest’s monkey and the endemic Uganda mangabey. Key birds include great blue turaco, double-toothed barbet, blue-breasted kingfisher and red-bellied paradise flycatcher. An excellent way to see a good range of these forest dwellers is to take a guided walk in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, which is the swampy centerpiece of a community-based ecotourism project bordering the national park.”


Kibale Holiday Reviews

4.1/5 77 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.

Primate Paradise

I was told Kibale was outstanding for tracking chimps. What I wasn’t told was that it was also outstanding for other primates – 13 in all! So, keep an eye out for other furry delights amongst the trees. Undoubtedly though, visitors come...

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.

The pant-hooting chimpanzees of Kibale Forest

I had one of my most memorable wildlife encounters in Kibale Forest. I arrived late and after paying my fees for next day’s guided chimpanzee tracking trip, I decided to take a stroll down the main road that runs trough the forest....

Full Review

Panagiota Marouli  –  
Greece GR
Reviewed: Sep 2, 2022

We found ourselves in another lush forest, hiking to get to the trackers who had spotted the chimpanzees. Our guide was so informative and her love for chimpanzees was contagious! We were a bit unfortunate because the chimpanzees we found...

Full Review

Zsolt Banyai  –  
Hungary HU
Reviewed: Feb 22, 2021

Great place to see the chimps. I was lucky to see them 4 different times, as we hiked around the park. Sometimes they are high up on the trees, sometimes walking thepight the forest, it just depends on your luck. I also managed to see most...

Full Review

Winfred  –  
Uganda UG
Reviewed: Jun 15, 2019
Kibaale national park is blessed with nature

The park is blessed with nature for Example tropical rainforest, primates like baboons, monkeys. It has many bird species which can give a good experience to birders. The cool weather in kibaale national park is also amazing. Kibaale...

Full Review

Nils  –  
Switzerland CH
Reviewed: Dec 25, 2018

The same as for Bwindi: It was really impressive to see the animals up close. But in a smaller group it would be even better to really get a full score under bush vibe. Here the problem was also that at least 4 groups were close on each...

Full Review