Welcome to the ultimate guide for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, find where to visit in order to see the chimpanzees, facts, tour packages, where to stay and how to contribute to the conservation efforts.
CHIMPANZEE SAFARIS- Sample packages
Travel Hemispheres is proud to be part of the organizations that have done much to conserve the Uganda’s primates. Taking safari with us means extending hand to the survival of chimpanzees in Uganda. Primates safaris with us are so yielding with our experienced guides and will introduce you tour many practical facts about the different primates. We would like to bring to you facts about chimpanzees in their lives.
Chimpanzees are found in 21 countries in Africa. They used to be found in 25 countries and it is estimated that within 20 years 10 countries will have lost all their chimpanzees.
Uganda probably has lost 90% of its chimpanzees in the last 500 years, while the human population has increased by 80% in the last 100 years alone.
There are only 5000 chimpanzees left in Uganda. 94.4% of sub-counties in Uganda have more people than all the chimpanzees in the whole country.
Chimpanzees and other primates can be seen in Uganda more easily than anywhere else in the world. They already attract many tourists and researchers that are visiting Uganda and generate revenue.
Chimpanzees share 98% of human genes making our closest living relative.
Chimpanzees give birth every 3-7years and look after their infants for 10 – 12 years before they are old enough to survive on their own.
Chimpanzees live in communities that split up and join again later unlike gorillas who stay together.
Chimpanzees have cultural differences –communities have different life styles.
Chimpanzees can use tools, they use rocks to crack nuts, sticks to fish for termites, and make sponges from leaves to soak up water for drinking from hollows in trees.
Chimpanzees periodically organize hunts to catch monkeys or small antelopes.
It is illegally to kill, capture, or keep a chimpanzee in Uganda. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) can assist in the rescuer of illegally held animals.
Chimpanzees can catch or be infected with human diseases
Chimps groom each other. Grooming helps relations within the community and calms nervous or tense chimps.
When a mother dies, her orphaned offspring may be unable to survive. But older siblings often adopt their orphaned brothers or sisters, and occasionally infants are adopted by chimps not related to them.
When chimpanzees are angry or frightened their hair stands on-end.
Organizations that conserve and study chimpanzees in Uganda include;
Budongo Forest project
Bwindi Ape Project
Institute for Tropical Forest Conservation.
Jane Goodall Institute
Kibale Chimpanzee Project
Kalinzu Chimpanzee Project
Makerere University Biological Field station.
Semuliki Chimpanzee project
Wildlife Conservation Society
While the human census has been taking place a chimpanzee census has also been taking place: chimpanzee numbers and distributions in Uganda;
Forest Reserve Number of Chimpanzees
National Parks / Wildlife Reserve
Murchison falls————- 20
Semuliki park —————60
Semuliki WR—————- 60
Outside protected area- 110
Total number of chimps- 4950
Threats to chimpanzees in Uganda
* Chimpanzees are an endangered species because they are rare and declining rapidly across Africa. International laws protect chimpanzees because they are threatened by extinction. Their main cause of decline is due to the activities of people for example: growing crops and grazing for domestic livestock Furthermore, forest concessions are sold to timber companies from the developed world, some of which practice clear cutting, turning forest habitats into desert.
* Chimpanzees are losing their home in Uganda. In the past 15 years over 800 kilometers of forest has been cut down where chimpanzees live mostly in small patches outside protected areas- this is about twice the size of Budongo forest.
* Chimpanzees are hunted for meat in some parts of Uganda. It is illegal to hunt chimpanzees. Most chimpanzees get killed each year for meat in Africa than all the chimpanzees in Uganda.
* Chimpanzees are hunted for the pet trade. For every baby chimpanzee caught in the wild approximately 10 chimpanzees die in the process. It is illegal to capture, buy or sell chimpanzees.
* Chimpanzees are killed or maimed by wire traps set for antelopes in the forests. 25% of chimpanzees studied in Uganda have injuries from traps. It is illegal to hunt in forest reserves or national parks.
*Chimpanzee loss is linked to the ever-increasing demands for land by the exploding human population and the commercial demands for natural resources. Africa currently has one of the highest growth rates in the world, with its population doubling every 24 years
* Chimpanzee by nature fight among themselves. Of recent research has proved that chimpanzees will fight and kill another chimpanzee that does not belong to their own family
What can you do?
* Help the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Forest Department enforce the laws in Uganda by reporting illegal activities.
* Protect forest on your land it is not only important for chimpanzees but can improve your agriculture and encourages rainfall.
* Make people aware in your community about how rare and special these animals are. People travel thousands of miles to come and see them here in Uganda because they are so special.
Slowing population growth and moving to sustainable forest management are solutions. Neither is rapid or straightforward.