Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in Uganda and Rwanda

Listen as you trek through the forest and you may hear the frenzied hooting of excited Chimpanzees well before you catch sight of them swinging swiftly through the trees.


We arrange Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda, Uganda, and Mahale in Tanzania. Each location offers a diverse and rewarding wildlife encounter with these fascinating Great Apes. Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives sharing 98% of human DNA. Adult males weigh between 35 & 70 kilograms and reach heights of over 3 metres with a life expectancy of 40 years although in captivity they have been known to live up to 60 years.


Chimpanzees are found in Nyungwe Forest Reserve in Rwanda & Kibale Forest, Kyambura Gorge and even Bigodi Swamp in Uganda. Visitors are guided by National Park Wildlife Rangers who follow the chimps daily and are experts in their movements and behavior. Tracking Chimpanzees is a little more difficult than tracking Gorillas because they move faster & high up in the trees, therefore sightings are not guaranteed however should you miss the Chimps; you can be more certain of sightings of the Black & White Colobus Monkeys or the Red Tailed and Vervet monkeys as well as Baboons and the Grey Cheeked Mangabey. Your guide will also point out Pittas and other bird species as well as endemic plant species within the forests. The Chimps have become habituated to researchers and the Wildlife Authority trackers, but they are not at all tame. Tracking takes place in the early morning when the Chimps move from their nocturnal nests and the late afternoon when they move onwards to new nests for the evening. The walks are led by a specialist Wildlife Authority guide and usually last between 3-4 hours with 1 hour spent with the Chimps although there is no limit if you trek in Nyungwe Forest (Rwanda).


Trekking the Chimpanzees was fantastic. I wasn’t looking forward to these as much as the Gorilla’s but they were actually brilliant. They were fascinating to watch and probably provided us with our best photographs from the holiday. Raymond, US

About Chimpanzees

The average weight of an adult well grown male chimpanzee is between 35 and 70 kilograms, with a height of approximately 3 meters whereas tan adult female chimpanzee weighs between 26 and 50 kilograms and a height between 2 and 4 feet.


A chimpanzee’s life expectancy is at 40 years whereas that for those living in captivity can extend up to 60 years.


In Uganda today, Efforts to actually conserve the chimpanzees are extensively acknowledged and well supported.  Actually The Jane Goodall Foundation has played a major role in the overall conservation of not only these Chimpanzees but the Gorillas as well found in Uganda.


Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans sharing about 98% of their DNA composition with humans.  They are Sociable, intelligent as well as communicative and among their very fascinating traits is the ability to utilize tools like rocks for crushing nuts, empty pods for hollowing out water plus sticks for capturing termites from their holes. These skills are for long been passed on from generation to another and researchers say that different troops have specialist tasks, basing on their habitat as well as diet.


Chimps stay in groups of 10 – 100 members. They can babysit each other’s young, kiss, groom one another and even hold hands. The young chimps become independent at the age of 4 year. Nonetheless, chimps can be aggressive and unsociable, mainly if disturbed.


Although they spend some time on ground, they normally feed and do make their sleeping nests up in the trees. Their diet varies comprising of leaves, seeds, fruit plus flowers

Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda

Track the Chimpanzees on foot through Kibale Forest or Kyambura Gorge. Spend the day with a wildlife research team or for a guaranteed Chimpanzee sighting visit Ngamba Island Sanctuary where you can view feedings and experience hands-on contact with the Chimps as a care-giver for the day. Uganda has a Chimpanzee activity to suit every interest. Kibale Forest National Park covers an area of around 795km and contains one of Uganda’s most beautiful tropical forests making it the home to the largest concentration of Chimpanzees in Africa as well as 13 other species of Primates, and a vast array of birds and butterflies. Kyambura Gorge is home to a more recently habituated Chimpanzee troop which has been habituated for trekking since 2012. Due to its lesser known status, trekking permits here are considerably cheaper however the chances of seeing the Chimpanzees is a little lower than in Kibale Forest. For a guaranteed Chimpanzee sighting in Uganda, you can visit the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary where day visits to view the Chimps feeding or overnight stays and hands-on contact experiences including ‘caregiver for the day’ are permitted.

Chimpanzee Trekking in Rwanda

Combine a Chimpanzee Trek on foot with sightings of the playful Golden Monkeys in Nyungwe Forest Reserve, one of the oldest forests in Africa. Nyungwe Forest Reserve is located in the South West corner of Rwanda and is one of the last remaining mountain rainforest habitats. Blessed with a huge biodiversity the forest is popular with bird watches with over 200 different bird species and 10 different species of Primates including little over 500 Chimpanzees. These are the last of the Rwandan Chimp population. Whilst sightings of the Chimpanzees are never guaranteed, other primates may be spotted on your trek including the Colobus Monkeys which move in unusually large groups, Silver, Blue, Owl faced, Red Tailed, Crowned and Vervet monkeys, Olive Baboons, and Grey-cheeked Mangabe. The forest is also well known for sightings of Golden Monkeys.



Nyungwe is home to one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of Chimpanzees (over 500) and primates including L’Hoest’s Rift Monkey, Sun-tailed Gabon Monkey and the Preuss’ Cameroon Monkey which are thought to have lived in a larger forested area before the last ice age. The forest is somewhat new on the tourist scene so sightings of Chimpanzees are less predictable however Colobus, Owl-faced, and Blue Monkeys are regularly sighted.


One of Uganda’s most eco-rich tropical forests and home to thirteen primate species including Red Colobus Monkeys, Vervet & grey-cheeked mangabey’s, Olive Baboon’s and over 1300 Chimpanzee’s (around 80 of which are habituated). Night walks in the forest are also possible for nocturnal sightings of bushbaby and Potto’s.


Founded by the famous Chimpanzee scientist Jane Goodall and funded by the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Born Free Foundation and the Jane Goodall Institute, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is dedicated to care for orphaned Chimpanzees. Here visitors are guaranteed Chimp sightings and can interact with the chimps as a care-giver for the day.