Chimpanzee Trek in Africa
They are among our closest relatives, sharing over 98% of our DNA. Living in family groups of 15 to 20, each chimpanzee group has a personality of its own and seeing them in the wild is everything from humorous to awe-inspiring. Opportunities for chimpanzee viewing in the wild in Africa range from tracking unhabituated chimps in Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda or at Odzala in the Republic of the Congo, to visiting habituated and often long-studied groups in Kibale National Park in Uganda and the Mahale Mountains of western Tanzania. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds of seeing them are great with habituated groups seen on a chimpanzee trek in Africa.
If you wish to spend more than the hour allocated on a typical chimpanzee trek, think about opting for a full day chimp habituation experience while in Kibale National Park, Uganda. This excursion entails getting the chimpanzees used to the presence of humans (to remove the fear of humans from the group), a process that takes up to two years – you are part of that process by your all day presence in the forest. Years ago, it used to be that you had a 20% chance of a chimpanzee viewing in the wild, today because of the habituation process, that has increased to over 90%.
The odds are also good that you will see other primates during your hike, including the grey-cheeked managebey and the red-tailed or golden monkey (depending on where you are). In addition, while you explore deep into lush green forests, these treks are generally less strenuous than hiking to find mountain gorillas – and can be more exciting as the chimps are quite active!