Chimpanzee Trekking Uganda – Part one at Kibale Forest National Park

Chimpanzee Trekking Uganda – Part one  at Kibale Forest National Park

Chimps are psychopaths! There I’ve said it. Aggressive, loud psychopaths! That was the impression I came away from Kibale National Park with. Now, don’t get me wrong – I loved the experience! It was truly magical and one of the rawest natural encounters I have ever had but it doesn’t change the fact that chimps are like the Jason Statham’s of the animal kingdom (well his movie characters anyway)!

We did two chimp treks while we were in Uganda. One in Kibale National Park and one at Kyambura Gorge, both in Uganda. It amazed me how different the two experiences were.

Chimpanzee Trekking Uganda at Kibale Forest National Park

The first trek was at Kibale National Forest. We arrived in the morning, and were promptly split into small groups by the Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger. In the initial briefing we were told about how to behave around chimps, to observe distance rules and that we would only be spending an hour with the chimps once we had found them. Our groups then set off!

The trek here was actually pretty easy, inclines weren’t overly steep and the undergrowth not too troublesome to get through. Completely different to our experience in our second chimp trek and gorilla trek.

It took us about an hour to find the chimps. At first you couldn’t see them but the sound of the chimps is a haunting and unforgettable noise. The noise of chimps screams filled the air so even though you couldn’t see them you knew you were surrounded!

Then all of a sudden a flash of fur was seen in the undergrowth and off we ran. I can’t tell you how many logs and fallen trees we jumped over as we ran in the direction of the chimp.

The Beta at Kibale National Forest

The Beta at Kibale National Forest

Then we found him! We were told he was the Beta of the Group, the alpha keeping himself up in the trees. You could tell he had become moderately accustomed to human presence. We stayed at the regulated distance but he came very close to us. On one occasion he hit both me and another lady in our group, expressing his dominance. He did not however like Wandermust Daddy, and he ran ever time Wandermust Daddy was near.

Chimps & The Wandermust Couple

Chimps & The Wandermust Couple

It was great that we were able to get so close and he allowed us to get some great shots. We have some great tips here on how to take amazing photographs while gorilla and chimp trekking.

The next group we found, was a group of three females, grooming themselves in the undergrowth. This was a really special experience to watch and far more peaceful than our interaction with the males

Chimps Grooming at Kibale National Forest

It was amazing how quickly the time with the chimps went and we had a pleasant hike through back through the forest.

Our next experience of the Chimps was at Kyambura Gorge. Click here to read part 2 in our chimp trekking series.


If you are going chimp trekking why not check out our guide on what to wear when chimpanzee trekking 



  1. September 7, 2016 / 5:11 am

    Chimps are definitely aggressive. When I was in South Africa on a safari, I avoided them like the plague because of their reputations of throwing… less than sanitary items. But, it would be cool to go on a chimp or gorilla trek.

    • September 7, 2016 / 5:25 am

      Lol – there was no throwing involved fortunately hough one weed on some people when it was in the trees. Tomorrow I will publish the second part of my chimp trekking post – our second experience gave me q completely different impression of chimps

    • September 8, 2016 / 7:36 am

      This never really felt dangerous but you were very aware you were in their territory which was great. I have put part two up on the blog about our other experience which actually had more danger factor though the Ugandan rangers are excellent and very healthy and safety conscious. They told us in all their ranging years they had never had to fire their guns even as a scare tactic for the animals

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