Apes are mammals that first appeared about 85 million years ago, Living in trees in tropical forests. Apes includes gibbons, Orangutans, Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Humans. Apes and humans differ from all of the other primates in that they lack external tails.The apes and humans are members of the same superfamily, the Hominoidea. Subsequently, apes are referred to as Old World anthropoid mammals more specifically a clade of tailless catarrhine. Apes, are the largest living arboreal traditionally forest dwellers, although chimpanzees may range into savanna, and the extinct australopithecines were likely also savanna inhabitants, Humans inhabit almost every terrestrial habitat. Apes and humans do not have external tails, they do have internal remnants of them at the lower end of their vertebral columns. These consist of the sacrum and the coccyx bones.
The Safari to reach these majestic creatures may be long and literally breathtaking but the thrill of meeting face to face takes away the pain of some times long and arduous trek and truly once in a lifetime experience.
Uganda chimpanzee sites
Uganda have a total of about 4,950 chimpanzee Apes and conserved. Chimpanzees and other primates such as monkeys can be seen in while on your safari in Uganda more easily than anywhere else in the world. Most of the conservation bodies together with the Uganda government have set a side land to save the remaining Apes mainly the chimpanzees in the National parks, forest Reserves, zoo and Ngamba Island sanctuary. And rules have been set up to govern the chimpanzee trekking activity so that their ecosystem is conserved. Among the conservation areas that have become famous chimpanzee tracking destinations Or Chimpanzee Sites in Uganda, As many people come from all parts of the world to trek and see these great apes and more to that, our relatives. Include:-
National Parks / Wildlife Reserves
Kibale Forest National Park with a number of 1,420 chimpanzees
The evergreen Rain forest which covers an area of 766km2 and an altitude ranging between 110 – 1600m. This forest is one of the few remaining expanses that contain both montane and lowland forests forming a never ending forest. Kibale National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. This is home to a host of forest wildlife, most famously 13 species of primate including chimpanzee. Forest cover predominates in the northern and central parts of the park on the elevated Fort Portal plateau. Kibale is the highest at the park’s northern tip which stands 1590m above sea level. Northern Kibale is also the wettest area, receiving a mean annual rainfall of up to 1700mm, mostly during March-May and September-November.
Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth N Park with about 50 chimpanzee members
The Kyambura Gorge (the valley of Apes) is a secton of Queen Elizabeth National Park located on north-eastern side of this park approximately 30 km from QENP Headquarters, it covers an area of 156sq.km and links to the Kazinga Channel which forms the northern boundary of the reserve, it about 101 meters deep and approximately 1 km across at its broadest point. It is home to a variety of wildlife bio-diversity, including Elephants, buffalos, birds, Chimpanzees and other primates in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kyambura gorge is an important water source for many animals and is surrounded by savannah, but is generally noted for its high concentration of primate life located in the gorge. A total of 13 habitats have been recorded in the reserve
Kyambura is the only place in QENP where habituated chimpanzees and other primates including vervet monkeys red-tailed monkey, baboons and black-and-white colobus can be easily seen.
Kalinzu Forest Reserve in Queen Elizabeth N Park with about 230 chimpanzees
Kalinzu forest reserve is located in Bushenyi district in the Southwestern part of Uganda, The forest is also famous for its 6 different primate species that include chimpanzees It covers an approximate area of 375 kilometers.about 50kms from Queen Elizabeth National Park headquarters which is just about 6 hours drive up to the reserve headquarters. Other forest reserve species that include primates like chimpanzee, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, L’hoest guenon, and baboon. The reserve also harbors 379 bird species, 97 moths, 262 butterflies ,flowers and reptiles
Also savannah grassland species such as leopard, lion, wild pig and Duiker, waterbuck, giant forest hog, buffaloes, elephants to mention but a few can be seen.
Budongo Forest is in the northwest of the capital city Kampala approximately 3 hours from kamapla, is located on the escarpment northeast of Lake Albert. This reserve have more than 360 bird species, 290 butterflies, 130 moths, 465 trees, and 24 mammals, of which 9 are primates like Chimpanzees. Chimpanzee tracking has become an activity popular with eco-tourists. This is the biggest Mahogany forest found in East Africa. The 115 kilometer expanse is a remote chunck of the Budongo forest. Its isolation once in a while offers a safe haven for the Lions, Leopards as well as Buffaloes. The forest is drained by River Waiga offering refreshment to the various wildlife species within this forest.
Among other Chimpanzee sites in Uganda include
National Parks / Wildlife Reserves
- Maramagambo with about 220 Chimpanzee
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with about 210 chimpanzees
- Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
- Bugoma with about 630 chimpanzees
- Kagombewith about 90 chimpanzees
- Itwara with about 130 chimpanzees
- Kasyoha-Kitomi with about 410 chimpanzees
- Otzi with about 25 chimpanzees
- Wambabya with about 130 chimpanzees
- Muhangi with about 25 chimpanzees