Affordable Chimpanzee Trekking in Kalinzu Forest
Chimpanzee Trekking in Kalinzu Forest – 2nd Best for Chimpanzee Trekking Success at a lower Cost9The
Chimpanzee Trekking in Kalinzu Forest in Uganda: Kalinzu Forest Reserve is one of the best off-of-the-beaten tourist track Chimpanzee Trekking locations in Uganda. Researchers from Japan have been habituating Chimpanzees for over 20 years.
Here you find a tropical rainforest teeming with an incredible array of chimpanzees and other primates, birds, butterflies, and wildlife.
Chimpanzee enthusiasts typically bypass Kalinzu Forest in favor of the better-known Kibale Forest. It was never realized that they were missing one of the natural wonders found in Uganda, the Kalinzu Forest Reserve.
Kalinzu Forest is Uganda’s second-best Chimpanzee Trekking location after Kibale Forest, with an 80% plus chimpanzee sighting rate.
Kalinzu Forest offers a wide range of tourist activities without the crowds found elsewhere, and Chimpanzee Tracking is the primary reason visitors come here. Birding enthusiasts can easily spend a few days roaming through the Forest, amazed by the many species they discover.
Hikers find Kalinzu Forest Trails a surprising challenge with its ridges and valleys. Hitting the trails here is rewarding as you encounter hooting chimpanzees, various monkeys, colorful birds, butterflies, and flowers.
Kalinzu Rainforest is your ideal butterfly-watching location. If you’re aiming to see diversity, this is one of the better spots in Uganda, and it does not get any better. A rainforest near the equator is traditionally where Butterfly Watchers see the highest species count.
The Things you can do and see in Kalinzu Forest including Chimpanzee Trekking
The Kalinzu Forest Reserve is a biodiverse tropical rainforest that is an extension of the vast Maramagambo Forest that is part of Queen Elizabeth Park. The 137 square-kilometer forest ranges between 1,000 and 1,500 meters above sea level.
The Forest is similar to the neighboring Queen Elizabeth Park Maramagambo Forest.
Besides Chimpanzees, 400 species of trees, shrubs, and various flowering plants are here. It is home to 378 species of birds, 262 Butterflies, and 97 moth species.
When it comes to wildlife, the Forest is a refuge for the rare pygmy antelope. You will also see other species of antelopes, giant forest hogs, and bushpigs. Due to its proximity to Queen Elizabeth Park Forest, Buffaloes, Forest Elephants, even Leopards, and at rare times, Lions may wander into the rainforest from nearby Queen Elizabeth Park.
Six Diurnal primates are common in this rainforest. Diurnal primates are active during daylight hours. While here, you can see Chimpanzees, Blue Monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, the rare L’Hoest Monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, and Olive Baboons. Besides, there are Nocturnal primates such as pottos, bushbabies, and two species of galagos.
There are at least three hundred plus Chimpanzees found here. Japanese researchers have habituated two troops. One troop is open for tourists, the other for ongoing research that has been going on for over 25 years.
Without a doubt, there is a lot of life in this 137-square-kilometer Forest. It is no wonder that the word has gotten out about the natural wonders of Kalinzu Forest.
Chimpanzee Trekking 80% Plus sure Sightings:
Chimpanzees are the reason that tourists are drawn to Kalinzu Forest. The main attraction here is the possibility of spending one hour with our closest relative in the animal kingdom.
, Chimpanzees share about 98.6% of our DNA. We share more of our DNA with chimpanzees than with monkeys, other groups, or even other great apes! We both play and have complex emotions, intelligence, and a similar physical makeup.
All reasons that Chimpanzee Tracking is such a sought-after activity for tourists visiting Uganda.
The Kalinzu Forest Chimpanzee Tracking Advantages:
- 2nd Best Chimpanzee Tracking Location: The Forest has become the second-best chimpanzee trekking location in all of Uganda. Kibale Forest is deemed the Number One Chimpanzee Tracking location in the Country.
- Affordable Chimpanzee Trekking with $50 Permits: Save $150 compared to $200 Permits at Kibale Forest.
- Combine Kalinzu Forest Chimpanzee Trekking with Gorilla Trekking: Kalinzu Forest is the closest Chimpanzee trekking location from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where you trek Gorillas.
- Combine Queen Elizabeth Park with Kalinzu Forest Chimpanzees: It is easily combined with time spent in nearby Queen Elizabeth Park.
The only Disadvantage to tracking Chimpanzees here is that you have more of a challenging terrain than you do in Kibale Forest. However, tracking chimpanzees is a breeze compared to Mountain Gorilla tracking, which usually is more difficult than chimpanzee tracking.
What to wear and bring for your Chimpanzee Trek:
Kalinzu Forest -Chimpanzee Trekking Gear and Wear: You should have the right gear and clothing for your Chimpanzee Trek. The same suggestions apply to hiking, birding, or butterfly watching in the Forest.
Here is what we recommend that you have, a waterproof Daypack with a packed lunch from your lodge and two liters of bottled water.
You will need well-worn-in boots with thick socks. Wear Long trousers which are best tucked into the socks. You will also need a long-sleeved shirt and a light rain jacket or poncho, which you can put into your daypack.
We also suggest wearing a hat, using sunblock, and insect repellent. All this protects you from nettles, thorns, underbrush, and insects.
COVid-19 Protocols for Chimpanzee Trekking require you to have two surgical face Masks, plus hand sanitizer.
Binoculars will give you a better experience in the rainforest no matter what activity you participate in. Additionally, we suggest you protect your camera equipment with Ziploc bags or a shower cap.
Chimpanzee Trekking Briefing and Orientation:
Your Chimpanzee Trek begins with a Briefing and Orientation at the trailhead where your Trek begins and ends. Besides wearing suitable clothing, masks are required. Handwashing Stations are there, and you are required to wash your hands or sanitize them upon arrival. Please the distancing rule of two meters or six feet.
- The maximum number of Trekkers is six – and the Minimum Age is 12: Only six trekkers are allowed, and the minimum age is fifteen.
- Temperature Screening: The mandatory temperature screening using non-contact infra-red thermometers at the critical tourism
- The Trekking Briefing: The Ranger that will lead on the Trek is the one that will brief before heading out. You will be given instructions to conduct yourself on and trek during the actual Chimpanzee Encounter.
- If you are ill: Tourists, and staff, during the briefing, are observed to be sick and shall not be allowed to track the Chimpanzee. These include anyone with signs of flu and those who report having diarrhea, stomach upsets, and malaria, among others.
- Surgical Face Masks must be worn: Tourists, and Ranger, must wear fresh masks on the Trek. Two masks are required for the Trek.
- Before heading out on the Trail: Wash or sanitize your hands again.
During the Chimpanzee Trek:
- Follow the Rangers’ instructions: The rangers know what is best in the wild and want you to have a memorable experience. Follow the leading along tracking trails and stick to the group for both your safety and even so that you can listen to him explain the attractions seen along the way to the Chimpanzees.
- Keep your Voice low: You are requested to keep your voice at a low volume as you head to track the mountain Chimpanzees and even be quieter when you finally meet them. It is so that you do not disrupt their peace and allow you to enjoy other wildlife species along the trail, especially the birds, golden monkeys, and butterflies.
- Keep a two-meter distance from others on the Trail: This is one of those enforced rules. Please a span of two meters or six feet from others.
- Breaks on the Trail: Wearing a mask on a longer hike can be exhausting for some. Fresh it will be taken on the way in and out of the Forest, and social distancing will be enforced during breaks on the trail.
- Do not pick flowers or plants: Leave everything as you find it. Do not pick flowers, plants, or roots. Only leave your footprints behind; pictures are the only ones to take with you.
- Final Instructions before the Chimpanzee Encounter: Before you come near the Chimpanzees, you will be given some last-minute instructions. You will be asked to sanitize your hands once more.
- Medical Issues: If a tourist or accompanying team members experience a health-related problem, UWA staff shall apply the established evacuation and first aid guidelines to move the affected individual from the field.
- Medical Emergency: If a Trekker or accompanying team member experiences a health-related problem, UWA staff shall apply the established evacuation and first aid guidelines to move the affected individual from the field to the nearest hospital clinic.
- DO NOT LITTER! Pack it in and pack it out: Like in any national park or protected area, you are advised to keep any form of garbage with you. If you have a backpack, please put all trash into it, and you can always empty it at a designated disposal point when you return to the briefing area.
- Using the toilet on the trail: Should you need to use it, please speak to a ranger to advise you accordingly on how to do it ecologically.
When you are with the Chimpanzees
- Keep a ten-meter Distance: You must keep a distance of ten meters from where the Chimpanzee family is. This distance is maintained to reduce the chance of contracting diseases such as COVID-19. Infections can spread to the Chimpanzees or from Chimpanzees to humans.
- No Provoking of our closest cousins: No taunting the chimpanzees.
- No Eating or Smoking: Eating or smoking while in the presence of mountain Chimpanzees is prohibited.
- No Flash Photography: Flash photography is also prohibited while with Chimpanzees. It frightens them unnecessarily.
- Time with the Chimpanzees: You will be allowed a total of 60 minutes with the Chimpanzees to watch them foraging, playing, and going about their usual business of the day, after which you will be returning to the trailhead.
Hitting the Trails – Hiking in Kalinzu Forest
The Forest Trails: There are four forest trails that you can hike. A moderate level of fitness is advised since this is hilly terrain. The length of the trails varies, and there is one right for you.
The River Trail: This short 2 ½ km circular trail takes approximately 1 hour. The primary feature along this walk is the River Kajojo or ‘elephant river’ because elephants used to bathe here.
The trail goes past some fine specimens of “Parinari excelsa,” the climax tree in the Forest, and a colossal strangler figure. Visitors will see some primates along this trail, including Chimpanzees.
The Palm Trail: Here is a 5 km circular trail. The trail is between 1 ½ – 2 hours long and is over relatively flat terrain. Visitors will discover fascinating forest trees along this trail, including the ‘Flame tree.”
The tree has large, red, tulip-like flames, which supposedly activate sexual desire in women. The “Raphia Palms,” used for making local mats, and the somewhat spectacular “Dragon tree.”
The Valley Trail: This 3 ½ km circular trail takes approximately 2 hours and offers spectacular views. Visitors will trek along a ridge and past several exciting forest features. A forest favorite is the ‘Mutragyne rubrostipuleta’ or ‘viagra’ tree.
The Waterfall Trail: It is an 11 km loop trail taking that will take 4 and 5 hours over some hilly and, in parts, wet terrain. This trail leads to a magnificent “kilyantama” waterfall locally known as ‘the sheep eater.’ Visitors will discover the tree that “baboons cannot climb.” and barkcloth figs used in the craft industry to make beautifully decorated table cloths, curtains, handbags, and ceremonial clothes.
You can hike up the Kishunja Hill Viewpoint: From there, you can see the entire Forest Canopy, parts of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, and the Rwenzori Mountains. Kalinzu Forest is close to Queen Elizabeth National Park, and wildlife from that park comes to Kalinzu Forest Reserve. You can sometimes see Leopards, antelopes, elephants, buffaloes, and wild pigs.
Most come for Kalinzu Forest – Chimpanzee Tracking, a 4–5-hour experience here. Rangers guide all treks and hikes in the park.
Kalinzu Forest can be an all-day outing that includes Chimpanzee Trekking, Hiking, Birding, and Butterfly viewing. Have a picnic lunch in the Forest and return to your lodge near Queen Elizabeth Park in the Late Afternoon.
Where to Stay: Any lodge in the northern area of Queen Elizabeth Park will be fine. From there, it is a short drive to the Forest.
If you are interested in adding Kalinzu Forest – Chimpanzee Tracking to your safari itinerary with us-please let us know.