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Where To See Stunning Chimpanzees

Where To See Stunning Chimpanzees In East Africa

Where To See Stunning Chimpanzees In East Africa

There are numerous places where to see stunning chimpanzees in East Africa, and they include, Kibale National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Budongo Forest Reserve, Kyambura Gorge. Looking for an unforgettable wildlife experience? Explore East Africa’s hidden gems and come face-to-face with majestic chimpanzees on an epic trekking expedition.

There are many best places to see chimpanzees in East Africa within their natural habitat. Chimpanzees are species of great ape native to the forests. They are also well known as Chimps ,they are the most visited primates in East Africa. Visitors get a chance to see chimpanzees through chimpanzee tracking , this is an exciting activity which involves visitors searching for chimpanzees in their natural habitats it is always a campaigned by hiking.

Here are some of the popular safaris destinations for chimpanzee seeing in East Africa.

 1. Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park in Uganda is one of the national parks where to see chimpanzees in East Africa. This is also known as primate capital of the world located in south western Uganda well known for its rich biodiversity and various primate population.

It covers an area of about 766 square kilometers  and ranges between 1,100 meters -1,500  in elevation. It is most popular for its population of chimpanzees and is considered the best place to track wild chimpanzees. It  also has the largest population of chimpanzees in East Africa of about 1500 making it one of the leading destinations of chimpanzees in Africa and Eat Africa at large.

There are other 13 species of primates in Kibale National Park. The park protects several well-studied habituated communities of common chimpanzees as well as several species of Central African monkey including the Ugandan red Colobus .Other primates that are found in the park include the black and white colobus and the blue monkey.

Other terrestrial mammals that are found within Kibale National Park include bushbucks,bushpigs, African buffalos among others.

Tourists are offered guided walks and habituation experiences allowing them to view chimpanzees and observe their social interactions. Chimpanzee tracking is the common activity in the park which allows visitors to view these fascinating primates closely.


Where To See Stunning ChimpanzeesKibale national park offers a range of accommodation facilities to tourists that suit their budgets and preferences that is lodges, camps, hotels and guesthouses located within and outside the park which provide comfortable accommodations, food and beverage services among others .

The park can be accessed using the  quickest route  from Kampala city that  is through the Kampala-Fort Portal highway which takes approximately 6 hours. For tourists overnighting in Fort portal city, the park is only an hour’s drive away.

2. Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park located in Rwanda is one of the national parks where to see chimpanzees in East Africa.  Apart from Rwanda being primarily known for its mountain gorillas, it also has a population of chimpanzees found mainly in Nyungwe Forest National Park where by it offers chimpanzee tracking  activity which enables visitors to view these intelligent creatures in the lust rain forests.

Nyungwe forest national park is a protected area located in south western Rwanda well known for its diverse wildlife, rainforests and biodiversity. It covers an area of about 1020 km  bordering Burundi in the south and Lake Kivu in the west.

The park is famous for its chimpanzees with an estimate number of about 500 chimpanzees residing in the forest. Chimpanzee tracking is a popular activity in Nyungwe Forest National park where tourists have an opportunity to embark on guided treks to locate and see the chimpanzees in their natural habitat.

Nyungwe Forest National Park is also a home for other primates and other endangered species for example Rwenzori colobus monkey ,golden monkey, owl faced monkey.

Its also a paradise foe bird enthusiasts with over 250 bird species including great blue turaco, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori batis and other species of sunbirds and hornbills.

Nyungwe Forest National Park offers a range of activities apart from chimpanzee tracking which include bird watching, hiking, guided natural works.

Nyungwe forest national park - rwanda national parks

Nyungwe Forest National Park offers a range of accommodation options including guesthouses, hotels, lodges for example One and only Nyungwe house, Nyungwe Top View hill hotel  which provide comfortable amenities and serve as a base for visitors to explore the park and engage in different activities.

The park can be accessed by either using air or road transport. For road transport there is public Bus that takes off from Kigali to Nyungwe via Karongi town and from Kigali its about 4-5 hours’ drive .

Getting to Nyungwe National park  by Air will require you to book with Rwanda Air transport which offers the best domestic flights, and there are a total of 9 flights in a week from Kigali to Kamembe international airport. From Kamembe airport it takes about 50km to Nyungwe forest lodge.

3. Budongo Forest Reserve

Budongo Forest Reserve in Uganda is one of the national parks where to see chimpanzees in East Africa. This is located in the north western part of Uganda  within the  larger Murchison falls national park conservation area which is a home to a big number of  chimpanzees .

Its well known for its biodiversity and big population of chimpanzees.  visitors view these chimpanzees closely within their natural habitat through guided hikes and chimpanzee tracking.

The area hosting chimpanzee in Budongo is managed and operated by Good all Institute for chimpanzee tracking. visitors get to see many chimpanzees and beautiful vegetation of the reserve as they are offered 2 hours for hiking after tracking.

Chimpanzee tracking is offered two  times that is in the morning and in the afternoon that is 7am and 3pm respectively.

Budongo forest reserve is a home to a  big number of wild chimpanzees of about 600, tourists are allowed to participate in guided chimpanzee tracking experiences to view and learn about the fascinating primates with the help of experienced tour guide who are familiar with the chimpanzee communities and their behavior.

Apart from chimpanzees, Budongo forest is a home of other primate species like red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, among others. The forest is also a paradise for bird enthusiasts and about 350 bird species have been recorded with in the  forest.

budongo forest - budongo forest reserve ,budongo forest uganda

The Budongo forest reserve has no accommodations within the reserve though there are nearby lodges, hotels and guesthouses where visitors can stay  for example Budongo Eco Lodge, Masindi hotel, New Court View hotel and other hotels in Murchison falls national park like Pakuba Lodge, Paraa safari lodge.These accommodation  provide comfortable facilities like food and beverage services , room services and they as well serve as a base for exploring the reserve and participating in various activities.

Budongo forest reserve can be accesses using either road or air transport. Road transport one drives from Kampala to Masindi, then to Budongo which takes 3 to 4 hours’ drive.

Air transport ,one can use domestic airlines like Aerolink which operates chartered and scheduled flights from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi to Pakuba airstrip which takes about 1hour and then connect to road to Budongo.

4. Kyambura Gorge

Kyambura Gorge located in Uganda is one of the national parks where to see chimpanzees in East Africa.  Kyambura Gorge also known as Kyambura Game Reserve is situated within Queen Elizabeth National park in the south western part of Uganda. It was formed by River Kyambura which cuts through the savannah vegetation of queen Elizabeth national park.

The reserve covers an area of about  155-sq-km, the gorge itself spans just 10km and is 100 meters deep. The Kyambura River, which runs through the reserve, connects to the Kazinga Channel.
Kyambura gorge is a beautiful and a biodiverse area  where you can find habituated chimpanzees allowing visitors to track and see them in their natural habitat.

Tourists get to see chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge through guided chimpanzees tracking campaigned by experienced guides where tourists embark on tracks through the gorge looking for the chimpanzees .

The tracking experience gives an opportunity to tourists to witness the behavior and social interactions of these chimpanzees as well as the unique ecosystem of the gorge.

Apart from chimpanzees, Kyambura Gorge is also a home of a wide range of other wildlife species foe example primates like red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and baboons. Other animals include elephants, buffalos, antelopes, and various bad species .

Other than Chimpanzee tracking, there are other activities visitors engage in within Kyambura Gorge like game drives, birdwatching and exploring the park’s diverse ecosystems.

Kyambura gorge - queen Elizabeth national park ugandaNyungwe Forest National Park In Rwanda Chimpanzee

Queen Elizabeth national park provides a range of accommodation to visitors exploring Kyambura Gorge including lodges, hotels, tented camps and guest houses for example Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Mweya Safari Lodge. These facilities cater for different budges and services for visitors.

The Kyambura Gorge can be accessed using either road or air’ s about 421km from Kampala and its 5 – 7hours’ drive using road transport. For example the route via Kampala – Mbarara – Bushenyi is 420.5 kilometers, while Kampala – Fort Portal – Kasese is 410 kilometers.

For Air transport, there are also charter flights available from the Entebbe International Airport to Mweya airstrip in the northern section of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

5. Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania

Gombe Stream National park is located in western Tanzania along the Eastern shores of lake Tanganyika  well known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall’s ground breaking research on chimpanzees.

It offers a unique opportunity to tourists to observe chimpanzees up close and learn about their behavior.

Gombe Stream National park is home to a population of about 90 wild chimpanzees that has been studied since 1960s and the long-term research has provided valuable insights into social structure, behavior and ecology of chimpanzees.

Tourists to Gombe Stream National Park have the opportunity to participate in habituation experience, chimpanzee tracking nd guided walks where visitors observe and spend an extended period of time with the wild chimpanzees in their natural  habitats .

Gombe Stream National Park is not only about chimpanzees but its also a home to various wildlife including red colobus monkeys, olive baboons and diverse bird species. the beautiful land scape is made of lush forests, rolling hills and the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

The park has basic accommodations including camp sites, lodges, and hotels for example Gombe Forest Lodge, Baraka Lodge Kigoma and Bangkok Lodge.

Gombe Stream National park is accessed by boat from Kigoma a town on the shires of Lake Tanganyika

6. Mahale Mountains National Park

This is another Tanzanian park on the Eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika renowned for its chimpanzee population of about 8oo in number. its a remote wilderness providing an incredible experience of encountering chimpanzees in their natural habitat.

It is an incredible destination in Tanzania for seeing chimpanzees in their natural habitats covering an area of about 1655km nearest to Kigoma city established in 1985 and it was named after Mountain Mahale.

Visitors to the park participate in guided chimpanzee tracking activities campaigned by knowledgeable guides. The experience might be a bit challenging as the chimps’ movements can be unpredictable though its’ incredibly good once found.

The park is not only home for chimpanzees but also other home to various wildlife species for example forest elephants, red-tailed monkeys, colobus monkeys, bushbucks and numerous bird species.

The park has basic accommodations including camp sites, lodges, and hotels for example Grey stoke Mahale  Camp, Mbali Mahale camp, Mahale Mango tree Banda’s. These facilities cater for different budges and services for visitor.

The park can be accessed by either water or air transport.

The easiest and quickest way to get there to the park is by air for example by air scheduled flights from Arusha and Dar es Salaam (three to five hours) to the Mahale Airstrip are available.
By boat  you still reach the park by water transport, right from Kigoma with speedboat which takes 4 to 5hours ride to access the park. 

7. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary lies off the northern shore of Lake Victoria. It offers a home to over 40 orphaned chimpanzees and also safe haven for chimps rescued from the pet, bushmeat trade or released from laboratories.

Ngamba Island is about 100 acres of which 98 are forested and separated from visitors by  an electric fence.

Visitors to Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary get the chance to see chimpanzees either in the morning or afternoon from the visitors platform area along the edge of the sanctuary fence. Visitors can also walk through the island to see chimps in their natural forested environment.

The chimps are free to roam, explore their environment, and forage for food. Caretakers offer supplementary feedings of fruits and other treats twice a day to chimpanzees to ensure that chimps who are less skilled at foraging still get a healthy diet. Visitors can view the feedings from a raised walkway, getting a unique opportunity for close viewing of chimpanzees.

There are various accommodation facilities near Ngamba  Island Sanctuary including camp sites, lodges, and hotels for example Protea hotel, Lake Victoria Granada Hotel and Pelican Lodge and Marina.  These facilities cater for different budges and services for visitors

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary can be accessed by a  boat  from Entebbe and its about 40-50 minutes ride.It can as well be accessed through using air transport from Entebbe airport and its approximately 20 minutes to reach the Island.

Where To See Gorillas In The Wild

Best place to see gorillas in the wild;

Uganda is the best place to gorillas in Africa and has the highest number of Mountain Gorillas in Africa. They can be seen in two national parks Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks.

Rwanda Land of a Thousand Hills is also the best place in Africa to see gorillas in the wild and for getting the best mountain gorilla safari especially in Virunga mountains, Nyungwe Forest National Park  Ruhengeri and Gisenyi

Uganda and Rwanda are the best places to see gorillas in the wild especially in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks in Uganda and Virunga mountains, Nyungwe Forest National Park  Ruhengeri and Gisenyi in Rwanda.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Where in Africa can you see chimpanzees?

  • Uganda
  • Tanzania
  • Rwanda
  • Kenya

2. Where is the best place to see chimpanzees?

  • Kibale Forest National Park
  • Nyungwe National Park
  • Kyambura Gorge
  •  Gombe National Park.

3. Where can I see chimpanzees in Tanzania?

  • Mahale Mountains
  • Gombe National Park

4. Where can I see chimpanzees in Kenya?

  • Sweetwater’s chimpanzee sanctuary