Hours to Spend With Chimpanzees in Budongo Forest Reserve: Budongo forest is a tropical rainforest reserve in Murchison falls national park in Masindi district (North western part of Uganda). The park is rich in biodiversity of a number of species like mammals, chimpanzees, other primates and butterflies. It also has a number of primates; black and white Columbus monkeys, olive baboons, grey-cheeked mangabeys, blue monkeys and red-tailed monkeys.
The park’s main attraction is chimpanzee tracking and habituation. These activities take place with the 700 chimpanzees that live in the forest reserve. There is just a small group of chimpanzees that has been habituated for a purpose of eco-tourism. More to that, it is a family group of 80 chimpanzees which allows tourists an opportunity to spend time with these apes in their natural environment. The park has a number of chimp communities like;
- Sonso the first habituated group in Budongo which stays around the River Sonso and has more than 85 members
- Waibira community with over 100 members which split from Sonso community.
- Kaniyo-pabidi community habituated and under Budongo eco-lodge which stays on the road side of Murchison falls national park.
- Waisoke community also habituated and stays near Waisoke River.
The park is under the management of Uganda Lodges which was authorized by Uganda Wildlife Authority and National Forestry Authority.
Some of the popular chimpanzee tours to Budongo forest include;
- 3 Day Chimpanzee trek.
- 4 Day Chimpanzee Double trek.
- 4 Day Chimpanzee and birding experience.
- 5 Day Chimpanzee and game safari.
- 5 Day Chimpanzee and Rhino tracking safari.
Trekking for the chimpanzees in Budongo forest reserve starts early morning with a briefing. While there, travelers receive rules and regulations that guide them during the trek. These rules are dos and don’ts followed for the safety of the tourist and the chimps themselves. The trek takes 2-4 hours under the guide and an armed ranger to keep you safe and once the chimps are encountered, you are allowed one hour to spend with these beautiful creatures.
How many hours can one spend with the chimpanzees in Budongo forest reserve?
Determining the hours for one to spend with the chimpanzees is very essential. This is determined by the permits. Booking these permits through Pamoja tours and Travel Company is quite convenient. You can also get adequate information about chimpanzee permits, trekking and habituation in Budongo forest reserve. The permits for chimpanzee habituation are a bit more expensive than those of chimpanzee trekking because they allow different hours to spend with the chimpanzees.
The process of booking these permits is very easy for those who wish to secure the permits.
- Once you send Pamoja tours and travel company an email with all necessary details and your preferred dates of trekking the chimps, we shall first check the validity of the permits with Uganda Wildlife Authority.
- We can advise you about booking permits on dates when they are available.
- We shall then send you a permit payment invoice which you have to pay as soon as possible to secure the permit.
- Once payment is received, we shall secure the permits and send you a copy of scanned receipt for your records and your booked permit for chimpanzee trekking.
The permits for chimpanzee trekking cost USD130 for non-foreign residents, USD120 for foreign residents and USD85 for the citizens of Uganda. Chimpanzee trekking allows you only on hour to spend with the chimps. Also, there are two sessions of trekking chimpanzees in Budongo forest; morning session starting at 8AM and the afternoon session starting at midday throughout the year.
Chimpanzee habituation permits cost USD230 for foreign nonresidents, USD160 for foreign residents and USD90 for citizens of Uganda. This allows you to spend four hours with the chimpanzees in Budongo forest and this experience is conducted by researchers and forest guides.
How to get to Budongo forest reserve?
One can access the reserve by road and by air;
Accessing the reserve by road takes just 4-5 hours’ drive to the forest via Kampala – Masindi road. You can then pass through the main gate of Murchison falls national park where you will be have to pay the park entrance fee.
You can access the park through the daily domestic flights to Pakuba, Chobe, or Bugunga airstrips in Murchison falls national park. It is usually a one hour’s flight. Aero link Uganda handles the flights from Entebbe international airport.
Where to stay in Budongo forest reserve?
Murchison falls national park has got a variety of options when it comes to accommodation that is why most of the travelers prefer staying there and the fact that they are near Budongo forest reserve makes it easy to access them. The lodges here range from budget to luxury options; bakers lodge, Murchison River lodge, Paraa safari lodge, Pakuba safari lodge, Kabalega wilderness camp, Red Chilli hideaway and Pumba safari lodge.
Please contact Pamoja tours and travel company to arrange for you a package, book permits and your accommodation. This is the easiest way of booking because we will advise you accordingly and book everything for you. We can book accommodation, secure your trekking permits, arrange different activities (after trekking) and transport you to your destination.