Chimpanzee habituation in Budongo

Budongo forest is a thick tropical rainforest in the western province of Uganda seated on an area of 435 km² in the northern escarpment of Lake Albert. The forest is shared between two districts, Hoima and Kikuube due to its vast size. 

This breathtaking forest consists of various tree species but it’s mainly dominated by swan forest mixed trees.  It is also a renowned natural forest famous for harboring quite a number of primates though the highlight are chimpanzees that make up the biggest portion of the primates living within.

 Chimpanzee habituation experience in Budongo forest.

Chimpanzee habituation is a scientific activity that involves careful processes of making chimpanzees familiar with human beings in their habitat.  This scientific activity is carried out by researchers who have extensively studied animal behavior, researchers and rangers who tirelessly provide extra protection when the activities are ongoing.

 How is the activity done?

Chimpanzee habituation involves the efforts of researchers making regular visits to the chimpanzee families in the forests.  The zoologists mimic the behavior of the chimpanzees while showing no harm to them which helps them gain their trust.  Continuous visits to the forests make the chimpanzees free with human beings and later they can both interact since no one proves to be harmful to the other. 

The chimpanzee habituation process normally lasts for a period between two to three years of determination, hard work and several visits on a regular basis within the forests. 

 How different is it from the usual chimpanzee tracking?

Chimpanzee habituation is quite a different experience from the usual chimpanzee tracking in various ways although the most highlighted ones are the fact that it lasts for quite a longer time as compared to chimpanzee tracking which therefore allows the visitor to experience more and enjoy the animals up close. 

The chimpanzee habituation experience usually lasts for about six hours and you can actually last the entire day while chimpanzee trekking only lasts for a maximum of four hours. 

The chimpanzee habituation process also allows the visitor to spend more time with the researchers and zoologists in the forest which helps them to learn more about the chimpanzees and other primates, hence making the trip more rewarding and serving unforgettable experiences.

The longer hours spent with the chimpanzees in the habituation experience create better opportunities for enjoyment, photography moments and also an educational experience for visitors.

 How much it costs in Budongo forest.

Chimpanzee habituation experiences in Budongo forest are actually affordable to all categories of visitors since it doesn’t break the pockets. This wonderful experience goes for a non-refundable and non-negotiable fee of $220 per person for the foreign non-residents, $150 per person for residents and $80 per person for East African citizens.

Other activities to do in Budongo forest.

Budongo forest is quite a picturesque area and is home to various species and therefore has the ability to offer a variety of activities. Chimpanzee habituation experiences aside, the forest also offers room for touristic activities incorporating; 

Birding. It is quite paramount to single out that the forest is a renowned home to a variety of bird species that visitors get an opportunity to observe while in the forest.  These include secretary birds, handsome francolins, grey crowned cranes, marabou stocks, eastern plantain eaters, pin tailed whydah, yellow billed ox-pecker, African spoonbill, African darters and piapiacs.

Photography.  The beautiful scenery created by the various species of trees in the forest and the canopies creates a beautiful scenery that provides beautiful views for photography and videography.

 A section of the forest also provides opportunities for game viewing in the nearby Murchison Falls National Park where travelers can get to view some of the animals within, especially the African buffaloes, African Bush elephants and harnessed bushbucks.

Camping can also be done in the forest since it offers an extraordinary environment that equips visitors with the feel of the breeze of the tropical forests, the sounds of the animals and the quiet makes it a place to be.  Campfires that are done in the vicinity of the lodges further make the experience in the forest more rewarding. The experience of watching a sunset at the fireplace in the vicinity of a lodge triggers a lot of memories and makes the place worthwhile.

Nature walks. The game Rangers and professional tourist guides conduct nature walks within the forest to help the visitors enjoy more of the beautiful environment. During these nature walks, visitors are equipped with information about medicinal purposes of some tree species within and also have the opportunity to explore the forest more and encounter various other species living within the forest.

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