Chimp

One of the great apes, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) is the human’s closest living relative.  Found in the forest and savannah of tropical Africa and standing on average 1.50m tall (4ft11in), chimps are covered in coarse black hair but with bare faces, fingers, palms, toes and soles.  Their arms are longer than their legs, with long fingers and toes built for grasping, with opposable thumbs and big toes.   Their skin varies between pale to dark, their black hair hair can tend towards brown or ginger, and in older age develop bald spots with occasional white or grey hairs occurring particularly around the chin.

Chimps are up to 1.5 times stronger than humans with a higher ratio of fast-twitch muscles, in the wild males can weigh up to 70kg and females up to 50kg.  On the ground chimps can move equally efficiently walking upright on two legs or quadrupedally using their knuckles, and of course they are very proficient at climbing trees and swinging from branch to branch.  They make a new nest each night in the forest canopy and retain a cognitive map of their home range allowing them to remember the location of particular fruiting trees to return to once fruits ripen.  The majority of the chimps diet is fruit based, but also leaves, seeds, flowers, stems and bark.  They do particularly enjoy honey, ants and termites, insects, birds and their eggs, and will hunt small to medium sized mammals but flesh represents a very small part of their diet.

The chimpanzees live in social groups of 15 to 150 members, strictly male-dominated but generally avoiding the need for violence.  The groups will split temporarily according to gender and age, to form all-male hunting coalition for example, or a ‘nursery group’ of females with young.  Chimps are more likely to mate when food is plentiful, the gestation period is 8 months and the infants rely on their mothers for food, warmth, protection and guidance for at least the first two years.  Young chimps remain under the mother guidance, learning what to eat, social interactions, how to use tools etc till becoming more independent after six to nine years.  It is the juvenile females that are more likely to move out the parental group and emigrate to another group while the males remain.

Known to be highly social and intelligent, wild chimps have been widely studied most famously by Dr Jane Goodall in Tanzania for 50 years and ongoing.  They have been shown to use and manipulate a variety of tools, communicate via many different facial expressions, physical postures and vocalisations and coordinate different roles in hunting and gathering.

The wild population is estimated to be as high as 300,000 individuals in a fragmented belt from Senegal, through Gabon, the DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia to Tanzania.  This population has decreased from around a million since the early 1900’s, due to habitat loss, disease, and poaching for bush meat, the pet trade and former popularity for circus acts and research laboratories.  As of 2013 only Gabon and the US were still using chimps in research, and thankfully the US is in the process of retiring all of its remaining ‘federally owned’ chimps to specific sanctuaries.

Ultimate Uganda Safari with Chimp & Gorilla Treks

It is true to say that if you include a visit to Murchison national park in Uganda, you need to add a lot more time to your Uganda gorilla trekking holiday – but what’s the rush? If you avoid the holiday weekends you will see few other visitors here and the wildlife encounters, including huge Wild Elephants, Hippos, Lion, Leopard and the iconic Shoebill, can often be amazing. From here, it’s a long but scenic drive up the escarpment and down the other side to Kibale, where you will have two amazing chimp trekking opportunities in the stunning forest. You then have time for more savannah wildlife viewing at Queen Elizabeth national park, before then heading to two seperate and stunning gorilla trekking locations in Bwindi and then Nkuringo. We then include some well deserved chill out time at the surreal Lake Bunyonyi, before heading back to Entebbe to connect with your onward flight.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 16
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£6000
Shoebills, Tree Climbing Lions & Gorillas

This very special Ugandan gorilla holiday gives you the opportunity to see 3 of Uganda’s most iconic animal species. We start off with a short drive to the Mabamba wetlands on the outskirts of Kampala, where we enjoy a gentle private dugout boat safari looking for the beautifully bizarre Shoebill Stork. From here you wil drive to Queen Elizabeth national park and enjoy both private game drives and boat safaris on the scenic Kazinga channel. We may be lucky to catch a glimpse of a leopard or lion, before driving south to the Ishasha sector; home to the famous tree climbing lions. We then enjoy a long but spectacular journey to the remote community of Nkuringo on the Nteko ridge and if the weather is clear, we will have stunning views of up to 8 Volcanoes, which ‘straddle’ the Uganda, Rwanda and DRC borders. It’s time for you to experience that life changing 1 hour with a Gorilla family before driving to Lake Mburo national park and staying at the stunning Mihingo Lodge. Lake Mburo now enjoys regular leopard sightings during their unique night time drives and is home to many different antelope species within the park. You will enjoy a final breakfast overlooking the park before driving back to Entebbe.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3500
Gorilla Trek and Volcano Climb for Adventure Seekers

For our return to Uganda and Rwanda to celebrate my 40th birthday I was keen to bring an adventerous element to the trip and as well as camping in many of the beautiful national parks, we also included a few more strenous activities on top of the Gorilla Trekking we did in Nkuringo. These included paddling across Lake Mutanda, walking with the Batwa tribals at Magahinga and the absolute highlight of a full day trek up the beautiful Mount Sabinyo, which stands at an impressive 3600M. Not only did this provide us with the elation of achieving our goals, but it also took us away from some of the more mainstream locations on the Uganda wildlife circuit and provided more village life and colour into our Uganda wildlife holiday.

Style - Wildlife Adventurer
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 11
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3850
Bespoke Gorilla & Chimp Trek in Uganda

Wildlife Trails have pioneered a certain bespoke design of gorilla and chimp safari, that brings together the best mid-range wildlife lodges – all of which we have personally visited – with our hand picked dirver/naturalists and their photographer friendly landcruisers with roof openings. Our tailored gorilla trekking holidays allow you to get under the skin of this wildlife rich and vibrant country, as your driver will not only be your expert naturalist; but also your friend and guide to all things Ugandan. This 10 day Gorilla and Chimp safari takes you from the shores of Lake Victoria in Entebbe to Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi and Lake Mburo (see detailed map info); as you enjoy both chimp and gorilla treks in this primate focused Uganda wildlife holiday.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3500