Experiential chimpanzee tracking/trekking or premium tracking of chimpanzees is the new chimpanzee tourism product that has been introduced in Kibale National Park, the prime destination for chimpanzee tours in Uganda. Experiential chimpanzee tracking is a more exclusive tour which allows a small group of tourists to track a community of chimps (100+ chimps) alone and spend 1 – 2 hours with the chimps.
Chimps live in communities and Kibale National Park has 5 communities that have been habituated for tourism and research. A community of chimps can have more than 100 chimps, and the chimps in the community organize into different groups or families (lets say, like human communities). The most popular of the 5 habituated communities in Kibale National Park is called Kanyanchu and its the one used for the traditional chimpanzee tracking tours which allow the 1 hour of chimp watching and several groups of tourists set out to track the different groups/families in the kanyanchu community which can lead to crisscrossing of tourist groups and crowding spoiling the experience. The experiential or premium chimpanzee tracking is more exclusive as a small group of tourists will track another habituated community, the Ngogo chimps community which has been a research group & is 99% habituated. The small group of tourists will have the whole ngogo community alone uninterrupted and watch the chimps for 1 – 2 hours. The experiential chimpanzee tracking is a more intimate and enjoyable experience.
Cost of the experiential chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park
The exclusivity also comes with a higher cost as it will cost $400 per person. The ordinary chimpanzee tracking of the Kanyanchu chimps costs $200
Experiential chimpanzee tracking is NOT chimpanzee habituation experience
Experiential tracking should not be confused with the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience which also allows allows a group of tourists track another of the 5 chimp communities which however is still undergoing habituation. During the habituation tracking tourists set out early in the morning, as early as 5am, so that they can find the chimps before they wake up from their nests and follow them up for 4 hours. It can be intense because the chimps are still undergoing habituation
You can book our 3 day chimpanzee tour to Kibale National Park and request for the experiential option, or visit this page for more Uganda chimpanzee trips that be customized to included the experiential option