Many think that the only stars of the thick forests in West Africa are the mountain gorillas, but often the chimpanzees steal the show! Perhaps this is because they are the closest living relative to the human being, or perhaps it’s just because they are so fascinating to watch. Whatever the reason we highly recommend considering a chimpanzee tracking experience in one of the national parks of Uganda or Rwanda.
Chimpanzee tracking is an even more mysterious experience than gorilla tracking, as you are never sure exactly where they are going to appear. It is certainly an adventurous walk through the forest and once you have found the chimps you are in for a lovely time watching them socialise, eat and swing through the trees. Unlike with gorillas, there is no time limit with the chimpanzees. One of the best places in Rwanda to track chimpanzees is the Nyungwe National Park, with a total of thirteen different types of primates.
In Uganda, the Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale National Park both offer chimpanzee tracking experiences, and in Kibale, you can even take part in a Chimpanzee Habituation Experience. Visitors are taken to a chimp community that is undergoing habituation and they can be observed whilst leaving their overnight nests early in the morning, feeding, hunting and caring for their young, and later on, building new nests for the night. This is ideal for anyone who wants to spend more time with the chimpanzees.
Chimpanzees have the largest brains of all the primates and are the most intelligent. At one time humans were thought to be the only species to use tools, but chimpanzees have proved that theory incorrect. They use sticks to dig out termites, rocks as hammers to open nuts and even sharpened spears (sticks) for various things. They are at home on the ground and in the trees, and their powerful arms are noted to be about twice the strength of an average human. They either amble along on all fours, or walk upright if they are holding something.
Chimps usually live together in large groups with multiple males and females, and these groups are called communities. Each group has an alpha male who controls the community, and interestingly, he is not always the largest or strongest, but rather the smartest, most political and most manipulative of the males. If you see a male in the group puffing up his coat and charging about, that would be the alpha male!
We can’t think of a holiday more intriguing and exciting than tracking chimpanzees or gorillas, and one that offers a more profound experience. Contact East Cape Tours to arrange a chimpanzee tracking holiday and receive the best service and rates for accommodation.