Planning a Budget Primate Safari in Uganda
Are you planning to go on a budget safari to Uganda? This is an opportunity to participate in this activity and save more money for other expenses. Take advantage of this opportunity and achieve your dream of meet some of man’s closest relatives.
Would you like to go on a budget gorilla trek in Uganda? There are amazing offers for those who would like to see the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda. With a gorilla permit selling at only USD600, there are better deals for those who choose to go gorilla trekking in Uganda if compared with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Another great way to save is traveling during the low season. There are low season discounts on almost all safari lodges within major destinations in Uganda. The months of mid March to Mid May attract discounts and deals from lodge owners thus making your trip more affordable.
Chimpanzee tracking permits for normal seasons are $150 per person for Foreign Non-Residents, $100 for foreign residents and Shs 100,000. This is greatly reduced to $100 for foreign non-residents, $75 for foreign residents and Shs 75,000 for East African Community residents during the low season in April, May and November.
The discounted chimpanzee permits were introduced by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the body in charge of Wildlife Conservation in partnership with the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) to give the chance to tourists who are left out during the high season or cater for those travelling on budget safaris. Not only that, this is a strategy of counteracting the seasonality effect where tourist numbers reduce in some months hence low rates of permits encourage Uganda safaris.
Where to See Chimpanzees in Uganda
Kibale Forest National Park is the capital for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda and is a home to over 1500 Chimpanzees out of the total 5000 found within the country. With such large numbers in Kibale, tourists have higher chances of sighting them while on a safari. This park is also popular for the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHE) where tourists spend the whole day with these primates to observe them feed, groom, mate and play. It costs only $220 per person for all seasons which might be luxurious for tourists travelling on budget but the experience is worthwhile. Just as normal Chimpanzee tracking, permits for the CHE can be acquired from Uganda Wildlife Authority Head offices or through Tour operators who will charge some commission.
Chimpanzees are also found in Budongo Forest Reserve within Murchison Falls National Park, Kalinzu Forest Reserve and the Kyambura Gorge within Queen Elizabeth National Park but Kibale Forest National park offers the most unforgettable chimpanzee tracking experience. The Low season is also conducted during the rainy season but that doesn’t mean that the activity doesn’t continue. Even when it rains in the morning, the activity can eventually go on after the rain stops. However, these primates inhabit the Tropical rainforests where the weather is highly unpredictable hence when you expect it to be a rainy season, you might track chimps without rain interrupting. Therefore when you travel, be prepared of rain at anytime of the year.
On top of the discounted permit, the advantage of chimpanzee tracking during the low season (rainy season) is that it takes a shorter time to find these primates. With abundance of food in this season, the Chimpanzees tend to move to nearer places hence it becomes easier to locate them.
The number one principle of chimpanzee tracking in any season is advance preparation for the activity which includes purchasing the permits on time, carrying and wearing the right things such as long trousers, long sleeved shirts, strong waterproof hiking boots, rain jackets, cameras, binoculars, carry a walking stick, enough drinking water and packed lunch on the day of tracking.
Therefore, chimpanzee tracking is an interesting safari experience that allows tourists to meet face to face with man’s closest relatives. With the introduction of the discounted Chimpanzee permits, budget tourists also have to chance to wee these riveting creatures.