Wednesday, 2 August 2017

CHIMPANZEE HABITUATION EXPERIENCE IN KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

Kibale forest national park is situated in the western part of Uganda in Kabarole district near the town of fort portal. The park is one of the famous moist and evergreen rainforests in East Africa covering an area of about 766 Sq. km. It also has a diverse array of landscapes because it is situated on an average elevation of 5200ft above sea level and it is one of the remaining forests which is both lowland and also Montane.

The park was established in 1993 with the aim of protecting the large forest previously managed as a logged forest reserve. The park is currently well known for its diverse attractions and activities like the commonly known chimps, monkeys, baboons, birds, butterflies, the other mammal species and the diverse vegetation cover of the area with numerous tree species. Kibale forest national park is also known as the primate because it hosts different primate species like the endangered chimpanzees, the red colobus monkey and the rare L’Hoest’s monkey which is one of the vulnerable monkeys.
In total, Kibale forest national park shelters up to 13 primate species such as the Uganda Mangabey, Uganda red colobus and the L’Hoest’s monkey , 1500 chimpanzees ,some of them are well habituated for trekking and habituation by visitors, 1,325 bird species and some of the other mammals that reside in this park .
Being the best destination for chimpanzee tracking in the whole of east Africa, it has numerous chimp troops / families which are open for tracking all year through,  Kanyanchu is the pioneer place for the trekking activity that started way back in 1993 up to date and of course the chances of seeing the chimps is excellent.
Guided walks in the national park for chimps tracking starts at 8am and 2pm for morning & afternoon programs respectively, and lasts for at least 3 hours and also some of the chimps are studied and have been habituated to associate with people so that it can offer easy viewing for the visitors and detailed encounter with to examine the day to day life and get acquainted with them. This normally takes a whole day, of exclusive examination of chimpanzees’ habitats and way of life.
The habituation experience is an experience of spending the whole day with the chimps in their natural habitat or natural setting. The habituation experience starts by the evening before the day for the experience starting with going to see where the chimps are setting or building their nests the night before. This means it’s advisable for one to take early breakfast and some packed lunch then off before dawn breaks in to the forest with a ranger guide to the chimps’ community that one is going to be with for the whole day. This experience is so interesting for early visits to the chimps nests because one will witness the chimps leaving their overnight nests from 6am to 7pm, before feeding, breastfeeding, copulating, hunting, resting, displaying, patrolling up to 7pm when they start to build new nests for that night of course the day ends when the chimps climb in to their newly built nests for the evening as you head back to your lodging.
The best recommended months for this wonderful experience of fun and adventure with the closest relatives to human beings are March, April, May, and November when there is no congestion offering  a small group closer conduct to chimps.