Uganda Travel News


It’s always important to know how many chimpanzee permits are available in Budongo forest before booking safaris to this great forest. Budongo forest Reserve is located in Murchison falls National Park in North western Uganda, Masindi District. It is the largest tropical and Mahogany rainforest in Ugandaand East Africa as a whole was gazatted as a forest reserve since 1932. It is a 5-6 hours’ drive from Kampala/Entebbe. Budongo forest contributes to Uganda’s tourism industry with its rich biodiversity and has various species of birds, Plants, Trees, Primates and reptiles. Chimpanzees are the biggest pull factor for Budongo forest and as a visitors you can opt to do chimpanzee Habituation or chimpanzee tracking. Encounter Africa safaris will be more delighted to organize your trip to Budongo Forest.

How many chimpanzee permits are available in Budongo Forest

There are Twenty Four permits available per day for chimpanzee trekking and Twenty Permits available for chimpanzee habituation per day in Budongo Forest. Trekking in Budongo is under the management of Budongo Eco-Lodge authorized by National Forestry Authority. The chimpanzee Trekking permit in Budongo Forest costs USD100 for Foreign Non-Residents per person and the Chimpanzee Habituation experience costs USD230 per person Foreign Nonresidents. Send us an email to get discounted low season Permits for Non-residents, Residents and East African citizens.

You can opt to have chimpanzee permits that trek in either in the morning session or afternoon session, once you contact Encounter Africa Safaris, we can let you know the number of permits available for your specific date you would like to travel.

Chimpanzee Permits are only eligible to persons aged 12 years and above to be allowed trekking or habituation of the Chimpanzees. You can book chimpanzee permits any time throughout the year for Budongo Forest. Chimpanzee Permits in Budongo Forest reserve tend to cost high during the high season and cheap during the Low season.

How to Book Chimpanzee Permits for Budongo Forest Reserve

Once you contact us on Email at or by phone contact, we shall send you an invoice for Permits Payment and you can opt to pay by Credit card or by Bank Transfer, We shall go ahead and secure your permits for Chimpanzee tracking or chimpanzee Habituation. Once we have secured your permits, we then send you a scanned receipt for your Perusal and records. Chimpanzee Permits Must be booked in advance as they can sell out especially in high season.

Accessibility to BudongoForest Reserve.

Budongo Forest can be assessed road from Kampala/Entebbe and it is about 6 hours’ drive. You can access it using the main get of Murchison falls National Park as well. As Encounter Africa safaris, we do offer all inclusive Packages with permits, accommodation, Transportation and all services. We only use 4X4 Vehicles which are very comfortable for your drive to Budongo Forest.

You can also access Budongo forest by Air, We can arrange for you a domestic flight to Pakuba in Murchison falls National Park in case you do not want to travel by road there. You can even stay more days and explore Murchison falls National as well as Budongo Forest.

Where to staying in Budongo Forest Reserve

Visitors/Tourists to Budongo Forest have various options of accommodation to stay in as they participate in various activities in the forest. Safari hotels vary from Luxury to Midrange to budget. Some of the Lodges are within Murchison falls and Budongo forest reserve. You can stay at Paraa Lodge, Bakers Lodge for Luxury, Kabalega Lodge, Budongo Eco lodge which are Midrange options. These lodges are on standard and very comfortable for your stay. Contact Encounter Africa Safaris to tailor your trip with the best accommodation for your visit to Budongo Forest Reserve.

Chimpanzee Tracking in Budongo Forest Reserve

Chimpanzees are the most popular endangered primates in Uganda and are very exciting to watch, Chimpanzees share 90% DNA with Human beings and most of their communities have been habituated. You can do chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura Gorge, and Kalinzu Forest. Chimpanzee trekking is an activity of walking in the forest in search of the chimpanzees for 30 minutes to hours depending on where they are located, once you find them, you are allowed to view them for an hour and take photographs, Later you return to the forest headquarters .

Chimpanzee trekking starts early morning at the forest headquarters with briefing by forest guides about the do’s and don’ts while trekking. After briefing you start the walk to the forest to find the chimpanzees until you find them. Your movement direction in the forest depends on the direction as communicated by the trackers who go early morning to the forest and monitor where the chimpanzees are, then they communicate to the guides walking you to the forest.You will have 99% chances for seeing the chimpanzees in Budongo Forest. We do organize several chimpanzee treks such as three day chimpanzee trekking in Budongo, 5 Day Chimpanzee trek in Budongo and Game safari Murchison falls National Park. We can tailor your trip as per your request to create a lasting memory

Chimpanzee Habituation in Budongo Forest Reserve

Chimpanzee Habituation is more like the Gorilla Habituation, Habituation is a process the researches and forest guides together with clients go through to make chimpanzee get used to the visitors. For this, you are able to participate and monitor the behavior of the chimpanzee, as they act wild, tend to run away, you also see how they eat, rest, communicate, mate and leave as a community in harmony. You will be allowed more than one hour of viewing the Chimpanzees and taking photography’s. Only four people are allowed to participate in habituation activity and it is always advised to do it in the month of April, May and November.You will surely enjoy your trek in Budongo forest as you will be able to view birds and other wildlife that stays in the forest.

Chimpanzee Communities in Budongo Forest Reserve

Budongo Forest has about 700 chimpanzees and these have been conserved for years and steadily the groups are growing and increasing in Numbers. The chimpanzees in Budongo forest we first studied in 1960 and conservation has been going on to sustain the chimpanzees in the forest thus attracting more visitors to come and see them. There are several communities that have been habituated over the years and these include

Sonso Chimpanzee Community

This community of the chimpanzees stays near River Sonso and it have more than 85 members, it is among the old group first habituated in Budongo forest. These Chimpanzee communities are formed when some chimps fight with each other, or split to mark other territories and make new communities and always defend their territories.

Waibira Chimpanzee community

Waibira Chimpanzee community in Budongo forest was fully habituated in 2011. The community has more than 100 members, this community was formed after a few individuals split from the Sonso community and they produced and multiplied in number. In chimpanzee communities you can find about 30 males in one community and even more females. Most time some females split from the groups they were born to join different communities. A trek to see the chimpanzees is amazing and more enjoyable in case you see more community members.

Kaniyo- Pabidi Chimpanzee Community

This chimpanzee community was habituated by Jane Good all Institute and now the group is under the management of Budongo Eco-Lodge. The group is on the road side from Masindi to Murchison falls National Park. The sound of birds, the sound of flow of water from the streams, other wildlife in the forest gives you a thrilling experience and you cannot afford to miss a trip to Budongo forest.

Waisoke Chimpanzee Community

This chimpanzee community has been habituated and its territory is near the Waisoke River. It split from the Sonso community as well and other members joined from other communities as well. The chimpanzees can move from Far East of the forest to the north and their movement cannot be guaranteed daily. Chimpanzee trekking requires you to be fit and able to walk but in case you are not very fit, there is always help from the guides and Porters to make sure you successful have a great experience with the chimpanzees.

Alternative Activities in Budongo Forest Reserve

Bird Watching

Budongo Forest reserve is one of the bird haven is Uganda, Being a habitat to various species of Birds The rare species to look out for are the Guinea Congo forest-Biome, Pitta reichenowi, Yellow-footed Flycatcher, Illadopsis puveli and Parmoptila woodhousei. At the end of the day you should have spotted at least half of the about 360 species found in the forest area. The Professional guides and Birders will help you to spot them. We do organize birding trips throughout Uganda and Budongo Forest as well and we can tailor your program and allocated birder guides once you contact us. We have 10 days Birding safari, 8 Days birding safari, 20 days birding safaris and you can opt for even a three day Birding safari.

Nature Walks

Budongo Forest reserve has trails allocated for Nature walking visitors and you can do this at any time of the Day. While on the walk depending on the Luck of the day you view wild animals and Primates, Birds, and you can even see different plants and trees and listen to the sounds of the forest. Armed rangers and guides will always ensure your safety while in the Forest.

Game Safari in Murchison falls National Park

As Budongo Forest is located Partly in Murchison Falls National Park, Don’t miss out to visit the top of the falls, the hike to the top of the falls, the game drives to give you more chances of viewing wildlife like the Giraffes, Buffalos, Kobs, Antelopes, Lions, Leopards and many more. The Boat cruise on the Nile to the bottom of the falls is worth a visit as there is a lot to watch on the banks of the river like crocodiles, Snakes, Birds, Hippos and other aquatic life.

For more information on how many Chimpanzee Permits are available in Budongo forest and all activities in Budongo Forest reserve, kindly contacts us and Visit our website  to get more safari Packages for a great experience while in Uganda. As Encounter Africa safaris we are waiting to tailor your interests for a memorable time.

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