Uganda Travel News

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park located in South Western Uganda is the only place on Planet earth where mountain gorillas live with wild Champanzees but when you talk about Bwindi as a National Park, what comes in the minds of people is gorilla tracking little knowing that in the same forest, we have chimpanzees as well.

If it is indeed true that the forest has wild communities of chimpanzees, why is then that they are not habituated? There could be several reasons to explain this. What we have here are possibilities and not actual reasons.

According to a research conducted by standford in 1997 in Nkuringo it was discovered that this area has chimpanzees that lived in a community of about 40 members and when added to those in Buhoma, it was estimated that there could be approximately 350 to 400 individuals of Chimpanzees in the whole village. Of course since 1997 numbers should have increased due to better conservation measures in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This researche further revealed that Bwindi Chimpanzees are more visible than mountain gorillas and that they are more bipedal feeding on shrubs and trees. Chimpanzees in Kayonza were seen building nests on ground which is something unique that could attract the attention of tourists if habituated. In order to survive in the forest, Bwindi chimpanzees were observed using tools to extract honey.

There several reasons that can be advanced to explain why chimpanzees in Bwindi Impenetrable National park are not habituated.

There better places with more chimpanzees in Uganda compared to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Budongo Forest, Kbale National park, Maramagambo as well other forest in Uganda has more chimpanzees in thousands compared to Bwindi National park. This therefore means that in such places, researchers can afford to to habituate some and leave others in their wild/natural status other than habituating the few that are in Bwindi Impenetrable National park.

Compared to other forest in Uganda that have chimpanzees, Bwindi Impenetrable National park is the most challenging of all. Kibale National park is a low land forest while Bwindi Impenetrable National park is a highland tropical rainforest. So this brings up a challenge in that the fact that chimpanzees can be mobile sometimes, trekking them in Bwindi could be a challenge compared in lowland regions of Kibale National Park.

Government priority could also be another reason as to why Bwindi chimps are not habituated. The government of Uganda prefers each region to have several attractions so that they can benefit from tourism and tourists visits. If for example chimpanzees in Bwindi Impenetrable National park are habituated, it means that people might remove Kibale national park from the itinerary and prefer to do gorillas and chimpanzees in Bwindi Impenetrable National park instead.

Bwindi Impenetrable National park is an ecotourism site and because of this they may not habituate chimpanzees as this will lead to more people coming to the forest hence putting pleasure on the resources in the forest.

What ever the reason, the fact remains that all chimpanzees in Bwindi Impenetrable National park are not habituated at the moment and we wait to see if the government/researchers will look at it in the near future.

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