Tap to book now

Uganda Chimpanzees in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Uganda Chimpanzees in Queen Elizabeth National Park are the most sought-after primates in the park.

The park has both habituated and unhabituated Chimpanzees. Visitors usually trek habituated Uganda chimps in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The habituated Chimpanzees, reside in Kyambura Gorge, also known as the “Valley Of Apes”.

These Chimpanzees acquaint with human presence, not only because they were habituated, but also because there are communities that live near the Kyambura Gorge.

Kyambura Gorge links with Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, both adjacent to Lake George and Kazinga Channel on the South.

Together, these two create the perfect Chimpanzee habitation, close to this streaming water.

Kyambura Gorge is one of the two places in Queen Elizabeth National Park where tourists experience Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. The other is Kalinzu Forest.

There is only one habituated Chimpanzee family in Kyambura Gorge called the Kyambura Gorge Chimpanzee Community.

This community is best available for Uganda Chimpanzee tours in the dry seasons of June to October and December to February.

The group consists of 23 members led by an alpha male called Kihango.

However, this family faces a tight spot in which they are trapped within the Kyambura area!

This is because the olden Kyambura forest is alienated from the Katsyoha-Kitoma, Maramagambo Forest, and Kalinzu Forest jungles.

Humans encroached on the joining corridor through deforestation and putting up settlements within the last 15 years.

Other consequences of this encroachment include:-

  1. Predators hunt Chimpanzees as they go to the savannahs to find food.
  2. Inbreeding among the Chimpanzees because they cannot access other families in Maramagambo Forest and Kalinzu Forest.

Even though the corridor makes it easier for visitors to find the Chimpanzees during their Uganda Chimpanzee trekking, the negative effects are weightier.

Scientists worry that inbreeding in particular may cause low birth rates.

However, the good news is that the Uganda Wildlife Authority has planted over 6000 trees to merge the forests.

Uganda Chimpanzees in Queen Elizabeth National Park will consequently move freely and interact with others from neighboring forests.

Tourists on a Uganda Chimpanzee trekking safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park often see and spend time with these primates.

You too can have an exquisite Uganda Chimpanzee tour with this lovely family of Uganda chimps by booking your Chimpanzee Safari with us!

Let us take an in-depth into the facts about Chimpanzees and some Chimpanzee questions.

What Is A Chimpanzee? (Chimpanzees Meaning) | Chimpanzees Definition

Chimp Meaning; “chimp” is the short name for “Chimpanzee”.

Wondering what is a Chimpanzee? Well, a Chimpanzee is a great ape in the order of primates and native to tropical Africa’s savannahs.

Typical Chimpanzee definitions state that the Chimpanzee derives its name from the Tshiluba local word “kivili-chimpenze”, loosely meaning “mockman” or “ape”. This answers the popular question, “Are Chimpanzees apes?”

It was given to them because of their human-like appearance which was most likely thought to mock humans.

Chimpanzees Scientific Name

Chimpanzees are scientifically called Pan Troglodytes.

The name “Pan” derives from the Greek god of nature (or the wild). This god is half-human and half an animal.

On the other hand, “Troglodytes” was derived from the Greek dialect to refer to a group of mythical beings who were believed to be cave dwellers.

Therefore, it is believed that the name was given to the chimpanzees to either portray their nature of being “wild cave-dwelling men” or the fact that they look partly human and partly animal.

Chimpanzees And Humans | Chimpanzees And Humans DNA | Chimpanzees Intelligence

Chimpanzees and humans are closely related. In fact, they have the highest similarity compared to any other primates!

According to research, they share about 98.8%-99% of the human’s DNA showing that they are the first cousins of humans.

There are even claims that they should be included in the human taxonomy.

However, we can still see the small differences it has with humans, especially in the physical statures.

Chimpanzees have also proved to show intelligence that matches that of humans. This is because they use tools like sticks, leaves, stones, and plants to solve problems in their daily life.

The first European to document in his diary the fact that Chimpanzees make and use rudimentary tools was the Portuguese Explorer Duarte Pacheco Pereira.

Research puts the Chimpanzees’ average IQ between 20% to 25%. However, scientists discovered that the Chimpanzee to ever have the highest IQ approximately scored 85%.

What Does Chimpanzee Look Like | Description of Uganda Chimpanzees In Queen Elizabeth National Park, Weight (Size), Height, and Feet

Physical encounters with these primates give the description of Chimpanzees as human-like primates with coarse black to brown hair covering their bodies.

An adult’s face is usually black, though some have brown spots on them.

Some individuals have white hair around their faces that almost looks like white beards.

They also have bare faces, palms, fingers, hands, toes, and feet soles.

Infants on the other hand have white hair on their hindquarters that disappear as they grow.

As Chimpanzees age, they lose hair on their head, causing a bald spot right after their eyebrows. Old Chimps also grow grey hair on their back.

Their eyebrows are heavy, and their forehead is flattened.

Uganda Chimps as well have bulging ears and arms that are longer than their legs.

How do Chimpanzees Move

Chimpanzees move on all four limbs. Their long arms help them to rest their weight on their knuckles as they move.

Chimpanzees Weight | Chimpanzee Size; Male Chimpanzees weigh about 40 to 70 kgs while females weigh about 27 to 50 kgs.

Chimpanzees’ Height | Chimpanzee Feet; Chimpanzees are usually 150 cm tall.  Males are about 4 feet while females are about 3.5 feet.

Where Does A Chimpanzee Live In Queen Elizabeth National Park? | Where Are Uganda Chimpanzees In Queen Elizabeth National Park Found

Curiosity may cause one to ask, “Where are Chimpanzees found in Queen Elizabeth National Park?”

Chimpanzees in this national park live in majorly three spots;

  1. Kyambura Gorge
  2. Kalinzu Forest
  3. Maramagambo Forest

1. Chimpanzees In Kyambura Gorge

Kyambura Gorge is a Uganda Chimpanzee sanctuary for the Kyambura Gorge Chimpanzee Community. This is where you can do a wonderful Chimpanzee safari Uganda tour in this park.

The family is the only habituated Chimpanzee group in Kyambura Gorge.

Below are the group members in the Kyambura Gorge Chimpanzee Community.

1. Kihango(Alpha Male)

2. Emiti(Alpha Female)

3. Lumumba

4. Brutus

5. Namanya

6. Kazinga

7. Mweya

8. Enjojo

9. Ekibiira

10. Kaaka

11. Mulefu

12. Enyanja

13. Murungi

14. Asaba

15. Njuuko

16. Pamba

17. Maani

18. Agaba

19. Natkunda

20. Embogo

21. Pesa

This community comprises 23 members with Kihango as the Alpha male. His ally Namanya is the closest to him.

Kihango became their leader in 2017, but former alphas, Lumumba and Brutus still live with him in the same group.

However, Mweya and other males try to seize power from Kihango. Consequently, he lost a finger and toe from one of his successful fights.

Kihango, the alpha male, and Kazinga are siblings. The latter displays dominance over adult females, showing how he would love to follow in his brother’s footsteps and ascend the ranks.

Emiti, the Alpha female has an infant. Enjojo, Ekibiira, Enyanja, and Embogo are her other children.

The “M” brothers, Mweya, Mulefu, and Mani are sons of Murungi. Murungi also has a baby girl.

2. Chimpanzees In Kalinzu Forest

Kalinzu Forest, on the more distant South of Kazinga Channel also hosts two groups of habituated Chimpanzees.

It has lately become the most popular Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda safari hub around Queen Elizabeth National Park!

The two most important reasons why Kalinzu Forest has become a more popular Chimpanzee trekking destination are

  • The forest is the nearest Chimpanzee destination around Queen Elizabeth National Park from Kampala.
  • It also harbors a larger number of habituated Uganda Chimpanzees.

Together, there are about 70 habituated individuals from two families out of the estimated 300 Chimpanzees in this Forest.

The habituated Chimpanzees are comfortable with visitors and they usually imitate them on the different Uganda Chimpanzee tours.

3. Chimpanzees In Maramagambo Forest

Maramagambo Forest hosts Uganda Chimps that are indifferent to human presence.

Therefore, the ultimate places to trek habituated Uganda Chimpanzees in Queen Elizabeth National Park are the Kyambura Gorge and the Kalinzu Forest.

Chimpanzees Behavior | Chimpanzees Characteristics | Behavior Of Uganda Chimpanzees In Queen Elizabeth National Park

Chimpanzee behavior entails the circumstances that encircle the daily life of these primates, from

  • Feeding
  • Reproduction and Life Span
  • Social Life
  • The rudimentary tools that they use
  • Communication
  • Predators

What Do Chimpanzees Eat In The Wild? | Chimpanzee Diet | Diet Of Uganda Chimpanzee In Queen Elizabeth National Park

Are Chimpanzees omnivores? Yes, they are! If you are wondering what Chimpanzees eat, their natural diet majorly consists of fruits, shoots, leaves, bark, nuts, stems, seeds, flowers, and honey.

They also feed on meat occasionally for example small antelopes, monkeys, birds, eggs of birds, and insects.

How much do Chimpanzees eat a day?

Uganda Chimpanzees in Queen Elizabeth National Park eat about 1 to 4 kilograms of food in a day.

How often do Chimpanzees eat

Chimpanzees may spend over seven hours a day eating.

How often do Chimpanzees eat meat?

Chimpanzees rarely eat meat. They eat it approximately 9 days a year since it is only about 6 percent of their diet.

Medication; Chimpanzees also eat certain plants as medicines to treat headaches, parasitic infections, and stomach upsets.

Reproduction | How Often Do Chimpanzees Reproduce

Chimpanzees reproduce after nearly five years.

They get into puberty at around 7 years, and female adolescents first enter a period in which they cycle but do not ovulate.

Later as she matures, she is ready to give birth between 11-23 years.

The female goes through an estrus cycle for about 36 days. This period is when she develops an anogenital swelling which acts as a sign to other males that she is ready to mate.

How Often Do Chimpanzees Mate? | Do Chimps Mate For Life?

Chimpanzees mate at any time of the year. When a female is in estrus, she can mate more times than is necessary for conception.

They have an acceptable social behavior in which they mate with many partners, making them polygynous.

However, some males form a consortship with a female who they deter from mating with other males.

Copulation for chimps serves more purposes than just reproduction. It helps group members bond, and stay united.

The gestation period of the Chimpanzee lasts for about 202 to 260 days (about 8 months) after which a mother births one infant. It is very rare for them to have twins.

A newborn weighs around 2kgs and mothers wean them after about three years.

Weaned chimps usually survive on their own, but they keep a close relationship with their mothers. This is because chimps are generally social animals.

How Long Does A Chimpanzee Live? | Chimpanzee Lifespan In Captivity

Chimpanzees in the wild live between 40 to 50 years while Chimpanzee lifespan in captivity is 50 to 60 years.

Social Behavior Of Chimpanzees | Social Life Of Uganda Chimpanzees In Queen Elizabeth National Park

What times are Chimpanzees active?

Chimpanzees are social primates who are active during the day for over 6 to 8 hours.

They live in groups and sub-groups of around 15 to 150 members. These groups travel from one place to another, on their four limbs.

A troop of Chimpanzees can break into smaller groups to travel together or separately. Females are however more solitary than males.

Uganda Chimpanzees are not necessarily territorial because they inhabit an area that they use for a certain time before traveling to another destination.

The primates build their nests on trees on which they sleep at night. Mothers sleep together with their unweaned children while other members sleep on their own.

Chimpanzees sleep for about 9 and a half hours out of the daily 24 hours.

What Tools Do Chimpanzees Use

Chimpanzees use many tools in their daily life. As a matter of fact, they are the best at using tools, after humans.

The stick is the common tool that they use to collect honey, and get insects. They either pick up the sticks or break them from a tree branch.

For example, to catch marching ants, the Chimpanzee wets the stick with saliva so that the ants get stuck on it. It eats them when they become many.

Chimpanzees also use stones as a tool. They use it to crack nuts or send away other primates from food territories by throwing stones at them.

The apes likewise use leaves to drink water. They also use it to wipe their sticky mouths or hands after eating fruits.

Grooming Of Uganda Chimpanzees In Queen Elizabeth National Park

Chimpanzees carry out social grooming to remove ticks, flakes, dirt, and dead skin from their body.

In this activity, one Chimpanzee removes dirt and cleans the other using its fingers. It searches the hair of its partner for anything unwanted to remove.

This activity helps them to clean, build bonds and relax.

In most cases, a Chimpanzee chooses a close friend to groom them.

Chimpanzees Communication

Can Chimpanzees talk?

Chimpanzees cannot talk. This is because their vocal cords are in the higher part of their throats and therefore, they cannot control it the way humans do.

How do Chimpanzees communicate?

Verbally, Chimpanzees join different calls together in a sequence to make a sentence that they understand.

They also use body language and symbols to portray happiness, sadness, empathy, or love.

Uganda Chimps communicate to express emotions in many instances like happiness in meeting a friend or relative, the arrival of food, or courting.

They can express these emotions through patting, embracing, mounting, kissing, and touching.

Are Chimpanzees Aggressive?

Male Chimpanzees sometimes show aggression through physically intimidating demonstrations.

However, they can sometimes fight, especially with outside community members.

Chimpanzees interpret raising the arm, hitting the ground, smiling, compressing lips, or staring directly into one’s eyes as a threat.

Courtship language; when a male wishes to mate, it will shake a branch, stamp its foot, and make some facial and vocal expression as a signal to a female.

Grooming; they may request grooming by scratching the ground while looking at a friend.

Fear; a scared or excited Chimpanzee may show low, closed, or open grins.

The involuntary erection of their hair may also show that they are scared, excited, or terrified.

Playing; in this scenario, chimps display a play face of an open smile, but with the upper teeth covered.

Do All Chimpanzees Get Aggressive? | Are Chimpanzees Dangerous? | How Dangerous Are Chimpanzees? 

Just like humans, Chimpanzees are dangerous when they encounter situations that turn them off!

This could be a result of a misunderstanding with other communities, group members, other animals, or humans. In such a situation, they can be dangerous.

However, you can minimize the chances of them attacking you in the following steps;

Avoid eye contact and smiles, for this, is a sign of aggression to them.

Remove your camera’s flashlight, the Chimpanzee may see the flashlight as a threat or an attraction and thus may want to find out more.

Wear dull colors, these primates are very inquisitive and so it is important to keep shiny clothes, jewelry, or any bright colors away.

Predators Of Chimpanzees | What Are Chimpanzees Predators

Wild animals hunt Chimpanzees too. Major chimp predators are the

  • Leopards
  • Lions
  • Snakes
  • Eagles
  • Crocodiles

The Chimpanzee predators usually feed on the young, old, isolated, and sick who are vulnerable.

However, humans are the greatest threat to Chimpanzees because they destroy their habitats hence exposing them to predators.

When Were Chimpanzees Discovered? | Who Discovered Chimpanzees?

Chimpanzees were discovered in the seventeenth century by scouts who went on a mission in Angola.

Since then, scientists became curious in finding out their relationship with humans.

Human and Chimpanzee lineages split between 5 to 8 million years ago. Since then, the two have always interacted and lived together.

While some individuals in the past hunted them down as food, others respected them because of their human-like physic.

How Many Species Of Chimpanzees Are There? | How Many Types Of Chimpanzees Are There? 

Taxonomically, Chimpanzees are an independent species.

It was formally the same species as the Bonobos, but their lineages split by evolution, and now the Bonobos is on its own.

Therefore, there is one Chimpanzee specie called the Common Chimpanzee. However, different subspecies fall under the Common Chimpanzee.

List of the different subspecies under Common Chimpanzees

  1. Eastern Chimpanzee
  2. Central Chimpanzees
  3. Western Chimpanzee
  4. Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee

Where Are Chimpanzees Native To

The different Chimpanzee sub-species under the Common Chimpanzee are named according to their location.

  1. Eastern Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes Schweinfurthii)

The Eastern Chimpanzee is an endangered subspecies of the Common Chimpanzee and is native to Central and East Africa.

It is found in Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan.

Queen Elizabeth National Park has Eastern Chimpanzees in Uganda.

2. Central Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes Troglodytes)

The Central Chimpanzees are also subspecies of the Common Chimpanzee. They are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Cameroon.

3. Western Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes Verus)

The Western Chimpanzee is also called the West African Chimpanzee. They are a subspecies of the Common Chimpanzees. They are native to West Africa’s Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Sierra Leone.

4. Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes Ellioti)

The Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees are also a subspecies of the Common Chimpanzee. They live in the rainforest of the Nigeria and Cameroon borders.

Common Chimpanzees combine all the above types of Chimpanzees. You can differentiate them by their characteristics. However, they commonly have bare faces, fingers, palms, toes, and soles.

Best Season Of The Year To See The Uganda Chimpanzees In Queen Elizabeth National Park

You can best see Chimpanzees in Queen Elizabeth National Park in the long dry season of June, July, August, and September up to mid-October. 

You can also see them in the short dry season of December, January, and February.

Trekking the Chimpanzees is hard in the wet season because the trails are wet and muddy.

Best Time Of The Day To See Uganda Chimpanzees In Queen Elizabeth National Park

The best time to see Chimpanzees is in the morning session when they are freshly awake and active.

When going Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park, kindly take note of the following,

  • Wear dull colors not to attract the attention of the Chimpanzees.
  • Dress appropriately for the activity, that is
  • Long trousers and shirts to not be hurt by vegetation.
  • Trekking shoes for easy movement.
  • You can wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Also, carry sunglasses to protect you from the sun and insects.
  • Carry what you need for the activity, that is
  • Insect repellant keeps you safe from disturbing insects.
  • A camera for taking photos.
  • Binoculars to do some birding in Uganda.
  • Avoid eye contact and smiling with the Chimpanzees so that they do not feel like they are threatened.
  • Remove your Camera’s flashlight in order not to attract their attention.
  • If a Chimpanzee takes one of your belongings, just let them have it. Chances are they will throw it and you will have your property back.

Why Are Uganda Chimpanzees In Queen Elizabeth National Park Important?

Uganda Chimps in this protected area are important in improving

  • Ecology and Environmental Conservation.

Ecology and Environmental Conservation; Uganda Chimps are seed dispersers. They eat while moving, and so the seeds that they leave in different places later grow into new plants.

Also, Chimps excrete undigested seeds that can grow into new healthy plants.

Economy; through Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, these apes have contributed to income used for the conservation of the Chimps.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is a good place to see the chimps of Africa. It serves as the best place for a remarkable chimp trekking experience.

Book a safari with us now and get to see these unique primates!

Frequently Asked Questions About Chimpanzees 

  1. If Chimpanzees are cousins to humans, why didn’t they evolve?

The lineage of Chimpanzees also went through an evolution. They just evolved into Chimpanzees.

  1. Where Are Chimpanzees Found In The World?

Chimpanzees are mostly found in Central and West Africa. They are mostly in Southern Senegal, the Congo River, Western Uganda, and Western Tanzania.

  1. How many Chimpanzees are left in the wild? | How many Chimpanzees are in the world? | chimpanzees population 210

The chimpanzee population is about 170,000 to 300,000 left in the wild according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

With this number, they are listed as an endangered species.

  1. Are Chimpanzees in danger of extinction? Why are Chimpanzees endangered? Is the African Chimpanzee endangered?

African Chimpanzees have been classified among endangered species.

They are endangered because their numbers are dropping, which means that they are in danger of getting extinct.

  1. What happens if you smile at a Chimpanzee?

While humans perceive a smile as warmth, Chimpanzees interpret it as a threat! They show their teeth when they are afraid, when they feel intimidated or when they are intimidating others.

Therefore, they may charge at you in defense, thinking that you are intimidating them.

  1. Are chimps friendly to humans?

Uganda Chimpanzees in Queen Elizabeth National Park are friendly to humans because some have been habituated. However, one has to take caution while interacting with them because they are still wild animals.

  1. What to do if a Chimpanzee approaches you?

Do not panic! Stay calm and step backward slowly. Make sure that you avoid looking straight into its eyes as you do so.

  1. What is a Chimpanzee afraid of?

Chimpanzees are afraid of human beings who attack, kill or destroy their habitat. They are also afraid of predators.

  1. Are Chimpanzees monkeys?

Chimpanzees are not monkeys. However, the two belong to the same order as primates.

  1. Are Chimpanzees stronger than humans? | Chimpanzees strength

These primates are stronger than humans, and experts say that a Chimpanzee can bring down a human being.

  1. Do Chimpanzees kill each other?

Chimps do kill themselves, especially in group fights where one troop raids the other.

  1. Are Chimpanzees dangerous pets?

Chimpanzees are too dangerous to keep as pets. Apart from their aggressive nature, they can easily spread diseases to people.

Thus, it is better to leave them in the wild.

  1. Why do Chimpanzees eat their own poop?

Chimpanzees do eat their own poop.  However, they rarely do it to pick up undigested seeds. Please note that they only eat their own and that of their close relatives.


Want to visit Queen?

Want to visit the most popular and visited national park in Uganda for an authentic Uganda safari experience?