UGANDA (eTN) – The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has announced that habituation of a new family is currently ongoing in Kibale Forest National Park. This was confirmed by Mr. Raymond Engena, Deputy Executive Director of UWA at a recent stakeholder workshop held in Kampala. This is good news for tourists wanting to experience a chimp safari.
Habituation entails getting the chimpanzees used to the presence of humans (to remove the fear of humans from the group), a process that takes from 2 years up to 7 years.
Conservation Area Manager of Kibale Forest National park, Mr. Edward Asalu, confirmed in a telephone interview that currently there is a large family numbering 1,000 named “Kanyantale” that is open to tourism with the Buraiga family habituation process on going.
However, it is also possible for visitors to track the new family of over 100, because chimpanzees are highly intelligent and adaptable compared to gorillas with regard to being able to quickly distinguish between a ranger and a tourist, added Asalu.
As one of its activities, the park also offers a full-day Chimpanzee Habituation Experience where visitors are able to experience the chimp families as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate, and breastfeed until they build their nests at bed time.
Located 320 kilometers west of the capital, Kibale Forest hosts 1,500 chimpanzees out of the 4,950 found in Uganda, making this the largest concentration of chimps in Africa. The park is also home to 10 other primates including diurnal species like the Red Colobus Monkey, Blue Monkey, Red-tailed monkey, Gray Checked Mangabeys, and Vervet Monkey, as well as butterflies.