There are many things to see and do in the area of Chimps’ Nest.
The main attraction is the chimpanzee trekking managed by UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) but there are many more interesting activities outside the park.
We offer forest walks and night walks in our forest that directly borders the unfenced National Park. Our community walk takes you around the country side of neighbouring Nyabubale village.
Next to Nyabubale village lies the magombe swamp where KAFRED carries out its renowned Bigodi swamp walk. More local activities start from KAFRED headquarters in Bigodi, the starting point of the swamp walk.
Furthermore the lodge is an excellent starting point for day trips to the crater lakes, Fort Portal, Semuliki National Park, Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Mpanga gorge, tea estates and the Rwenzori Mountains.
Without a doubt our most popular and interesting activity is our night walk. Even guests from other lodges come here to see the bush baby and the potto, but also sightings of forest elephants, civet cats, genet cats, serval cats, bush pigs, monitor lizards, bushbucks, several species of snakes, bats, moth, nightjars and other birdspecies have been recorded over the past years.
On our forest walk you may find various species of primates and birds that live in Kibale Forest and the Magombe swamp. Examples of primates are the red colobus, black and white colobus, red tail monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, l’hoest monkey, blue monkey, baboon and of course the chimpanzee. We have sightings of rare birdspecies like the shining blue kingfisher, green chested pitta and white naped pigeon but also many other more common birds of Uganda like the blue turaco and the crowned eagle.
Our community walk leads you through the country side of Nyabubale along several homes where you can interact with locals from the area, see how they live, cook, work etc. Depending on day and time you can visit a primary school and a church. Most visitors find this a perfect moment to hand out some old clothes and other stuffs they brought from their home country.
Activities in the area
Chimpanzee trekking / habituation
Tracking chimpanzees is a very fascinating experience. Get your walking shoes on as you move through the jungle to spend one hour with our fascinating relatives, watching them swing through the trees or relax on the ground right in front of you.
Chimpanzees are our closest relatives sharing about 98% of their DNA composition with humans. They are sociable, intelligent as well as communicative and among their very fascinating traits is the ability to utilize tools.
The chances of seeing the chimps are more than 95% in Kibale Forest which makes it the best place in East Africa to track chimps. Because the number of permits for each day is restricted, you are advised to book in advance, especially when travelling in the high season. It is possible to get these permits through Chimps’ Nest.
It is also possible to do the habituation experience, which means you can spend the whole day with them, not just one hour. This way you stand an even greater chance of not only seeing them, but also see them both in the trees and on the ground. We actually recommend this activity at Chimps’ Nest to our guests who have the time to do it.
We can provide packed breakfast and lunch for people who are going on the chimpanzee habituation experience.
WHAT TO BRING
-Wear shoes with good traction, suitable for steep muddy slopes
-Long sleeved clothes for moving through the jungle
-Rain gear, as the weather can be unpredictable
-Enough water and food
When taking photos, remember your subjects are black animals in dim light, and flash is not allowed. Use a fast film (400-800 ASA) or use these settings on your digital camera.
Note: The minimum age for tracking the chimps is 15 years
Magombe swamp walk
The Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary features 8 primate species, numerous other interesting mammals, over 200 bird species, many reptiles, and uncounted varieties of trees, shrubs and vines.
Visitors may tour the wetlands only when accompanied by a trained Sanctuary guide. The best start times for the tour, which takes up to 3 hours, are 7:30-9 AM or 3 PM. The tour goes deep into the wetlands, in many places on boardwalks that are just above the water.
On your tour, you will likely see several kinds of monkeys including black and white colobus, red colobus, mangabey, red tail, vervet, and L’Hoest. Other wetlands mammals include baboons, sitatunga (an increasingly endangered swamp antelope), bush pigs, civet cats, mongooses, bush bucks and an occasional chimpanzee.
Birds are everywhere in the Sanctuary. Perhaps the favorite of visitors is the great blue turaco. Also frequently seen are varieties of papyrus gonoleks, hornbills, waxbills, weavers, cuckoos, kingfishers, flycatchers, and many, many others. You will be surrounded by a profusion of trees, shrubs, vines and flowers of all kinds on your walk.
We can organize your permits for chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation free of charge, providing you stay in one of our cottages.
Chimps’ nest is surrounded by many crater lakes. All beautiful and most of them are easy to access. It is possible to make a tour by car and visit some crater lakes with wildlife (monkeys) and also with interesting villages. It is also possible to take walks from 3 to 5 hours. During the walks you may see stunning panoramas, stretches of forest with monkeys, local villages, tea plantations and the peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Semuliki NP and Semliki WR
Semuliki National Park is the only lowland jungle in East Africa. A stretch of Forest from Congo. Semuliki has many endemic bird species and it is possible to see forest Elephants and Forest Buffalo here. Semuliki NP is also home to the Sempaya Hot Springs.
Semliki Wildlife Reserve is a half forested, half Savannah area. This is the real wild Africa with Forest Elephants, Buffalo, Lions, Antelopes, Monkeys and chimps. This park is not visited very often and is very special. It is also possible to make boat trips on Lake Albert to see many bird species including the Shoebill Stork.
The nearest city to Kibale Forest is Fort Portal. Fort Portal is a very clean and lively city. See the real local life in Fort Portal. You can visit interesting markets and shops. Fort Portal also has a large variety of bars, clubs and restaurants.
There are many tea estates around Chimps’ Nest. Some of them are open for public. Visiting them means you can see how the tea grows, how it is harvested and how it is processed in the factories.
Visible from Chimps’ Nest are the snow capped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. You can organize a day tour to the beautiful National Park on the border between Uganda and Congo and it is also possible to spend more days there, while camping on the slopes of the mountains.
Mpanga gorge and Mpanga Falls
Mpanga gorge and Mpanga Falls are located near Queen Elizabeth National Park, on the Kibale Forest side. The Mpanga Gorge contains the largest Cycad Forest population in the world. Cycads are an ancient plant believed to have survived over 200-300 million years, being the oldest living species on earth. The gorge and falls and very beautiful and can be visited in one day.
We accept the payment methods above for bookings.
On site we only accept payments in cash (USD or Ugandan Shillings)