Chimpanzees are primates found in various countries around Africa and these walk on both their arms and legs a characteristic that is also prominent in their other relatives the Gorillas. They move on all these from one distance to another through the forest with their bodies covered with black hair. These inhabit the Savanna woodlands, grassland-forest mosaics and tropical moist forests around Africa. The chimpanzees of Kibira National Park Burundi are similar to those that inhabit the thick tropical rainforest of Nyungwe in Rwanda the country of rolling hills. These live in communities where the Alpha Male in the group dominates over the rest of the individuals and females are responsible for taking care of every infant in the group. These like their close brothers the Gorillas also feed on fruit, vegetables, insects and sometimes small animals which the Gorillas don’t eat since for their case, they are typically vegetarians. Chimpanzee tracking is a very exceptional activity due to the fact that you will have to track these continuously moving primates in the forest for a period of 3-5 hours in groups of eight and when you meet these, you will spend and interact with them for a period of an hour. However, due o the fact that these are very rare in Kibira National Park, it is hard to estimate how much time it will take for travelers to find them.
Chimpanzee Tracking Rules
- Keep a distance of 7 metres away
- Don’t startle/ make noise around the primates it could provoke them
- You must be in groups of 8 to track the chimpanzees
- You must spend an hour with them when you meet them
- Carry your tracking permits with you before you go to track
- Wear the appropriate tracking gear like trekking boots, rain jackets, cap etc.
- Don’t eat and litter rubbish in the park while tracking
- If you are sick, cancel your trip for these primates are vulnerable to human diseases
- If you sneeze, look on the side then do it bit don’t do it in front of the chimpanzees.
What to Carry for Chimpanzee tracking
- Trekking boots; should be fitting and above the ankles to protect you from any bush thickets that might pierce you. These will also enable you navigate over slippery surface with ease.
- Long sleeved shirts; these should be simple and smooth as well as covering to protect you from thorns that might pierce you when you touch the branches.
- A rain Jacket; this will shield/ protect you from rainfall that usually falls almost anytime due to the location of the country near the equator.
- Long pants/ trousers; these should not be jeans to enable you trail through the various paths with ease. In case of any rainfall, these dry up more easily compared to jeans.
- Gardening woolen gloves; these should be covering, soft and warm to give you comfort while tracking the primates.
- A sweater; to warm you up in the evenings.
- A hat/ cap; to cover and hinder you from the rain.
- A camera with no flash; this will enable you take clear photos of the primates for flashes make them uncomfortable hence provoking them.
- Water back pack bag; this will keep your water for drinking all the time.
- Woolen socks to wear in the shoes to keep you warm.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibira N Park
The thick forest of Kibira National Park inhabits various wildlife animals especially primates like the chimpanzees that are reported to have been spotted interacting and enjoying their lives. Finding the shy intelligent primates in the forest is quite difficult due to the thickness of the vegetation terrain and when you meet them by chance, you will enjoy spotting them at a distance. You will also view other wildlife species like the blue monkeys jumping and playing in the trees as well as the giant Forest squirrels. There are also various bird species like the great blue Turaco that inhabit the forest. However, chimpanzee tracking at Kibira National Park is not popularly carried out due to the lack of adequate information about this destination as well as exposure. But this has improved over the years since penetrating the forest includes moving with a guide or skilled ranger who will enable you navigate through with ease from one place to another in search of these intelligent primates.