Are chimpanzees dangerous? No and Yes! Chimpanzees are not known to be dangerous animals unless provoked out of their peace or comfort. Like mountain gorillas the chimpanzees are peaceful animals, they are not repellent to humans, that’s why it’s possible to trek them. You can be in the chimpanzee’s presence for an hour without them minding you or your presence, more than an hour you start to irritate them and they may become agitated with your presence, but even when they are agitated with your presence they will walk away from you, without attacking you or harming you in any way.
So chimpanzees are nor dangerous. However you should know that even if they are known not to be dangerous animals if threaten or attacked in anyway, the chimpanzees will fight you heavily, they may live you for dead. They will bite you with their teeth and fangs to weaken you, they will wrestle you, kick you, stomp you and drag you around until they feel you incapacitated, or you are not able to harm them anymore or in anyway.
This means as you go for that mountain gorilla trekking experience you should be careful not to do anything that will anger the chimpanzees or even cause them to feel threaten in any way.
Also for the sake of the conservation of the chimpanzees, you are advised to always observe the given rules and guidelines of the chimpanzee trekking experience to maintain the conservation of the chimpanzees.
The rules and guidelines of chimpanzee trekking include:-
- Maintaining a 7 meter distance between you and chimpanzees
- Do not use flash photography when taking the chimpanzee photos
- Do not engage in any behavior that can harm the chimpanzees
- Do not touch the chimpanzees
- Do not feed the chimpanzees
- Do not litter the chimpanzees habitat
- Stay in your trekking group
- Do not trek when your ill
- Follow all the trekking guidelines as communicated to you by the guides.
These are many others guidelines are the ones you follow when on a chimpanzees trekking experience.
Chimpanzee trekking experiences in Uganda majorly take place in Kibale National Park – though the country has as chimpanzee habitats. In Rwanda the chimpanzee trekking experiences take place in Nyungwe National Park. The trekking experiences are done all year round though there are high numbers of trekkers in the dry seasons compared to the wet seasons.
On the trekking day you will start with a briefing at the park headquarters and then head into the forest to look for the chimpanzees for about 2 to 3 hours. When you find them you will then spend an hour in their presence before you trek out of the forest. Usually chimpanzee trekking will be done in the morning hours from 7am upto 12pm but lately afternoon treks are becoming popular and these start from 2pm and end at around 5pm, so start as early as 1pm.
The fees to these trekking experiences are different for each country as is the case for mountain gorillas trekking. In Rwanda chimpanzee trekking fees are USD 90 for non-residents and USD 60 for residents, in Uganda the chimpanzee trekking fees are USD 120 foreign non-residents, USD 110 for foreign residents and 80 USD for nationals and East Africans.
Unlike the mountain gorilla trekking where you have to book permits in advance at least a month or 3 months before time, for chimpanzee trekking you can get a permit even on the day of trekking. Also for chimpanzee trekking as many as 12 people can be in one trekking group so it’s more accommodative compared to the restricted number of 8 in a mountain gorilla trekking group.