Chimpanzee habituation experience is for you if interested in learning more about the behavior of chimpanzees and subsequently spend more time in their presence. Please note that this is a scientific experience of getting chimps ‘used’ to humans. It does not mean you will be in the presence of chimps the whole time but you will learn about the chimps all round, collect their droppings, learn about their feeding habits, track them in case you find when they have left their nests. Here are some tips to help you prepare and enjoy your chimpanzee habituation experience.
Just like chimpanzee trekking permits, CHEX permits are booked and purchased prior to your safari especially when you have a particular date you are interested in. This means that once purchased the permits cannot be transferred or reimbursed in case you do not participate in the chimp habituation experience.
You need to wear the right kind of clothing which are comfortable and protective while in the forest. Wear long sleeved shirts and trousers to protect yourself from insect bites and piercings from the vegetation. In addition please carry along an insect repellent for the areas of your skin exposed to insects.
Bring along rain gear because being in the forest the rain patterns are unpredictable especially in the months of April – May and Oct – Nov. Your hiking shoes should be waterproof and comfortable.
This is a whole days activity so you will need to carry packed lunch and lots of water because of the long walks you will make. You are not allowed to smoke, drink or eat in the presence of chimps. The ranger guides will advise you on the place where you should eat. And the same for those who will need to use the bush toilet.
The chimps are swift especially when they are feeding. You have to walk fast at certain time to keep pace. There will also be moments of slow movements especially when collecting different kinds of data.
Photography is allowed but you are not allowed to use the flash. The chimps are generally swift so adjust to the right settings on your camera before you start to avoid missing out on moments to capture the chimps.
I highly recommend the chimpanzee habituation experience for anyone who want to learn more about chimpanzees and spend quality time with them.