I started the day with a 5:30am wakeup call as I was ready and excited to go trekking with chimps today. At the park gate of Kibale National Park, I was assigned to a ranger who would assist the group during the trek. The Kibale National Park known as one of best places to see primates, is 795 square km with several species of primates including over 450 chimps. There are a total of 3 chimp communities that are habituated here but only one is used for tourism. Each community consists of roughly 120 chimps.
After about 45 mins of trekking into the forest, we heard this drum like sound and then distinctive call of the chimps. Our guide told us that males will drum on tree roots, which stand 4 -5 tall and 3 feet wide, to show their dominance. As we got closer to the sound, we could see them high up in the trees. After several minutes of watching, a couple of them decided to come down the tree and the trekking part of the day was on. We followed our guide through think forest trying to keep up with the chimps. Eventually we followed the chimps to a much bigger group where some were feeding in the trees and others were grooming each other. We would spend an hour with the chimps watching them as they went along with their day as if we weren’t even there. Seeing the little ones playing in the tree was my favorite part of the experience but all of it was an adventure. After the trek, I would return to the lodge were I had some time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Tomorrow, I fly to Bwindi where I will be trekking with the Gorillas, something I have been wanting to do for a long time.