Chimpanzees, together with gorillas, humans and orangutans belong to the Hominidae family who also share 98% of the DNA.These primates are currently found in the far North of the Congo River. They have been considered as distinct since 1928.The Chimpanzees together with the Bonobo were once considered to be of the same species, the most common difference is that they are somewhat more larger , more aggressive and more male dominated whilst the Bonobo are gracile , peaceful and mostly female dominated, but both have a common characteristic that they are equally human’s closest relatives and are rated amongst the largest brained and most intelligent primate.
The chimpanzees are very shy primates are rarely encountered in the lower parts of Kahuzi Biega National park.The chimpanzees’ pant hoots are heard at adistance of 3km, and luckily they have been habituated in the volcanic forest near tango of Virunga national park.
Socially the Chimps live in Multi-male and multi-female communities within which the individual’s positions and influence on other dictates a definite a social hierarchy where the alpha male is the high ranking male that controls the group and susceptible for the groups security.The dominant male in the chimpanzee community does not entirely depend on the size and the strength , but rather depends on the manipulative and the political skills that the male chimp possesses to manage the community.
The alpha male regularly displays by puffing his normally slim coat up to increase view size and charge to seem as threatening and as powerful as possible; this behaviour serves to intimidate other members and thereby maintain power and authority, and it may be fundamental to the alpha male's holding on to his status. Lower-ranking chimpanzees will show respect by submissively gesturing in body language or reaching out their hands while grunting. Female chimpanzees will show deference to the alpha male by presenting their hindquarters.
Dominant females will also ally to dominate lower-ranking females: whereas males mainly seek dominant status for its associated mating privileges and sometimes violent domination of subordinates, females seek dominant status to acquire resources such as food, as high-ranking females often have first access to them. Both genders acquire dominant status to improve social standing within a group.
Community female acceptance is necessary for alpha male status; females must ensure that their group visits places that supply them with enough food. A group of dominant females will sometimes remove an alpha male which is not to their preference and back another male, in whom they see potential for leading the group as a successful alpha male.
Chimp habituation tours
Chimp trekking in Congo
Enjoy your interesting and memorable day as you watch the whole season of habituation for the chimpanzee group you are visiting and get very nice camera shots of chimpanzees doing various things as the day goes on, identify the unique features and differences that set each one apart, and learn how to identify the different chimpanzees
Accomodation at virunga national park
Enter into this luxurious hotel tucked at the forested hillside of Virunga National park. head quarters making.Aperfect accomodation for easy tracking and habituation of chimpanzees, as well as spotting mountain gorillas and volcano climbs.The place is made up up of lava stones with fire place and aterrace
Just like gorillas, tracking chimpanzees takes you through a whole process from briefing whereby you are told about the group, the topography, and the maximum time spent in the presence of the chimps on your encounter.
NB.However, chimp tracking is not a common activity in Congo because the best chimp tracking experience can be done in Nyungwe National park in Rwanda, although a fee of $100USD per individual for your habituation experience will be required
Chimp Habituation Tour and tracking in Congo's Virunga national Park, is now possible for both tourists and visitors to take on in that its done on any day, any date in the forest near the headquarters of the park in Rumangabo. The travelers living in Mikeno lodge always have great opportunities of habituating these primates.The park rangers leave their camps as early at 4:30am, to locate the chimpanzees by following the route where the chimpanzees spent the previous night, after then the tracking group consisting of 4 people at maximum will set off for the jungle at exactly 6:00am, and on their encounter, a period of an hour will be provided to stay in the presence of the chimps
Chimpanzees are extremely susceptible to human illnesses, and can easily die after a short period of time when openly exposed to human respiratory viruses and other common ailments.