Chimpanzee Tracking in Kahuzi Biega National Park
The chimpanzee is the other species of the ape in Kahuzi Biega National park. The chimpanzee is so shy that they are encountered only by chance. They live mostly in the low parts of the Kahuzi biega national park where their pant hoots can be heard over a distance of 3 km. in order to make more detailed observation possible, chimpanzee groups have been habituated to humans just like the gorillas. This form of observations is only possible in the volcanic forests near tango in the Virunga national park and watch the primates of Kahuzi Biega.
In tango you are accompanied by guides, it is advisable to make a reservation beforehand. Chimpanzee clearly eats more fruits than the gorillas and they are occasionally eat meat. This meat comes from animals that the chimpanzees have caught. They hunt collectively and their prey is usually another primate like the colobus or species of guenon. It is known that chimpanzee use tools to get at their food. They use sticks to dig out colonies of stingless bees. On the other hand , they don’t crack nuts in the Kahuzi biega national park as they don in west Africa.
The social organisation of chimpanzee shows marked difference to that in the gorillas, several females and males of reproductive age live together with immature animals and off springs. Only females change from one reproductive community to another, therefore the male of one community are generally related to one another. They often move together, signalling the places with a abundant food with loud pant hoots and help each other in fight with neighbours groups. One group can consist of up to 80 individuals however when they search for food they temporarily spilt up into groups of less than 10 animals.
Like gorillas, chimpanzee move several kilometres in a day searching for food and in the evening they build nests in the trees to spend the night. A home ranges of 5 kms is sufficient in the dense primary forest where as it reach 100 km in less wooded habitats.