Where Do Chimpanzees Live | Distribution and Habitat

It won’t be wrong if I say that chimpanzees are the most intelligent species in the entire animal kingdom—second only to human intelligence. It is arguably one of the great apes which has long been studied and admired for its unique wild behavior. The ape is divided into two species: common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus). The latter is less widespread and is also known as pygmy chimpanzee. Both species are endangered.

Where Do Chimpanzees Live

Chimpanzees are typically found in eastern, western, and central Africa. While many of them live in rainforests others inhabit drier grasslands and other regions.


The common chimp lives all along the southern Senegal east to western Tanzania and Uganda. Bonobo on the other hand is relatively common in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A 765-square-kilometers long Lake Tumba is in the Democratic Republic of Congo where pygmy chimps are hunted to near-extinction. Besides, some African people seem to eat pygmy chimps which have led to their reduction in numbers.

Bonobos are distributed only north of the Kasai River and south of the Congo River. A few of them also inhabits humid forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Central Africa).

Photo Credit: www.lpzoo.org
Photo Credit: www.lpzoo.org


Chimpanzees make homes in a variety of rainforest habitats such as wooded savanna and montane forest where robust chimpanzee is mostly commonly found.

Thanks to its remarkable adaptability common chimps live in swamp forest, dry savanna, ever-green rainforest, and woodland-savanna mosaic.

Gombe Stream National Park is the smallest national in Tanzania. In here chimpanzees have adapted to living in open woodland, evergreen forest, subalpine moorland, semideciduous forest, and in scattered trees.

At Bossou some of the chimps have occupied the primary and secondary forests along with the secondary deciduous forest.

The chimps fall asleep in separate night nest in a tree except infants which stay with their mothers.

While chimps are some of the most adaptable creatures on earth—able to survive in both terrestrial and arboreal environments, they seldom leave their primitive tropical forests.

Chimps typically avoid open areas and like to live in greater range sizes of dry habitats. They have habitat range of 50 square kilometers but at Gombe the range is limited to 4 – 24 square kilometers. During wet season or low temperature chimpanzees fancy using more open parts of their habitats. In general, chimps are least likely to live in open habitats either in trees or on the ground.

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