Feeding behaviour in chimpanzees varies seasonally and is greatly influenced by food availability and habitat type. The feeding repertoire of chimpanzees over their range shows much variation, some of which cannot be explained by differences in biological environments. The differences in feeding behaviour also reflects traditional and possibly cultural variants among communities. There are also differences in food processing techniques and the use of plants for self-medication purposes.
Chimpanzees are omnivorous and have a diverse diet. Fruit usually comprises the largest portion of their diet but they are also known to eat flowers, bark, roots and tubers, tree gum and insects such as adult termites (Isoptera sp.), ants (Dorylus sp. and Oecophylla longinoda), and the larvae and eggs of ants, bees and several species of beetles such as the Raphia coleopteran and Rhynchophorus quadrangulus.
Different communities vary in the diversity of their dietary repertoire and the proportion of low-quality foodstuffs they consume. They also incorporate different insect prey into their diet, with some being ignored at some sites while consumed at others.
It is mostly the male chimpanzees who hunt, and they tend to do so opportunistically. They prey on duikers, young bushbuck, baboons and other monkeys. However, chimpanzees often spend time peacefully near these species, virtually ignoring them. Attacks are usually quick and well coordinated and generally successful. Chimpanzees become intensely excited during hunts, and engage in intense excitement for the spoils. Normally, there is not enough to be shared. The killer has full rights to the meat and the other chimpanzees are left begging. Infanticide by adult males has also been observed with the infants being eaten.