Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale National Park is a beautiful Ugandan park with diverse tracts of tropical rain forest and a variety of wildlife, situated in western Uganda adjacent to the Equator. The yearly weather fluctuates around 14 and 27 degrees Celsius and is normally cold.
Boasting 13 distinct primate species, it is recognized as the “primate capital of East Africa.” And over 1,450 chimps are safeguarded inside its 795km2 boundaries.
kibale foresat is by far the greatest spot in East Africa to watch Chimpanzees. The chimps have been habituated for over 26 years, allowing you to witness the big apes in their natural habitat. Children must be 15 years old or older to track the Chimps. If they are younger, they may visit the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary near Entebbe, which is positioned off Lake Victoria. There is a high deck which tourists can observe the chimps as they come from the jungle for their noon snacks.
The forest’s variable height supports a variety of ecosystems, including woodland, Savannah, wet tropical forest, and quasi-dry tropical forest, giving the park the capacity to accommodate creatures from each environment.
Almost 250 kinds of butterflies, as well as reptiles and amphibians, may be found in the park. The reptiles and amphibians need great observation, but the butterflies are “all over the place.” Enjoy seeing the various colorful butterflies as you travel through the jungle in search of chimps and other monkeys.
Kibale forest is a popular birding destination, home to approximately 375 bird species, including six Albertine Rift endemics. It is an outstanding birding location due to its diverse ecosystem and dense foliage, which provide birds with a safe sanctuary and lots of food to dine on. Birding is often done in the early mornings and late evenings for nocturnal species.
Among the park’s primary draws for birders is the green-breasted Pitta. Other bird species to look out for include the Red-chested owlet, Purple breasted sunbird, African Grey Parrot, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Crowned Eagle, little Greenbul, Black Bee eater, White-naped pigeon, andScaly-breasted Illadopsis,Western bronze-napped Pigeon, Nahan’s Francolin, Yellow-throated Nicator, White-headed Wood-hoopoe,
Leopards, Duikers, Forest Elephants, Forest Buffaloes, Golden cats, Warthogs, and Bush Pigs are among the 60 mammal species found in Kibale Forest. In general, forest animals are shyer and more violent, maybe due to the foliage, but also because less people visit the parks than savannah parks, which are frequently bustling with humans. On a good day, you could see a few Elephants, Buffaloes, or Hogs, but you’ll usually only see their tracks since they prefer to flee when they notice movement in the forest.
The main attraction in the forest is looking for chimps, with programs such as chimp trekking and chimp habituation experience attracting the majority of visitors to Kibale National Park. Bush infants, L’Hoest’s monkey, red colobus monkey, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, blue monkey, Vervet monkeys, and Potto are among the 13 primate species found in the park.
Several visitors to Kibale National Park come to see the chimps. Since 1993, chimp trekking has taken place in Kibale woodland. Chimpanzee trekking is done twice a day, early morning at 8am and afternoon at 2pm, so you may select whatever time is best for you, however morning is highly suggested. Before the walk begins, you will gather for a briefing from the ranger guide to hear and learn about the expectations while in the forest as well as other creatures in the park.
Trekkers travel ahead of you and look for where the chimps slept the night before and where they are now. They then send this information to your ranger guide, who will direct you to their position – bear in mind that the chimps are always moving, so they provide the rangers information on the go. You must be prepared to travel long distances and have a rain gears because it can rain at any moment in a tropical jungle. Long-sleeved shirt and pants, suitable waterproof boots, binoculars, camera, and bug repellent are also recommended.
Chimpanzees are habituated for two years before they become accustomed to humans and chimp tracking may begin. Every morning, a visitor joins the rangers and research personnel to observe the chimpanzees leave their nighttime nests before they begin their day routines of eating, foraging, copulating, nursing, monitoring, and sleeping. When this procedure is done over time, the Chimps become accustomed to people, and that family is added to the list of those who can be followed.
The forest is diverse, and since you’re target is on finding the chimps, you may not have enough time to enjoy everything the jungle has to offer. A 12km trek through the forest is an alternative. You may see a wider range of birds and animals here. On some kind of fortunate day, you could see bush pigs, duikers, or elephants. This is only possible during the dry season (December – February and June – September), as most of the path is unavailable during the rainy season. There are also night treks to witness the nocturnal when the other forest dwellers are sleeping. The rangers employ strong lights to track nocturnal animals such as bush babies, hyrax, potto, and, on rare occasions, serval cats and civets. These 2.5-hour treks begin at 7 p.m.
Birding in Kibale Forest is a pleasant adventure; bird walks begin at 7 a.m. every morning, but you must schedule ahead of time so that the rangers can expect you. A diversity of birds, notably Albertine rift endemics, may be found in the area. The Green breasted pitta is the morning target for every birder in Kibale woodland. Grey-throated Flycatcher is another species. Grey-winged Robin, Crested Flycatcher, Blue-shouldered Robin Chat, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Black-billed Turaco, White-naped Pigeon, Red-chested Flufftail, and White-collared Olive-back Masked Apalis, Nahan’s Francolin, Tiny Sunbird, and many more.
When you visit Kibale Forest, you may participate in a variety of community activities and cultural events. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a community effort to conserve the unique eco system that runs along the wetland. With around 138 species, the marsh is a birder’s paradise. Magombe wetland is home to eight different primates. All of them are managed by the community. Visit a women’s project and assist them by purchasing handcrafted items. Tinka’s house is a great spot to prepare and/or enjoy a gourmet dinner. Visit a nearby school.
Tourists may reach the park by flying from Entebbe International Airport to Kasese Airstrip, which is about an hour away from Kibale National Park, or by driving from Kampala via Fortportal to Kibale Forest ( recommended direct route). Furthermore, Kampala – Mbarara – Kibale forest via Ibanda (in case of an activity layover) and ultimately from Queen Elizabeth National Park – Kasese – Fortportal – Kibale forest or Queen Elizabeth National Park – Kasese – Kasekende craters – Kibale national park.
- With the southern region
Chimpanzee Guest house
Kibale forest camp
- The northern region
Papaya Safari Lodge
Mountains of the moon Hotel
Rwenzori View Guest house
- In the park