Kibale National ParkAncient
The Home for Chimpanzees
Kibale is a vast National Park, located in Western Uganda, 26km south-east of Fort Portal town. The Park protects a vast lock of rainforests, excellent for bird watching. It is beautifully a home to the greatest variety of Primates not commonly found anywhere in Africa at large. Because of the varied altitude of the forest, different types of habitats find solace here. These range from the wet tropical forest on the Fort-portal plateau, through the moist semi deciduous forest, to the woodland and savanna on the floor of the rift valley.
Kibale National Park is a home for Primatologists, hosting over 1000 Chimpanzees, of which a community of them have been habituated to tourist visits. The park’s vast domains also give the tourists a good eye-catch on the various monkey species. These include the handsome L’Hoest’s monkey, the black and white colobus and the acrobatic red colobus. Kibale National park has the richest Ecosystems in the whole of Africa. It harbors a mild species of over 375 birds, 27 frog and toad species, 14 species of snakes, and the beautifully varied colored butterflies of at least 200 species in number.
The park also boasts of wide diversity of fauna and flora, evidenced with the high hanging green tree canopied branches. These are a source of food to the inhabitants, including the birds, monkeys, chimpanzees and other wildlife within the park. Kibale national park in the most accessible park of all the large forest Parks in Uganda. It lies in between the Murchison Falls National park in the North, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable National park in the South.
How to get there
Kibale National Park can easily be accessed by road. Drive to the land of the Batooro people, Fort Portal, to Kamwenge crossing River Mpanga. At this point, you will be able to see the sign posts directing you to Kibale Forest National Park. The stretch is about 24 km long taking you to Kanyanchu Tourist Center, from where you will be received by your hosts. If departing from Kampala, the journey lasts about 4-5 hours to the park.
Activities in Kibale National Park
Kibale National park is the premier point in East Africa for Chimpanzees and a host to 13 other primate species. With over 1500 chimps, you have 97% chance to see the chimps as you go on your tracking experience. You will also be able to see other primates, which makes it a diverse destination park. The high success rate of Chimpanzee tracking renders the park one of the best destinations for many visitors to the country. The well designed tracking program brings about the hike in the numbers of tourists to the well balanced ecosystem forest.
Guided walks in the forest also give the visitor a chance to see other primates, besides the Chimpanzees. Some of these include; Grey-cheeked Mangabey, Guereza Colobus, Olive Baboon, the blue L’Hoest’s, Gentle and Red-tailed Monkeys mostly found in open areas adjacent to the forest. You may find evidence of Elephant, Bush Pig and Buffalo along the trails, Bushbuck, Blue, Harvey’s among other shy inhabitants.
Other activities to do
KIbale Forest National Park provides a delightful ambiance to butterfly lovers and birders. With over 335 bird species recorded, the park rests as one of the top birders’ and botanists’ destination. Some of these include; the Red-winged Francolin, African Pitta, Red-chested Fluff tail, White-napped Pigeon, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Green-breasted Pitta, Joyful Green bull, Grey-winged Robin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, White-bellied Crested Fly-Cather, Masked and Black-capped Apalises, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Chestnut-winged Starling, Orange-tufted and Tiny Sunbirds, Grey-headed Olive-back.
The park is an ideal place for all tourists who lave butterflies, having over 250 species. It is a really good lookout for butterfly enthusiasts.
At the fall of night, set out foot to the dense tropical park with a guide as the well-orchestrated nocturnal world sounds. With provided spot lights from the park’s headquarters, you head out to see the creatures of the night, whilst trekking in the marked trails. You may see owls, genets, the small jungle cats, pottos, among others.
Bigodi Swamp Walk
This day walk in Kibale National Park offers you one of the best bird watching moments on you Uganda Safari. The park boosts with over 335 bird species. Bigodi swamp’s rich ecosystem offers a magnificent environment for a number of primates, like the Grey-cheeked Mangabey, and blue L’Hoest’s. The walk lasts between 2-3 hours and is often tailored to the interests of the individual. Proceeds from the walk go to the Bigodi community projects run by the local people of the land.
- Being a Tropical rainforest, most of the animals keep wandering from place to place in search for food. Therefore, you have to be fit for the trek.
- Please, keep in a group following your guides instructions at all times. so that you may not to get lost or avoid attacks by the wild animals
- Do not to enter the forest in case of any sickness, for this risks the animals contracting the diseases from Humans.
- Visitors should maintain an 8 meters’ distance from the Chimps whenever sighted. With close contact, they may seem violent in self-defense and protection.
- Please, do not eat when near the chimpanzees or any other primates in the park.
- Carry along boots, insect repellants, long sleeved shirts and Jackets, trousers and water proof cloths for you will be in a Rainforest.
- Children below the age of 15 do not to go for Chimpanzee Tracking.
When best to book and Visit
You can book a Chimpanzee Trekking safari to Kibale Forest National Park any time of the year. However, we recommend that you can best make your booking in the dry season from May to September, or December to February. The Chimpanzee Tracking permit goes for USD 150, while that of a whole day Chimpanzee Habituation Permit goes for USD 200. Effective July 2020, a Chimpanzee Tracking permit will go for USD 200 while the Habituation permits will be at USD 250. The Chimpanzee permits are only and only issued by the Uganda wildlife Authority, with head Quarters in Kampala. Make your booking of 2 days’ Chimpanzee Trekking Safari to Kibale National park, or 4 days’ Chimps and Gorilla Safari for your stay in Uganda.
Accommodation around Kibale National Park ranges from Budget to Super luxury option and the onus is on the individual to choose the option to take on. Some of the accommodation options include;
Super Luxury Accommodation: Kyaninga Lodge
Luxury Accommodation: Primate Lodge, Papaya lake side lodge.
Moderate/ Standard Accommodation: chimpanzee corteges, Isunga lodge, mountains of the moon
Budget Accommodation: Kibale forest camp, Chimpanzee Guest House, Rwenzori view guest house