Kibale Forest National Park Tour-Chimpanzee trekking safari in Uganda, Chimpanzee habituation in Uganda, Primate safaris and birding tours in Uganda, community tours
Kibale National park is positioned in the two districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge in western part of Uganda. The park covers an estimated area of about 795km and it’s acknowledged to have one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forests. The park was established in 1993 to help protect the large areas of natural forest that were at first managed and protected as a logged Forest Reserve. The park is the only Park in the whole of east Africa that has both montane and lowland forests. It’s also considered to the only park in Uganda the pearl of Africa that has the highest number of primates with 13 different species inhabited in the park including many families of chimpanzees and several types of Columbus monkeys. Bushbuck, waterbuck, duiker and giant forest hog may also be seen. The forests and the grasslands support abundant bird life – almost 375 species have been identified and 144 types of butterfly.
Unique tourist’s attractions in Kibale Forest National Park
Primate species/Chimpanzees Kibale Forest National Park
The diversity and density of primates in Kibale is the highest in Africa. The most famous of its 13 species is the chimpanzee, our closest relative, Kibale’s 1450 chimpanzee represent Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate. Kibale is also home to the rare I’Hoest’s monkey and East Africa’s largest population of the threatened red colobus monkey. Other primates include the black and white colobus, blue monkey, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkey, olive baboon, bush baby and potto.
Other Wildlife in Kibale Forest National Park
Though Kibale is famous for its varied primate species, the natural habitat in the park also home to an approximated 70 mammal species and these are thriving in the highly endowed perimeters of the park .The park has the ground-dwelling animals but these are rarely seen in the dense ever green forests of Kibale national park. Among the other species which can be easily seen in the park include the approximated number of 500elephants that are reported to be living in the forest park, other mammal species involve the buffalos, bush pigs species, warthogs, leopards, duikers and golden cat .The rare species that may be only sighted by keen observers include the reptiles, amphibians and also the colorful variety of 250 individual species of butterflies.
Bird species in Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale forest park is proud of more than 375 birds species and these include the 6 birds species that are endemic to the Albertine Rift region, namely black-capped apalis, blue-headed sunbird, collared apalis, purple-breasted sunbird ,dusky crimson-wing,and red-faced woodland warbler. Other Kibale species include the African pitta, green breasted pitta, black bee-eater, yellow spotted nicator, yellow rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, black-eared ground thrush, brown-chested alethe, blue-breasted kingfisher, Abyssinian gound-thrush, and the crowned eagle.
Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary in Kibale Forest National Park
Bigodi is the only Sanctuary in the park that is blessed with variety of wonderful scenery and of eco-system; the impressive wetland is safe haven for bird lovers. It protects an estimated number of 138 bird species. Located outside the park in Magombe Swamp, Bidogo wetland is also natural home to about eight individual species of primates and these include the white-and-black colobus, grey-cheeked mangabey ,the red-tailed and East African’s threaten species of the L’Hoest’s and blue monkeys and the olive baboons. Bushbucks and mongooses can also be sighted in the sanctuary. The sanctuary was established to help preserve the threatened environmental features and the wetland resources. The wetland Sanctuary is managed and preserved with the local community around the park and the revenue generated from tourists is used to fund community development projects.
Interesting Tourists activities in Kibale Forest National Park
Primate Walk and Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest National Park
With 13 primate species, primate walk is the main activity done in Kibale forest national park. This highly rewarding activities in Kibale start from the Kanyanchu Visitor Centre at 08.00 and 15.00 and lasts 2-3 hours. Out of 9 diurnal primates namely L’Hoest’s , vervet, red-tailed, greycheeked manabey, blue monkeys, red colobus, black and white colobus, olive baboon, Chimpanzees are the most sought after by visitors, Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds are good with the chance of encountering them being high.Whilst trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be entertained by the bird song and can expect to see at least 5 or 6 other types of primate, most probably the grey-cheeked managebey and the red-tailed monkey.
Bird watching in Kibale Forest National Park
With an estimated number of 375 Bird species in Kibale forest, the park is safe destination where visitors can watch wide –range of bird species. Bird watching tours in the park mainly starts at 7am at Kanyanchu which is located in the middle of the park. The rare species of birds which can be viewed in the park include the Papyrus Gonolek that can be easily found in the wetlands of the park, White-winged Warbler as well as the White-collared Olive back and Papyrus Canary. The other prominent birding areas in the park include the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary which is situated just few kilometers outside the park, .The wetland is home to roughly 138 bird species and these can be easily seen by the visitors participating in guided walks along the trails developed in the wetland and also other visitors can use the viewing plat forms set in the broad walking trails to enjoy the sights and sounds of the various bird species found this area. The different bird species which can be watched include White-spotted Fluff tail, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Black Bishop as well as Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet.
Swamp Walk- Bigodi, Kibale Forest National Park
The trail developed in the Sanctuary offers one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa and gives walkers the attractive prospect of seeing various different primate species in just a few hours. Bigodi’s rich ecosystem makes it a spectacular venue for viewing numerous primate and bird species in their natural habitats. This two to three-hour walk can be tailored to your individual schedule and interests. All proceeds from this walk goes to developing community projects in the area and that are how the community is benefiting from the presence of Kibale National Park.
How to access Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale forest national park can be accessed from Kampala via Mubende to Fort portal (300km) and then connect to Kanyanchu (36km). The northern approach is shorter and quicker, with a 300km tarmac road running to Fort Portal followed by 36km on murram to Kanyanchu. Sebitoli Forest Camp, a secondary tourism Centre, is even easier to reach. This stands directly on the Kampala road, 16km before Fort Portal.
MAP SHOWING HOW TO GET TO KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK UGANDA
MAP SHOWING THE OFFICIAL LOCATION OF KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Where to stay in Kibale Forest National Park
While at Kibale Forest national park, one should not worry about the lodge to stay because there are various lodges suitable for relaxation and overnight. Within the park, there is Primate Lodge Kibale, Sebitoli Camping Ground, In Bigodi area; there is Kibale Safari Lodge, Chimps’ Nest, Kibale Forest Camp and Mantana Tented Camp.