Kibale forest National Park is the most Magnificent of Uganda’s tropical rain forest and one of the most rewarding areas to explore. Established at the end of the 18th century covering an area of 795 sq km in size, Kibale boasts of 13 species of primates including the localized Red colobus monkey, Chimpanzee, l’hoest’s monkey and the endemic Uganda mangabey.
Kibale’s major attraction is the Chimpanzees, the delightful apes, most closely to humans than to any other living creature. These can be seen swinging in tree branches as one trek through the forest trails. While you enjoy your tour in this sunny side of nature, you have a life opportunity to sight over 300 bird species. The 180 km – long migration corridor for wildlife also habits mammals like the elusive forest elephant, buffalos, giant forest hog, and a half a dozen antelope species; thereby making it one of the most stunning parks in Uganda.
Situated ideally in the heart of the Toro Kingdom in western Uganda, near Fort portal, the park lies close to the tranquil Ndali-Kasenda crater area and is within a half day’s drive of Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National parks. The park became a government Forest Reserve in the early 1940s.
Activities in Kibale forest national park;
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX);
The chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) allows the visitor to accompany Kibale’s researchers and Habituaters as they follow Chimpanzees during their daily activity, thereby getting them used to human presence without altering their natural behavior. This is an whole day and early visitors may be able to see the spectacular scene of Chimps de- nesting, feeding, copulating, hunting, breast feeding, resting, patrolling and displaying until they build new nest and retire for the night around 7:00 pm.(Advance booking is essential).
Primate Walk (Chimpanzee Tracking)
Also you can experience and participate in the Chimpanzee tracking walks which starts from the Kanyanchu visitor Centre at 8:00am and at 02:00 pm and lasts 2-3 hours. Park guides are readily available to take tourists through this ritual. This walk is for the maximum of 6 persons per group and advance booking is essential.
Day Hikes/ Nature walks;
This is an exploration of the park’s diverse habitats providing very close contact with nature. The walks begin at 08:00 am, 10:00 am, and 02:00 pm and lasts 2-3 hours and it starts from Kanyanchu visitor Centre. Remind your guide to show you the naked Adam and Eve tree, one of Kibale’s unique wonders.
Bird Watching & Night Nature walks;
Kibale National park boasts of 372 bird species of which 60 percent are recorded Uganda’s forest birds. Bird watchers can spot various species of these birds as they enjoy the various activities in the park. Also there is Night Nature walk which allows visitors to track the unique species of birds, animals, and insects such as Bats, Owl, pottos, bush babies, Civets, Genet cat, and Eastern needle nailed, that are most active at night.
Only Children above 12 years are allowed to go into the forest to view the chimpanzees. Kibale has a variety of activities for children under 12 years including educational forest walks of 1-2 hours followed by creative activities like pond dipping, cyanotype photography and Batik-making. Through these educational forest walks, the children can learn about the ecosystem and its inhabitants. Parents can enjoy there forest walk with the knowledge that their Children are occupied in worthwhile activity with trained ranger guide.
Accessibility to Kibale forest
The 795 sq km park can be accessed from Uganda’s capital Kampala along a newly surfaced road via Kasese near Queen Elizabeth national park, The Park can also be accessed from Mubende-fort portal and takes 5-6 hours’ drive,.
Kibale National park has access to two nearest airstrip Nyakisharara in Mbarara about 98 km through Kamwengye and Kasese Airstrip.