Visiting Kibale Forest National Park Uganda

Visiting Kibale Forest National Park Uganda


Kibale Forest National Park is located western Uganda Kabarole and Kamwenge district which covers an area of about 795 sq km extending southwards from Fort Portal district. Kibale Forest National Park lies in one of the loveliest and most varied pieces of tropical forest in Uganda. The Kibale Fort Portal area is one of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to explore in Uganda which lies close to the tranquil Ndali-Kasenda crater area. Kibale National Park hosts the biggest number of Chimpanzees in East Africa over 5000 Chimpanzees lying on an altitude that is estimated to be 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) to 1,600 metres (5,200 ft.) in elevate. Visiting Kibale Forest allows you to discover another world beyond Savannah and arid plains, Chimpanzee Trekking, hiking, biking, Crater Lake Hikes, Caving, Cultural Visit, Bigodi wetlands sanctuary known as haven of bird species – teamed with Primates, Birds, and Mammals.

Wildlife in Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest has one of the highest diversity and concentration of primates in Africa. Kibale Forest National Park is home to 13 species of primates, a total of at least 70 other species of mammals, and over 250 tree species. The primate capital’s chief attraction is the Chimpanzee, a cheeky and intelligent tailless ape with 97.8% human DNA and human-like limbs and behavior. Kibale Forest is home to a large number of endangered chimpanzees with more than 5000 Chimps in the Park. Some Chimp families are habituated for tourism and research while others are left to wander and multiply in the thick jungle. Other primate species found in the park include; Olive baboon, Red colobus, Eastern black and white colobus, blue monkey, Potto, grey checked Mangabey, red tailed monkey, bush baby, coppery tailed white nosed monkey, Vervet monkey, and L’Hoest’s monkey. Other terrestrial mammals that are found within Kibale National Park include red and blue duikers, bush bucks, Sitatunga, bush-pigs, giant forest hogs, common warthogs, and African buffalo. The carnivores that are present include leopards, African golden cats, duiker, several different mongooses and two species of otter.

Bird life in Kibale Forest National Park

Birding Uganda
Kibale forest is also a popular destination for birders. A list of 375 species forest grassland and swamp species includes birds endemic to Kibale forest and a number of Central African specials at the eastern limit of their range. Such bird species include White-tailed Ant-thrush Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Black-crowned Wax bill Yellow-billed Barbet, , Grey-winged Robin-chat, Bocage’s Bush-shrike , Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, , Western Nicator, Black Bishop, and White-breasted Negro finch among others. This can be seen while on your chimpanzee trekking safari, nature walk on the forest trails at Kanyanchu and Sebitoli tourism sites and in the community-run Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary on the edge of the park near Kanyanchu. There are also Albertine Rift valley birds such as dusky crimson wing, black-capped apalis, blue-headed sunbird, collared apalis, red-faced woodland warbler and purple-breasted sunbird.

What to do in Kibale Forest National Park

The major activity in Kibale Forest National Park is Chimpanzee tracking with a limited number of permits in the morning and afternoon per day – Permits must be booked before since they are on a very high demand all year round. Bird watching, forest walk, community walk, Bigodi wetland, visiting abameere ganyina’mwiru Caves, Visiting beautiful Crater Lakes lying between Fort Portal and Kibale Forest, Chimpanzee Habituation experience, Visit Kihingami Wetland and so on.

Bird watching in Kibale Forest National Park
Birding in Kibale forest National Park in prime activity which commence in early morning at Kanyanchu headquarters, it’s divisible to tourist to book birding watching activity like the day before for proper arrangement. Infrequent species include the Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, White-collared Olive back and Papyrus Canary. Visit Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary for bird watching activity is found just outside the park, it holds about 138 bird species which may be viewed during guided walks along the board walk trail and viewing platforms. These could include the White-spotted Fluff tail, White-tailed Ant-thrush Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Black-crowned Wax bill Yellow-billed Barbet, Grey-winged Robin-chat, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Western Nicator, Black Bishop, and White-breasted Negro finch among others.

Visiting Abameere ganyina’mwiru Caves
Visiting abameere ganyina’mwiru caves is one of the amazing caves which have a lot of natural wonder as well as cultural legends attached to them which will not leave you the same. Visiting Nakayima Witch’s Tree which is a traditional worship and cultural site, its located on top of a hill along the road to and from Kibale Forest National Park therefore it has a really beautiful view and its most known as the Witch’s Tree. Stunning breath taking scenery on beautiful crater lakes near Kibale Forest National Park, taking a hike to the crater lakes is worthy a while, it takes over about 3 hours, where you pass through villages, walk past tea plantation as you enjoy the beautiful scenery once you reaches on the top.

Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest National Park
Trekking chimpanzee in Kibale National Park has two sessions which both starts from the Kanyanchu Visitor centre, morning and afternoon session. Trekking chimpanzee in protected area known for moist evergreen rain forest in Kibale Forest National Park is enriching experience in Uganda, and is a very rewarding experience in the most sought after primate by visitors, but you should look out for the black & white Colobus, red tailed monkey or the grey cheeked Mangabey. Your guides will be able to show you pittas & different bird species and will give details of the tradition of the plant species within the forest. This walk is for 6 people in a group. Advance booking is all-important especially during Peak Sea. While on your chimpanzee tracking experience, you will be able to meet other primates other than the chimpanzees and some other mammals such as the forest elephants, duikers or buffaloes on your lucky day. Chimps can be spotted busy feeding on fig tree or you may also meet them on the ground. Chimpanzee tracking gives you an opportunity to see the chimpanzees in the their natural setting busy breast feeding, some even breeding, grooming each other, and you will be able to see their real life setting and also you will be able to hike and see some other tree species. Many butterfly species do exist within the park, you also be able to watch the butterflies.

Cultural encounters
Visiting the culture community around Kibale Forest National Park which is incredible awarding, there are mainly two tribes around the park, the Bakiga and Batoro which, despite belonging to the same ethnic group, having distinctive and differing customs. Tourists can extend their nature walks into the villages located at the park’s vicinity. One may even visit the local schools and churches to discover the People’s way of life. Most lodges around the Park prepare special cultural activities for their guests. These range from traditional dances, folk songs, local food, and traditional fashion shows.

Visiting Crater Lakes
Uganda Crater Lakes Safaris
Kibale Forest National Park is located in the Rift valley region of western Uganda where the gorgeous crater lakes are found. The Ndali-Kasenda craters can be visited En-route to the park, and the rest of the craters can be visited as a separate activity on a typical ‘best of Western Uganda’ itinerary. There are more than seventy crater lakes in western Uganda most of which are found around fort portal, Kasese and Kabale. Tourists can visit the crater lakes and the nearby parks in a single week-long safari. The Chimpanzee habituation experience can also be complemented with a gorilla tracking safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience in Kibale Forest National Park is awesome experience one has to encounter while on his safari in Uganda. This chimpanzee adventure takes visitors the whole day of chimpanzee exploration while acquainting them to human presence. It is conducted by park trackers/researchers and visitors starting early in the morning till sunset. This adventure is usually done all year round, the activity starts early at 6am before chimps come out of their nests until evening when they return to their nests.

Kanyanchu River Camp
Kanyanchu is found in the central part of Kibale forest national park, is the key trail head for the park’s well-known forest walks, the most common trail from where primates walk as they are coming from the forest. The forest consists of around 13 species of primate to trek among which includes habituated chimpanzees. Nature walks and Bird Watching Safaris are for both children and adults, there are also guided night walks.

Sebitoli Forest Camp
Kibale Forest is located 12 km from Fort Portal in the direction of Kampala. The area offers different walking trails for excellent bird and primate viewing in moist evergreen forest and it offers you an opportunity to see a number of primates such as black-and-white colobus, red colobus, vervet monkeys and blue monkey’s, tourists may also spot a diversity of water, forest and Savannah birds plus enjoying the beautiful scenery of River Mpanga.

Bigodi Swamp Walk
Bigodi Wetland Walk takes you in different trails which are available to encounter a variety of birds (137 species), primates and butterflies. The Bigodi Swamp Walk is an initiative of the villagers of Bigodi and the revenues are shared by the local community. This guided walk takes you for a closer meeting with the Bigodi Trading Centre. Accompanied by a guide, who can tell you everything about the traditional customs and lifestyle of this tribe, you will follow the village path and visit a primary school, Catholic Church, traditional homesteads, learn about the crops and listen to the story telling of a local native.

Visit Kihingami Wetland
The wetland is found close to Sebitoli north of the park, this community-managed scheme gives an outstanding bird watching and stopovers to the local tea estates and factory. Nature walks will bring closer to primates such as the black-and-white colobus, red colobus and red-tailed monkeys. Other animals like otters, mongooses and bush bucks can be witnessed in the wetlands.

Accommodation in Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale forest national park has luxury excellent accommodations such as Ndali lodge, primate lodge, crater safari lodge, Kyaninga lodge and papaya lake lodge. Mid-range accommodations which offer perfect service for the visitors include: chimpanzee forest guest house, chimp nest, Kibale forest camp, mountain of the moon hotel. Budget accommodation is also available that meet the customer’s needs which include Rwenzori view guest house, Nkuruba nature reserve and community camp site as well Nyinabulitwa country resort and safari resort

Best time to visit Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale forest national park is open for chimpanzee trekking safaris throughout the year. December to February and the months of June and July are the driest months and are therefore the best times for this activity. Walking the trails is easier at this time and the overall experience tends to be more enjoyable.

What to carry while visiting Kibale Forest National Park

  • Hiking boots are ideal for forest walks although stout walking shoes are adequate.
  • Lightweight rain coats are advisable.
  • Altitude and forest environment makes evenings cool and a light jacket is recommended.
  • If you choose to bring a camera, be aware that the dark-haired chimpanzees in typically dim conditions present challenging subjects.
  • How to get to Kibale Forest National Park

    Situated in western part of Uganda, Kibale Forest National Park is reachable about 26 kilometers south west of Fort Portal town and Kanyanchu River Camp (also known as visitor centre features as the major area where most of the tourist activities are conducted in Kibale Forest National Park. It can be reached from the north via Mubende and Fort Portal and or from south through Mbarara and Kamwenge. The northern route is regarded as the shortest and best as it is tarmacked and covers about 315 kilometers to Fort Portal and then you connect to Kanyanchu/Kamwenge road approximately 36 kilometers.