Kibale Forest National Park
Located in South Western Uganda in the districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge, Kibale Forest National Park is also referred to as “The Primate Capital of the World” with the largest chimpanzee population in Uganda. Fort Portal in Kabarole district is the nearest city to the national park.
Kibale National Park covers an area of 795 square kilometres and extends southwards to connect with Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kibale Forest National Park was first gazetted as a forest reserve in 1932 and later upgraded to a national park in 1993.
The park has two main tourism sites, the main one being Kanyanchu (Focal point of most tourist visits) and Sebitoli.
Attractions in Kibale Forest National Park.
Kibale forest has one of the highest number of primates including the endangered chimpanzees, red colobus monkeys, L’hoest’s monkey, red-tailed monkey, olive baboons, grey-cheeked Mangabey (Ugandan Mangabey) and many others. There are also mammals present in this rainforest and some of these include; elephants, buffalos, giant forest hogs.
Kibale Forest National Park is a significant birding destination with bird species like the Green Breasted Pitta, Pale Breasted Nigrita, Black-billed Turraco, Narrow-tailed Starling, Yellow-billed Barbet, Black Bee-eater, White-spotted Flufftail, Blue-shouldered Robbin-chat, Turner’s Eremomela, Shinning-blue Kingfisher, Tambourine Dove and others.
Other attractions include the craters situated near the park with scenic views and animal sightings including primates, birds and butterfly species.
The rainforest is also inhabited by the Batooro and Bakiga local people communities and these offer an insight on their cultures through different traditional/cultural activities.
Best time to visit Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park can be visited throughout the year but the best time for the chimpanzee tracking activity is during the dry months. During this time, the walking trails are easy to navigate and the vegetation is thin making sighting of animals easier.
The rainy season is best for birding safaris in Kibale Forest National Park.
Activities in Kibale Forest National Park
Chimpanzee tracking is one of the main activities to do in Kibale offering the best experience in Uganda with a large population of chimpanzees. This activity gives you an opportunity to observe the chimpanzees in their natural habitat playing, feeding and going about their daily routines. The chimpanzee tracking walk starts from the Kanyanchu visitor’s centre and this is done in company of an armed ranger.
The chimpanzee habituation experience enables visitors to spend more time in the presence of the chimpanzees learning more about their habits such as feeding and grooming.
The nature walk gives you an opportunity to explore the forest on foot and be able closely spot several types of monkeys and other wildlife species such as birds and mammal species.
Kibale Forest National Park is one of the popular birding destinations in Uganda and taking a walk through the forest, you will catch sight of different bird species such as the Black-billed Turraco, Narrow-tailed Starling, Yellow-billed Barbet, Black Bee-eater, White-spotted Flufftail, Blue-shouldered Robbin-chat, Turner’s Eremomela, and Shinning-blue Kingfisher.
Bigodi Swamp Walk
The Bigodi swamp habours a diverse number of bird species and is usually referred to as a real bird watcher’s paradise. As you navigate through the pathways, you also get a chance to see more primates and other wildlife species.
How to get to Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park is located South East of FortPortal town and accessed through different routes.
- Kampala – FortPortal via Mubende town
- Mbarara – Kasese and FortPortal
- Mbarara and Ibanda – Kamwenge road
- Masaka – Lyantonde – Ibanda – Kamwenge
Accommodation facilities in Kibale Forest National Park
- Rwetera Safari park
- Lake Kifurukwa Guest Lodgde
- Chimpanzee forest guest house
- Kibale forest lodge
- Chimpundu Safari Lodge
- Crater Safari Lodge
- Kyaninga Lodge
- Papaya Safari Lodge
- Ndali Crater Lodge