Kibale Forest National Park

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Chimp in Kibale National park

Have you ever heard of Kibale forest national park, but don't know its location, residents, climate, accommodation, and activities to do there? here is a piece of brief yet very helpful information about the park which was established in 1992 though gazetted from 1932 to conserve abundant wildlife; especially the primates.

Kibale forest is one of the few remaining tropical forests in the world harboring a wide range of flora and fauna, patches of swamps, forest cover, and grassland in its central and northern areas. It is home to over 13 unique primate species, 375 bird species, over351 tree species, and about 70 unique mammal species. This is also a base of the Makerere University biological research center. A simple insight about this park is that the northern and central area is occupied by a variety of tree species, whereas the very extreme part of the northern side is at an altitude of 1590m above sea level.

The park is situated in the western part of Uganda, covering approximately 766km2 of land, composed of evergreen lush forest, montane forest of about 200years of age, and an array of breathtaking landscape. It is about 348 km from Kampala, and 26km south-east of Uganda's tourism city; Fortpartal city. Surrounding the park is the Ndali Kasende crater area, the backdrop of Queen Elizabeth national park, and Toro-Semuliki wildlife reserve.

Though famous for chimpanzees, Kibale forest national park is also home to several other unique primate species notably; Uganda mangabey, blue monkeys, Columbus monkeys, baboons, greycheecked monkeys, olive baboons, and red-tailed monkeys among others; mammals such as elephants, bush pigs, bushbucks, duikers, African golden cats, sitatunga, mongooses, and servals among others, but not ignoring some colorful butterflies, and reptiles.

The park receives thousands of visitors annually for research, primate trekking, and birding among others, though only those aged 15years and above, are permitted to access the park with valid a tracking permit. The following are some of the activities one can age in while on a safari to Kibale national park:

Primate trekking

With over 13 Unique primate species in the wild, Kibale forest national park is a remarkable destination for primate tracking. It harbors over 1450 chimpanzees (human's cousins) which share over 98%human DNA and a replica of behaviors and co-existing with several other primates and birds among others.

Chimpanzee tracking commences at approximately 8:00 am, for as long as you can locate the creatures, plus one extra hour to watch the Apes play, feed, or relax. Their nests, sweet melodies, and captivating appearance make up for your unforgettable memory.

Guided Forest walk and Nature walk

Once in the park, you stretch your legs while in a forest walk, through a 12km trail which normally lasts for approximately 4 hours, offering an amazing opportunity of glancing at numerous species of trees, plants, and swamplands among others. The other destination to visit during a safari includes the Bigodi swamp; one of the countries Ramsay sites and a birders haven, and also Isunga cultural community with its cold springs and top of the world experience.


There are over 330 unique bird species recorded in this park, endemic and migrants, plus about 7 natives of the Albertine rift, thus one reasoning for choosing it. Also, the birdlife is not only limited to the Jungle but also the neighboring swamps, crater lakes and so much more such as the Bigodi swamp. A few notables include; yellow rumped tinker bird, black-bee eater, African pitta, yellow spotted nicator, the crowned eagle, and the blue breasted kingfisher.

Cultural adventure

This is one great bonus to your safari. Through the guidance of an expert driver-guide, visit the different cultures living around the park such as the Batooro and Bakiga people. You will learn the traditional lifestyles of the natives such as dances, songs, art and craft, architecture, and stories.

Crater Tours

With over 50 unique crater lakes, engulfed by steep-sided volcanoes around Fortpotal city; home to Kibale forest national park, you are free to traverse the area and witness for yourself. The adventure is one not to forget, notably the magnificent Kasende Crater Lake.

Best time to Visit Kibale forest national park

Safari timing is one of the most important factors to consider before setting to your dream destination, and for that reason, here are some of the safe months to visit Kibale Park, months with no too much rains or mud that organize the adventure; June to October and December to February.

Accommodation options

Kibale national park has accommodations ranging from budget to luxury, with a variety of cuisines, good security, and large space. Some of the notable names include; Primate Lodge Kibale, Ndali Lodge, Rwenzori View Guesthouse, and Montana tented camp. From fort portal city, it is about 24 km to the park headquarters-Kanyanchu tourist center, using Kamwenge road.

Kibale forest national park is gifted by a wide range of biodiversity and cool climate. It is a perfect destination that offers unforgettable memories to visitors, especially after reuniting with their cousins the Chimpanzees; and exploring plenty of flora and fauna.

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