Kibale National park also contains one of the loveliest and the most diverse tracts of the tropical forest in Uganda.
This National park also contains one of the loveliest and the most diverse tracts of the tropical forest in Uganda. Forest cover, scattered with the patches of grassland and the swamps, filled the northern and central parts of the park on an elevated plateau. This national park is also home to a total of 70 mammal species, 13 primate species including the monkeys and chimpanzees. It has over 375 bird species and many more. The park adjoins Queen Elizabeth National park to the south to create a 180km long corridor for the wildlife between Ishasha which is the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National park. This is also one of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to be explored and it lies close to the Ndali Kasenda crater area as well as the Toro- Semliki Wildlife reserve.
This national park is also situated in the districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge which is about 320km by road west of Kampala. The geology here consists of the rocks that are formed in the Precambrian period which are so sedentary, metamorphosed and strongly folded. There is also the Toro system that over lays the rocks that forms prominent ridges of the Quartite , phyllities and red formalistic soils that have 70% of sandy clay that is found in the North and 30% are the clay soils that is found in the south.
This National park has got a tropical type of climate with two rainy seasons, that’s March to May and then September to November. The annual mean temperature ranges from 14 -15 degrees celicius to minimum of 26 – 27 degrees celius. The annual rainfall is 1,100 – 1600 mm. there is also a dry season in December to February and the rainfall is more in North than in the south
This forest has a mid-altitude moist ever green condition in the north, and reduces in elevation to moist semi deciduous in the south as well as a mixture of both the ever green and the deciduous plants in central parts. The park has got the highest diversity and concentration of primates in Africa with the largest number of chimps as well as the red colobus monkeys, rare L’Hoest Monkeys, 325 bird species, 13 species of primates, 70 mammal species as well as 250 tree species. There are 13 primate species in this park and it also protects many well studied habituated communities of chimpanzees and African monkeys including the red Colobus, the L, Hoest monkeys, the black and white colobus, as well as the blue monkeys. There are also the elephants, blue duikers, bushbucks, bush pigs, the giant hogs, buffalos as well as the warthogs. This national park also has 229 tree species that are found in the moist tropical forests of the park.
The tourists can also visit the park at any time of the year, although the conditions in the park are also hard during the rainy season , the available tourists accommodation also include Ndali lodge, primate lodge, Kibale safari lodge, Kyaninga Lodge, Kibale Forest guest House, Kibale forest camp and many more. This national park can also be accessed through Kampala- Mbarara Kasese fort portal road or a direct route from Kampala –Mubende fort portal.
Chimpanzee tracking is the main tourist attraction even though many forest walks can also be arranged not forgetting the chimpanzee habituation adventure. Those who are willing to track the chimps must get a permit to do so from Uganda wildlife Authority headquarters in Kampala. Tracking of chimpanzees is done in two shifts including the morning and afternoon session with the permits allocated based on that. The number of visitors is controlled to prevent destruction of the habitant and the risks to the chimpanzees.
Activities in Kibale Forest Natural Park
Chimpanzee Tracking and Habituation Experience
Most visitors to Kibale Forest go chimpanzee tracking, which means that you will be one hour with a chimpanzee group. At Kibale Forest you can spend a whole day with a Chimpanzee Group in what is called a Chimpanzee Habituation Experience. It is an all-day experience from very early to late afternoon.
Kibale Forest – the Primate Capital of East Africa is the best place to track Chimpanzees in Uganda, there are other great chimpanzee trekking places but none like Kibale Forest.
Hikes and Nature Walks:
Nature walks and hikes abound in, near and around Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda in which even a hike that traverses the length of the park and each night you sleep in a different area outside of the park.
There are also plenty of day-hikes in or near the park and in the park for you to enjoy the various aspects of the Kibale Forest and the surrounding area.
Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary:
Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary – simply a swamp in the tropical jungle, filled with natural wonders that have amazed and delights thousands each year as they trek through this Jungle Swamp, primates including chimpanzees in the afternoon, birds including the large Blue Turaco.
Even more than that the incredible plants, trees, palms, Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary has become a must visit place near Kibale Forest. This is Bigodi Community Project and the guides are from the project and the community benefits greatly. The walk is 3 hours in length and not to be missed by birders.
Crater Lakes Top of the World Hike:
Near Kibale Forest you will find many crater lakes which you see as we drive near the Park. The top of the World Hike is a popular activity near Kibale Forest – a 3 hr or longer guided walk covering three crater lakes, villages, tea-plantations and a view from the top of the world that takes in 3 crater lakes and the Rwenzori Mountains with the landscape below.
This hike is three hours in length and is taken with guides who can explain Village life – the legends of the crater lakes, the tea and vanilla plantations all along the way.There are other Crater Lake hikes that can be done either half or full-day.
The Amabere Caves:
The Amabere Caves is an amazing cave for its beauty, natural wonder and cultural legends – it is located not too far from Kibale Forest and is a most welcomed addition to the other places in, near, or around Kibale Forest Natural Park. It is just a short drive are a combination of legends and nature of which you will hear the stories of old and see nature at work as you are guided on the hike to the caves and the waterfall.
The hike – nature-walk is about two-three hours in length and is conducted with a guide. with also three nearby crater lakes that can be visited on a hike.
Accommodation at Kibale
Primate Lodge Kibale
Primate Lodge in Kibale is a fashionable Eco-lodge located within Kibale National park enclosed by a flourishing tropical forest that is a habitat to many different species of primates that’s the chimpanzees. It’s privately sheltered in the rainforest, being one of the lodges that gives a really dependable jungle familiarity and it’s the most favorable place for tracking the primates in Uganda. It has accommodation for all visitors ranging from luxury, cottages as well as tents. This lodge gives a chance to take your time in the morning with breakfast first and later on plan for the day and how you are going to track the chimpanzees without much trouble.
Chimps’ Nest Lodge
Chimps’ Nest is a right birder’s ecstasy which margins Kibale Forest on a gorgeous piece of land with a stunning view of Kibale Forest along with the snowcapped peaks of Mount Rwenzori. The common areas that are visited in this place include the monkeys, chimps as well as forest elephants. The lodge is suited adjacent Nyabubale a well-known village between Nkingo and Bigodi. It’s just a 15 minutes’ drive from Kanyanchu the focal point of UWA for chimp tracking as well as other activities in the park. The accommodation is up to standard with beautiful self-contained cottages, tree house in addition to family cottages.
Kibale Forest Camp
Kibale Forest Camp is suited off Fort port-Kamwenge, subsequent to the park’s edge. On your way to For Port, you will see a signpost about 3.5km to our camp. After passing Bigodi village, you will meet another signpost that will take you to the dirt road heading to our camp which is a km within no time you are there. The camp is well designed with about 7 safari tents; containing double beds with en-suite bathroom along with an eco-friendly toilet. The verandah will give you a perfect view of the colobus monkeys in the forest.
Nyinabulitwa Country Resort
Nyinabulitwa Country Resort is located just about 20kms off Fort Portal in the western part of Uganda which surrounds Kibale Forest National Park acknowledged to be the most gorgeous tropical rainforest in the country with eye-catching birds and insects. It has different species of primates with about 1400 population of Chimpanzees.
The resort has well designed accommodation with self-contained cottages that put up both double and single beds with high quality services.
The forest surroundings is habitant to many animals such as buffaloes, bush pigs, elephants, duikers and many reptiles. A forest walk will give you a chance to get closer to some primates and birds.
The restaurants serve both international and local cuisines. Some of the food is got from the garden and is prepared to the visitors not forgetting the resort has a craft shop with all African items managed by the community women group. Get for yourself something that will always remind you of Uganda as a great country.
Kanyanchu River Camp
Kanyanchu River Camp is the focal point for tourism activities found in the central part of the park. The main tourist attraction is the opportunity to track chimpanzee in their habitation of this rainforest. The Chimpanzee Experience allows accompany Kibale’s researchers & habituators at chimpanzee all through their daily activities, thereby getting used to human presence without changing their natural you’ll be able to expect to see the chimps de-nesting between 05.30 to 06.30, during the day till they make new nests and at night around 19.00.