Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale National park covers an area of about 795km and its acknowledged to have one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forest.Its a habitat to many forest wildlife and among these include the primates along with chimpanzees.The forest occupies the northern as well as the central part of the park. Kibale  in the northern part has a  peak of about 1590m above sea level.The northern part is also well known as the wettest area with an annual rainfall of about 1700mm. The rainy months include March-May as well as September-November.It has an average temperature of about 14-27oc and temperatures are high in the south because of  the landscape falls into the scorching rift valley floor.

The southern Kibale connects to the heart of Queen Elizabeth National park.These Uganda safari parks are acknowledged to have an area of about 180km relocation corridor for wildlife.This tend to extend from Ishasha  to the distant southern part of Queen Elizabeth National park along with the Sebitoli forest located in the northern part of Kibale.

One of Uganda’s most gratifying park to discover a lot of attraction  is Kibale. The park is suited near to the peaceful Ndali-Kasenda crater and it’s a 30 minutes drive to Queen Elizabeth, Semuliki National park, Toro,  Semliki wildlife Reserve along with Rwenzori.

Kibale Forest National Park is one of the best safari destination in Africa for chimpanzee tracking. Kibale’s 795km2  National Park contains one of the most beautiful and with the most varying tracts of tropical forest in the whole of Uganda. This is place to a number of forest wildlife, most especially 13 species of primate coupled with chimpanzees.

How to reach Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale National Park is located in western Uganda, 22km southeast of Fort Portal town. Kanyanchu River Camp, the primary center for tourism activities, can be reached from Kampala either from the north, via Mubende and Fort Portal, or the south through Mbarara and Kamwenge.

The northern approach is shorter and quicker, with a 290km tarmac road running to Fort Portal followed by 32km on gravel to Kanyanchu.

Kibale Forest National Park

Activities in Kibale Forest National Park

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Chimpanzee Tracking and Habituation in Kibale

Kibale’s most popular activity is the Kanyanchu Primate Walk. Thirteen species can be sought, and a good variety of diurnal monkeys invariably encountered, but the stars of this trail are the chimpanzees. Kanyanchu’s chimps have been tracked since 1993 and the chances of locating them are excellent. Guided walks start at 8am and 2pm and last an average of three hours, depending on various factors.

The perennially popular primate walk provides the chance to observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Kanyanchu’s groups are accustomed to human presence – some have been observed for over 25 years – and the chance of locating them is over 90%. Walks leave Kanyanchu Visitor Centre at 08.00, 11.00 and 14.00 and last between 2-5 hours. Early arrival to allow for registration and briefing is recommended. Contact time with chimpanzees is limited to one hour; group size is limited to six visitors; participants must be aged 16 or over. Advance booking is essential.

Bird watching in Kibale Forest

Bird watching tours start at 7am at Kanyanchu; you are advised to book in advance. Rare species include the Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, White-collared Oliveback and Papyrus Canary.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, located just outside the park, is home to 138 bird species which may be seen during guided walks along the boardwalk trail and viewing platforms. These could include the White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Western Nicator, Grey-winged Robin-chat, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Black Bishop, White-breasted Negrofinch and Black-crowned Waxbill among others.

Nature Walks in Kibale National Park

Kibale Forest National ParkWhen chimpanzees and other forest residents rest up at dusk, a nighttime shift of rarely seen creatures becomes active. Night walks though the darkened forest use powerful torches to seek nocturnal creatures such as the potto, bushbaby, nightjar, cricket and tree hyrax, with its chilling shriek, as well as the occasional civet or serval cat. Night walks leave the camp at 7.30pm and last between one and a half and two hours.

Cultural Encounters in Kibale

During the nature walk, a local guide will take you along the boardwalk through the Magombe swamp wetlands. You are likely to see wildlife at close-hand, including several of the 200 species of birds, eight varieties of primates and numerous butterflies, along with unusual swamp vegetation.

The daily life of the Batooro can be discovered during the village walks. The tour stops by the village’s primary school, church, and traditional healer. You will learn about the role of women in the village and traditional ceremonies, and the history of Bigodi is told through the story of the “Village of Two Tribes”, describing when the indigenous Batooro were joined by migrating Bakiga from southwestern Uganda in the 1950s.

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