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Kibale Forest

Kibale Forest National Park: The World’s Primate Capital

by | Jul 20, 2023 | 0 comments

Kibale Forest National Park: The World’s Primate Capital.

Beyond the vast thick vegetation and tall trees, in the heart of captivating Uganda lies this magical wonderland known as Kibale Forest national park well known as the home for endangered Primates including chimpanzees.

The Park is a realm of ancient trees and hidden treasures that stun you with glory and beauty while hearing the nature sounds and echoes from far distances. Kibale forest national Park is renowned for its natural array of wildlife from the endangered primates to the unique bird species and also colourful butterflies offering you a lifetime safari experience.

Kibale Forest National Park is located in the western region of Uganda in the Kabarole district where it spans an area of about 795 square kilometres, and it takes a 5 -6-hour drive from Uganda’s capital city – Kampala. The park harbours over 13 primate species and about 375 different bird species giving it the name ‘Birder’s paradise’.

Wildlife in Kibale Forest National Park

This Wild wonderland known as Kibale Forest National Park is home to an array of 350 plant species, 70 mammal species, 13 primate species, and over 375 bird species.

The Kibale forest is one of the parks with the highest concentration of endangered primates including the Chimpanzees, Red-colobus monkeys, the rare L’Hoest’s monkeys, and also the Balck-and-white Colombus monkeys.

The park is home to over 70 mammal species and habits the largest population of forest elephants, along with Buffaloes, duikers, bushbuck, warthogs, and also predators such as leopards, and the African Golden cat among others.

The Kibale Forest national park is well known as the ‘Birders’ Haven’ harbouring over 375 bird species ranking it as a must-visit destination for birding safaris. Bird species in the park include the African green broadbill, black bee-eater, Purple-breasted sunbird, and yellow-spotted nicator among others.

chimpanzee in Bwindi

Chimp trekking in Kibale National Park

Why Visit the Park

Chimpanzee tracking

The Kibale Forest National Park is renowned as one of the world’s must-visit destinations for primate tracking because it harbours over 13 primate species during the activity a small group is guided on a tracking hike to see the endangered primates and you are offered sometimes learning and observing their behaviours.

Chimpanzees can be spotted in many other parks of East Africa but the chances of seeing them are less compared to Kibale Forest.

Conservation Efforts

You can visit the park to support both local communities and government conservation efforts because protecting these endangered primate species is a huge and crucial task that requires commitment and enforcing preservation measures.

Birding Safari

The Kibale Forest National Park is one of the best tourist destinations for birding safaris with 375 different bird species and also has a wide range of plant species ranking it as a must-visit destination for birders and nature lovers.

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Activities And Attractions

Primate tracking

Kibale national park is a natural wonderland and the best destination for tracking chimpanzees. The park is well known as one of the tourist destinations with the highest population of endangered primate species in Africa.

The primate species in the park include endangered Chimpanzees which are special because they share over 95% of their DNA with humans.

Along chimpanzees, you can also spot the rare L’Hoest Monkeys, the endangered Red Colobus Monkey, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, the Red-tailed Monkeys, Bush Baby, Blue Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, Olive Baboons, and also the Black and White Colobus

Primate Tracking In Kibale Forest National Park

Primate Tracking in Kibale Forest National Park

 

Chimpanzee habituation experience

In Kibale Forest National Park, Chimpanzees are habituated over a period of time before they get used to humans. During the Chimpanzee habituation, you get to spend a whole day with these endangered primate species while enjoying their behaviours.

Here you get a chance to witness the behaviours of the Chimpanzees such as how they live, play, and feed among others. Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda is one of the best tourist destinations for chimpanzee habituation where researchers, guides, and trekkers lead you to the lush vegetation in search of these primates. While doing Chimpanzee habituation, you also witness different plant species, butterflies, bird species, and also mammals.

Nature Walks and hikes

Hiking on nature trails through the vast forest is an awe-inspiring way to discover the stunning biodiversity in the park and surrounding landscapes which include visiting the Amabere caves, tropical forests, grasslands, swamps, and rivers.

If you are also interested in observing how the locals go about their daily lives such as working in the gardens, a walk through Nyaibanda, Nyakalongo, and Kikoni villages is a perfect option for yielding lifetime experience.

Nature walks in kibale National Park

Nature walks in kibale National Park

Night / Nocturnal walks

Night walks in the Kibale Forest National Park are one of the stunning activities that offer unforgettable memories while witnessing nocturnal animals like pottos, bush babies, and other birds like bats that are only active at night.

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Kibale Forest is well known as a “Birders’ Haven” harbouring over 375 different bird species. An awe-inspiring activity in the park is a nature walk to the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary, which is one of the best places for birding safaris and primates trekking in East Africa.

A few hours’ walk through the Bigodi swamp offers an opportunity to spot over 310 bird species including the Grey Parrot, African Crowned eagles, black bee-eaters, Guinea Fowl, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Grey-winged Robin, Crested Flycatcher, Blue shouldered Robin-Chat, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Black-billed Turaco, White-napped Pigeon, Red-chested Flufftail, White-collared Olive back, White-bellied, Masked Apalis, Nahan’s Francolin, Tiny Sunbird among others.

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Best time to visit

It is important to note that Kibale Forest National Park can be accessible at any time all year long. However, there are high peak seasons to visit the park which are highly recommended that is from June to August and November to March.

During this time the chimp trails are drier which encourages exciting chimpanzee tracking activities.
And in contrast, Kibale Forest trails are more slippery in the wetter seasons and this can make chimp tracking activities more challenging. But it is crucial to also note that every season the park offers outstanding safari experiences.

How to get there

By road transport means, the park is 335km from Kampala which is a 4-5 hours drive to the Kibale Forest National Park and the most common route is from Kampala – Fort Portal and from fort portal, it is a shorter distance to Kibale Forest National Park entrance.

By air transport means, you book a flight at Entebbe Airport which is approximately 1 hour to Kasese airstrip

Where to stay.

On a Uganda safari while in or around Kibale National Park, there are numerous great accommodation options for you to stay in for a remarkable safari experience. These range from luxury to Budget accommodations. The accommodation facilities include.

Luxury accommodation

  • Kyaninga Lodge
  • Ndali Lodge
  • Papaya Lake Lodge
  • Semi- luxe accommodation
  • Primate Lodge Kibale
  • Crater Safari Lodge

Mid-range accommodation

  • Kibale Forest camp
  • Kibale Guest Cottages
  • Budget accommodation

Budget accommodation

  • Kibale Forest camp- Lazy camping

 

Kyaninga Lodge

Kyaninga Lodge

 

In Conclusion, Kibale forest national Park is renowned for its natural array of wildlife from the endangered primates to the unique bird species and also colorful butterflies offering you a lifetime safari experience.

Visit Uganda today to witness the Endangered primate and bird species in their natural habitat. Book with Friendlygorillassafaris.

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About the Author

Ezra

Enthusiastic Tour Consultant. Self-Motivated and passionate about crafting Un forgettable African safari experiences.

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