Home to 13 Primate Species including almost 1,500 Chimpanzees, Kibale Forest National Park is commonly known among travellers for it Chimpanzee Tracking tours and Chimpanzee Habituation Experiences. Uganda has over 5000 chimpanzees and most of those are found in Kibale Forest.
Kibale Forest National Park offers more than just Chimpanzee Tracking, a fact not so familiar with many travellers. Other activities within the rain-forest include hiking, biking, Crater Lake Hikes, Caving, Cultural Visit and one must not forget the famed Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary – one of the few Jungle Swamps in East Africa teaming with Primates, Birds and Mammals.
Kibale Forest National Park is one of East Africa’s major Tropical Rainforest, something you cannot find in Kenya or Tanzania. A Visit to the Forest allows you to discover a whole other world beyond Savannas and arid plains. It is not be missed for the Rainforest Jungle Like Vegetation alone, add the Primates that have the highest rate of seeing them on a Trek and a Chimpanzee enthusiast is in his version of heaven.
Kibale National Park covers 766 kms, forms a contiguous block with Queen Elizabeth National Park, on an altitude of 1.100-1.590m above sea level. The vegetation is dominated by the tropical rainforest.
The park habits 60 mammal species are present, including elephants, buffaloes, hippos, warthog, bush pigs, duikers. Kibale is well known for sighting primates, counting 13 species. Particularly, it hosts a large population of chimpanzees; also there are vervet, red-tailed, Hoest’s and blue monkeys, red Columbus, black and white Columbus, grey – cheeked mangabey, olive baboons. The bird list records 335 species, of which four are only found here (Nathan’s francolin, Cassin’s spine tail, blue-headed bee-eater and masked apalis). Furthermore, more than 250 species of tree have been recorded.
Activities in Kibale Forest National Park
The main attraction of the park is the “chimpanzee tracking” from Kanyanchu gate. The second main activity is bird watching at “Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary”, at Bigodi, a trading centre just outside the Park’s boundary; the activity consists of a guided walk through the Magombe swamp, with the possibility to see among others the great blue Turaco and the papyrus gonolek. Nature walks are open in the Park, to see primates, birds, reptiles, medicinal plants.
How to get there
Kibale National Park is located in western Uganda, 26km south-east of Fort Portal town. Kanyanchu River Camp, the primary centre for tourism activities, can be reached from Kampala either from the north, via Mubende and Fort Portal, or the south through Mbarara and Kamwengye. The northern approach is shorter and quicker, with a 300km tarmac road running to Fort Portal followed by 36km on murram to Kanyanchu. Sebitoli Forest Camp, a secondary tourism centre, is even easier to reach. This stands directly on the Kampala road, 16km before Fort Portal. Public transport runs throughout the day between Kampala and Fort Portal (passing Sebitoli) and Fort Portal and Kamwengye (passing Kanyanchu).