Attractions In Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale National Park in Uganda lies at an altitude of 1,590m and 1,100m above sea level and lies in the Western part of the country along the East African Rift Valley near the Ndali Kasenda crater. The park, was first gazetted as a forest reserve in 1932 due it’s an abundant diversity and was later upgraded in to national park in the 1990’s. since then, the park has become the primates’ capital of Uganda flourishing with the highest number of Chimpanzees and habituated chimps opened for chimpanzee trekking. among others are the numerous tree species of over 350 tree species, that spread along the vast plains and plateaus include pre-montane forest found only in kibale national park.
Chimpanzee Trekking & Spotting Other Primates
Kibale has the largest chimpanzee population in East Africa with about 5,000 recorded species. Chimpanzees can be spotted in other parks in East Africa but the chances of seeing them are slim compared to Kibale Forest.
Kibale forest national park, is far the greatest destination for primate safaris, the park is a home to not only chimpanzees, but also other primates including; L’Hoest Monkeys, the endangered Red Colobus, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, the Red-tailed Monkeys, Bush Baby, Blue Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Black and White Colobus. The park might not have the gorillas but has more of the other primate species than any park in East Africa.
Chimpanzees are an endangered species and are special because they share over 95% of their DNA with humans. The park is close to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Queen Elizabeth National Park, primate safaris can both be tailored with wild life safaris without travelling for longer distance. Look in our website for 3 Days Chimpanzee Trekking tour in Kibale forest national park.
The rain forest in Kibale is a birders paradise with over 374 bird species. Uganda is considered to be one best tourist destinations in Africa to go birding. The bird species in the park include; the Abyssinian Ground thrust, , Blue headed sunbird, Brown Chested Alethe, Brown Illadopis, Collared Apalis, Crowned Eagle, Dusky Crimsonwing, Little Green Bule, Purple breasted Sunbird, Red Chested Owlet, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Scaly breasted Illadopsis, the African Pitta, Western Nicator, White naped Pigeon, Yellow Rumped Tinkerbird and yellow spotted Nicator, African Grey Parrot, Black Bee eater, Black capped Apalis, Black eared Ground Thrust, Blue Breasted Kingfisher among others.
Nature walks and Hikes
this involves taking a walk through the vast forest and discover the great biodiversity in the park and surrounding landscapes on foot. The nature walk leads you through that Amabere caves where you will meet the long inhabitants of the forest. All nature walks start from Sebitoli or Kanyanchu. The ranger guide will lead you in to the forest where you will get to explore the full spectacle of tropical forests, grasslands, swamps and rivers. For those interested in meeting the local people, a walk through Nyaibanda, Nyakalongo and Kikoni villages would be perfect where you will meet the locals’ cultivating farmlands, among other daily activities. Night walks can also be arranged to see nocturnal animals like pottos, bush babies among others.
Bigodi Wetlands & bird sanctuary
A special nature walk can be arranged to visit the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary within the park. the Bigodi wetland is one of the best spots to view lots of bird species, primates and animal species. three hours walk through the Bigodi swamp allows you to spot over 310 bird species, the primates are also regular visitors in the swamp.
Batwa community walk
For the visitors interested in experiencing the local culture, there are a lot of activities worth taking. The Batoro and the Bakiga are the dominant tribes living near the park and visiting them should be top on the list for anyone interested in a cultural experience. The Batoro are a proud people with a rich heritage, culture, history and a King called the Omukama. The Bakiga are known as hardworking people who rely basically on substance for survival. They plant Matoke (bananas) which is their stable food among other crops. One of the best ways to experience an African culture is to visit a local family or an organized cultural centre where you get to learn about various activities showcased by the locals such as the traditional dances organised by the Batwa women, the local food and ancient stories told by the old men and women who first lived in the forest. The Bakiga and Batoro have since benefited a lot from tourism activities in the region, some work in the park as rangers, porters, and also practise art and craft where they make beautiful souvenirs that many tourists always buy when they visit the craft shops. The income generated has helped in improving people’s standards of living.
Activities for Children
Professionally trained rangers, guides and drivers are available to ensure that both children and adults enjoy their time while on a safari in Kibale National Park. Children below 13 years are not allowed to go for chimpanzee trekking and are often left at home by their parents while on a primate safari in Kibale national park. This shouldn’t be the case. This shouldn’t be the case because children unable to take part in some activities can be taken for walks around the forest to see forest animals, birds and the different varieties of plants. The other activities for children include batik making, photography and pond dipping.
Besides the primates and birds, Kibale National Park is home to 14 snake species, over 200 butterfly species, 27 frog species and over 20 types of reptile and approximately 70 species of mammal among which include bats, bush pig, giant forest hogs, elephants, forest buffaloes, leopards, hippopotamus, bushbuck antelopes, red/blue duikers, sitatungas semi aquatic antelopes, warthogs, African golden cats, mongooses and the occasionally spotted hyenas among others.
- 10 Days Kibale Forest Chimp Trek
- 15 Days Kibale Primates Safari
- 20 Days Unique Primates Of Kibale
- 8 Days Chimps & Red Tail Monkey
- 7 Days Kibale Birding In The Forest
- 25 Days Colobus Monkey Kibale
All About Kibale
- History Of The Park
- Things To Do
- Places To See
- Getting There
Packing list for Kibale National Park
Unlike safaris to Bwindi impenetrable forest, kibale forest has got relatively easy forest trails and walkways that require a rather simple packing list. Listed below, are some of the necessary essentials you may need during your safari visit in Kibale forest national park.
Travel documents: this is more essential and a must carry document, you need to always have your travel documents with you while on an African safari, travel documents include a VISA, Passport and the yellow fever vaccination card. Without these documents, expect to have a hard time at the border crossing or airport which may bring other costs. The passport must have at least 6 months still remaining to the expiry date. It’s advisable to make several copies of each of these documents to avoid any inconveniences later on. Other documents you may also need to carry with you include; insurance card, medical insurance card, an updated travel itinerary and relevant local maps.
Pocket change: A safari in Kibale National Park may require you to have some pocket money which you would need for small transactions like paying, porters and buying art crafts. You might wish to reward your guides for making your safari so amazing but do not have money to give because of a lack of lose change. Although dollars are accepted by locals, some transactions may require local currencies.
Emergency phone numbers: You need to acquire a local sim card as soon as you arrive for easy communication while visiting Kibale national park. Phone networks in Uganda are well planned and accessible even in remote areas at a cheap cost. You need to register with one of the networks so that you are covered up in case of any emergency. Your company guide should help you register with one of the network providers and acquire a number. Ensure you have all your identification details/documents for successful registration.
Clothes: for all African safari, you are required to carry long sleeve shirts and long trousers. The color should be dull considering that you might be traveling in dusty environments with strong winds. The weather is un predictable therefore, you will need to carry a sweater and rain jacket. Also carry your swimming costume since most lodges have swimming, you may need to use during your relaxation time at the lodge.
Hiking shoes: comfortable and waterproof hiking shoes is recommended during your safari tour in Kibale national park since most of the activities, involve hiking in the forest. You will also need comfortable stockings that are easy to dry and light sandals for evening relaxation at your lodge after your activities.
A camera and binoculars and other gadgets: A good and water proof camera is essential to capture your best moments in kibale forest national park.
Insect repellents: Countries in the tropics like Uganda have many insect species therefore, insect repellent, comes handy.
Other essentials If you have extra space, a flash light, hand sanitizers/wipes, electric adapter, Vaseline, antibiotics, allergy medicines and other personal items.
Accommodation in Kibale National Park
A safari holiday is worth remembering, if after every activity, you get to retire to a comfortable room surrounded by beautiful scenery and clean air. Kibale National Park, has got various accommodation facilities ranging from upmarket, mid-range and budget lodges both designed to suite the interest of every client. Most of the lodges and hotels are found within the Kanyanchu, Ndali, Nkingo, and Bigodi areas of the park. some of the lodges include;
Primate Lodge Kibale Uganda: the lodge is strategically located in the forest which offers visitors with opportunity to see wildlife with the comfort of the lodge, the lodge is designed with fashionable and comfortable rooms and Eco-friendly. There are 8 luxurious grass-thatched safari tents that stand on wooden platform giving them an African design, with 7 luxurious cottages or tree houses. The lodge offers well-furnished spacious rooms with luxurious beds, en-suite bathrooms, toilets and a sitting room. There is also a well-furnished lounge area, on site bar and restaurant serving both local and international dishes. you will be able to see some of the elephants, chimpanzees and other primates that are frequent visitors to the lodge, the lodge is also designed to meet both the interest of international and local clients.
The lodge also offers various activities for the visitors staying at the lodge such as; forest walks, Bigodi village walk, visiting the crater Lakes, birding, chimpanzee tracking and hiking the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains. The lodge also organizes cultural dances and performances besides fireplace every evening as you relax from the long day activities.
Chimps’ Nest Uganda: the lodge is situated in Nyabubale and nearer to the villages of Bigodi and Nkingo and about 6km from Kyanchu head office in Kibale. The lodge is built with local material and uses solar lighting. The lodges are designed best to meet the interest of different visitors, the rooms are self-contained both tree houses and cottages surrounded by vast farms lands of ginger, peanut, coffee and pineapple. While at the lodge, you will spot some of the animals and primates’ species like chimpanzees, elephants, monkeys and birds. The lodge also offers sportfishing experience, Visitors can go for village walks, Hiking mount Rwenzori, chimpanzee tracking and general wildlife viewing. Among other lodges, papaya lodge, crater safari, jungle lodge Kibale forest national park.
Accessing Kibale National Park
Travellers to kibale forest national park can reach the part by road transport with a direct route from Kampala via Mubende and Fort Portal and the driving time lats for about 5-6hours. For the travellers approaching the park from the southern section can use the Kamwenge or Mbarara route. Alternatively, the more convenient and faster way of access the park is by using domesticated chartered flights from Kajjansi along the Entebbe-Kampala highway to either Ndali or Fort Portal and the driver will pick you up and transfer to the park headquarters.
The best time to visit Kibale National Park
Uganda ‘s tropical climate and location around the equator have favoured the number of activities carried out in different national parks in the country. The park is open and all activities can be done throughout the year. However, there are two seasons in most countries with the equator line crossing. The rainy (low) and dry (peak) season with each season occurring twice a year. Both seasons have different outcome and experience on the tour safari in kibale forest national park. The peak season of the year occurs during the dry months of December to February and June to September, these dry months are characterized by little or no rainfall receive at all although nature is unpredictable. During the dry season, the trails are less muddy and slippery making it easy to drive through or take nature walks in the park. Also, during the dry season, there is less vegetation cover and thick bushes which allows easy sighting of animals. The months of March to May and late September to November are the low seasons with lots of rainfall received which may interfere with some of the activities in the park. for the birders, this is the perfect time for bird watching when migratory birds have come.
Most tourists in Uganda, often visit the park during the dry season which is also known as the peak season considered the best time to go for a Uganda safari, our recommendation is that visitors come to Uganda two to three week after the rain. By this time the trails are dry and not slippery which is the except time for game viewing and bird watching. Check out this 6 Days safari in Kibale National Park, 6 days Bwindi and 6 days Murchison Falls wildlife and primate’s safari.