Kibale Forest National park
Kibale Forest National park is one of the world’s best primate national parks. It’s a home of over 13 primate species.The lush rain forestt that is dominating the park is one of the few remaining rainforests in Uganda. From this the park was named as “primate world”, its covering around 795 square kilometers. The park hosts the largest population of habituated chimpanzees not only in Uganda but entire Africa.
The park altitude is high on the Northern tip standing at 1590 metres above sea level. On the Southern part bordering the Albertine rift Valley the altitude stands at 1,100 meters. It also hosts some of the oldest plant species on the planet with over 200 years old. Some of them are over 55 meters tall. In the middle of the forest you cannot miss the historical and cultural “Adam and Eve” tree.
Kibale Forest National park is renowned as one of Africa’s foremost research sites. The researchers focus on different habitats of the park like Chimpanzees, butterflies, dragon flies and other primates species. However much the park is famous for being dominated by the Chimpanzees, the park hosts over 70 mammal species. It also hosts over 375 bird species with the swamp and forest bird species dominating the area.
Location of Kibale Forest National park
Many wonder where Kibale Forest National park, the park is located in the Western part of Uganda just a few kilometers away from Fort Portal town. It take roughly 5 to 6 hours drive from the capital city Kampala covering a distance of 348 kilometers. The driver is more scenic on good tamac road. Its located in the middle of the wildlife reserves like Queen Elizabeth National park, Semuliki National Game reserve and Mt Rwenzori national park.
With the combination of evergreen forest and savanna vegetation, the park has hosted a diversified wildlife species. This has made your Uganda Safari to Kibale not only remarkable but lifetime. There is much for the guests to enjoy like birding, swamp walk, crater lake tour, boat ride at the crater lakes, game viewing especially for Forest Elephants, giant hogs and many others.
Activities done in Kibale Forest National park
The Kanyanchu Primate Walk is Kibale’s most common practice. It is possible to scan for thirteen species and inevitably find a large variety of diurnal monkeys, but the stars of this trail are the chimpanzees. Since 1993, the chimps of Kanyanchu have been monitored and the chances of finding them are outstanding. Depending on different factors, guided walks start at 8am and 2pm and last an average of three hours. You need to book your Chimpanzee permit in advance at the Uganda Wildlife Authority head office in Kampala. The ever-popular primate walk offers the opportunity in their natural environment to observe chimpanzees. The groups of Kanyanchu are accustomed to human presence, some of which have been observed for more than 25 years, and the probability of finding them is over 90%. Walks depart at 08.00, 11.00 and 14.00 from the Kanyanchu Visitor Centre and last between 2 and 5 hours. Early arrival is advised to allow for registration and briefing. Contact time is limited to one hour with chimpanzees; group size is limited to six visitors; participants must be 16 years of age or older. Advance booking is key.
Bird watching tours commence in Kanyanchu at 7am. The birding safaris can be done inside the park or at the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Located just outside the park, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is home to 138 species of birds that can be seen during guided walks along the boardwalk path and viewing platforms. Some of the birds include: The Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, White-collared Oliveback, Papyrus Canary, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Western Nicator, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Superb Sunbird, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Black Bishop,Great Blue turaco, White-breasted Negrofinch and Black-crowned Waxbill are endangered species.
Cultural Tours around the community
Kibale Association for Rural Environment Development (KAFRED) is a community-based organization which, through ecotourism, promotes local livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. During the village walks, the everyday life of Batooro can be discovered. The tour stops at the primary school, the church and the traditional healer of the area. During village walks, including stops at the village’s primary school, church and traditional healer, Batooro’s daily life can be discovered. You will learn about the role of women in the village and traditional rituals, and the history of Bigodi is told through the tale of the “Village of Two Tribes,” explaining the migration of Bakiga from southwestern Uganda in the 1950s by the indigenous Batooro.
Bigodi swamp walk
Join the local guide on a walk to enjoy the local wildlife, birds and vegetation through the Bigodi swamp wetlands. A local guide will drive you along the boardwalk through the Bigodi swamp wetlands during the nature walk. You are likely to see close-up wildlife, including several of the 200 bird species, eight primate varieties, numerous butterflies, and unusual swamp vegetation.
This is a community initiative under the management of Kibale Association for Rural Environment Development (KAFRED). This has helped the community to know the value of tourism and wildlife in the community.
Other activities that can be done in Kibale forest are: Night tracking/walks, Kibale Forest Hikes,
Visiting the crater lakes and many others.