Kibale Forest National Park is the best park in Uganda for Chimpanzee trekking Safaris and is located in Kabarole district of western Uganda near Fort Portal and measures 776 sq km in size. It is elevate between 1110 meters to 1590 meters and has a national park since 1993.
Kibale Forest National Park is the most accessible of Uganda’s major rain forests and home to 13 primate species, remarkable of which are the very localized red colobus and l’hoest’s monkeys. 77% of Kibale National Park is covered by a medium altitude, moist evergreen forest in the north, and a medium altitude moist semi-deciduous forest at a lower altitude in the south. The remaining 23% of the park is composed of savanna grassland, swamps and some plantations with exotic coniferous trees.
The Batooro and Bakiga are the main native traditional tribes lived in this area to date. These tribes utilize the forest for food, fuel, building materials and medicines.
Things to do in Kibale Forest National Park
The major tourist attraction in Kibale is the opportunity to track habituated chimpanzees. These delightful apes, more closely related to humans than any other living creature, are mesmerizing to watch as they freely squabble and enjoy their play in fruiting trees with in the forest. The park has a highly successful customary Chimpanzee-tracking program. More primates may be found on these guided walks that include Olive baboons,the grey-cheeked Mangabeys, the blue L’Hoest’s gentle ,Guereza colobus, and Red-tailed monkeys usually found in open areas close to the forest. You may also find Elephants, Hogs and Bufalloes along the way. Bush buck, Harvey’s and Peter’s duick-ers are yet other inhabitants of this forest.
Night guided walks in Kibale Forest National Park are also worth an adventure. Here you are fronted with special animals such as the Lord derby’s anomalure, Potto, Thomas’s Galagos ,Spectacled Demidoff’s, Common Genet and African Civet.
Other interesting mammals from the list of over 60 species include Banded and Marsh Mongooses, Ichneumon, , Swamp Otter, Alexander’s Cusimanse, Ratel (Honey Badger) and African Palm Civet. Although Golden cat, Serval, Lion, Leopard, Warthog, Giant Hog and Hippopotamus are recorded from the park, they are unlikely to be encountered in the Kanyanchu area. Sitatungas are known from Bigodi swamp but are infrequently seen. The spectacular and beautiful Rhinoceros Viper is fairly common here but is, unfortunately, less often found alive than as a road-kill.
With over 60 species, other interesting mammals include the Alexander’s Cusimanse, Banded and Marsh Mongooses, Swamp Otter, Ichneumon ,Ratel /Honey Badger and African Palm Civet. On a lucky day, one can see the Lion, Leopard, Golden Cat,Warthog, Serval, Hippopotamus Giant Hog and the rare Sitatungas commonly found in Bigodi .
Kibale Forest National Park offers affordable 3 hour chimp tracking limited to a group of 6 people that leave for their tracking at 8:00 am and 3:00pm daily. The popular night walks depart from Kanyan-chu visitor Centre at 7:30 pm but carrying a personal touch and advance bookings are highly recommended.
Kibale`s network of shady forest trails provides much delight to botanists and butterfly lovers.With 335 species recorded including the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush,birders are greatly im-pressed. Her bird species include; the Grey-winged Robin, White-naped Pigeon, Red-winged Francolin Green-brested Pitta, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Chestnut-winged Starling Red-chested Flufftail, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey-throated Flycatcher , African Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, White-bellied Crested Flycather, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Masked and Black-capped Apalises Chestnut-winged Starling, Grey-headed Olive-back ,Orange-tufted and Tiny Sunbirds, Uganda Woodland Warbler and Chestnut-winged Starling.