Kibale Forest National Park, Chimpanzee Tracking Safaris in Uganda
Kibale Forest national Park is located in the Western part of Uganda covering an area of 766 kms2 (296 sq mi) between 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) to 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) ASL. It comprises of both Lowland and Montane Forests which stretch towards the stunning Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is prominently known to offer remarkable Primate Adventures to all travelers with 13 different species i.e the Chimpanzees,
The park inhabits 13 different primates mangabey monkeys, Red Tailed Monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, black and white Colobus monkeys, blue Monkeys etc. Birders too should transfer to the park for the park inhabits various species which are fond of flying from one tree to another within their natural forest vegetation.
Location of Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park is located in the Western Part of Uganda about 26 kilometers off Fort portal Town. It requires one to transfer for a period of 6-7 hours to get to the Park from Kampala.
How to Get to Kibale Forest National Park
Travelers to Kibale Forest National park can transfer North for a distance of 300 kilometers with a tarmac road going to Fort Portal and also a distance of 36 kms on murram to Kanyanchu. You can transfer to Kibale by use of both Air and Road transport. By Air travelers can transfer from the Entebbe International Airport or kajjansi Airstrip to the Kihihi Airstrip then transfer by road to Kibale Forest National Park.
When To Visit Kibale Forest for Chimpanzee Tracking
Kibale Forest National park should be visited during the dry season in the months of November to February and June to September so as to enjoy every encounter around the rare species of Chimpanzees in their natural vegetation habitat. This is because during this season, The Chimpanzees are on ground searching for food.
Activities to Do in Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National park is a very ideal safari destination to visit while in Uganda on Holiday safari Tour offering numerous Safari Activities to all travelers from all over the globe. These include;
Chimpanzee tracking is the most prominent safari Activity carried out in the park requiring a traveler to purchase a valid Chimpanzee Tracking permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). The Tracking Permit costs US $150 per person interested and this can be obtained by directly contacting the Uganda Wildlife Authority through Email or book with a valid Tour Operator Agency.
Chimpanzee Tracking Process
Chimpanzee Tracking Process begins by transferring to the Park Headquarters where you will be briefed on the Dos and Don’ts around the Chimpanzees. After briefing you will transfer into the forest with an experienced ranger guide to track the rare species of Chimpanzees for a period of 3-5 hours and when you meet them, you are allowed only an hour in their presence taking numerous photos to keep for memories.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience is another Safari Activity carried out in Kibale Forest National Park although it takes longer i.e the full day in company of the Chimpanzees from the time they wake up until the time they build new nests to rest for the night. This experience is worth it and the permit costs US $220 per person interested and it is obtained through the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Kibale Forest National Park is an ideal Birder’s Destination due to the numerous species of Birds that inhabit the forest vegetation of the park. The Forest comprises of 372 bird species 60 of them being endemic and these include; Cassin’s spinetail, blue-headed bee-eater, Nahan’s francolin and Masked apalis.
Other bird species that can be sited within the park includes: Yellow-spotted Nictor, Yellow- ramped Tinker bird, Speckled Tinker bird, Little Greenbul, Superb Sunbird, the African Pitta, White-thighed hornbill, Grey-winged Robin, Blue shouldered Robin Chat, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Black-billed Turacco, White-naped Pigeon, Green-breasted Pitta.
Purple-headed Starling, Red-chested Flufftail, Joyful Greenbul, Cabanis Greenbul, Grey-throated Tit Flycatcher, Scarlet-tufted, Green-throated, Purple-Breasted sunbirds,White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Masked Apalis, Tiny Sunbird, White-collared Olive-back and the Black bee-eater.
Hiking and Nature Walks
Hiking and Nature Walks at Kibale Forest National Park are very remarkable in the forest as these will offer you sightings of various primates and birds in the forest. There are various scheduled walks and these include; the Forest trail Hike, Nocturnal forest walk, Top of the World Hike, Amabere Caves and Crater lakes Hik. These all offer amazing sightings to all hikers.
- The Forest Trail is 12 kilometers long and very appropriate in the dry season taking 6 hours to finish. It follows through Savannah, Swamps, thick forest, Riverine Forests watching birds, Primates, Butterflies and small mammal species.
- The Top of the World Hike requires you a period of 3 hours offering you views of various Villages, Tea Plantations, 3 Crater Lakes, Mountain Rwenzori in a distance.
- The Amabere Caves Hike follows toward the Caves with a skilled ranger guide who will tell you stories regarding the Caves and Culture of the local people. After seeing the Caves, you will transfer to the Waterfalls then go watch the 3 stunning Crater Lakes.
Nocturnal forest Walk
The Nocturnal Forest Walk offers travelers a chance to spot various nocturnal wildlife animals as you transfer along the various trails in the forest. The walk takes a period of 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours at night after having your Dinner. You will spot nocturnal birds, primates and wildlife like the Pottos, Bush Babies, Tree Hyrax, birds i.e the Nightjar, Owls and predators like the Civet or Serval Cats. All travelers interested in Hiking and Nature Walks in Kibale Forest should not miss out on this amazing experience.