KIBALE FOREST NP – THE PRIMATE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
Kibale Forest National Park covers 776 sq km, located the west, near Fort Portal. Famously known as a home to a remarkable 13 primate species, including the chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkey, Guereza Colobus, Olive Baboon, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, and Red-tailed Monkeys among others. red colobus and Lhotse’s monkey that are both nocturnal and diurnal species
Kibale’s has different vegetation that has attracted a number mammals which include the elusive forest elephant that are smaller and hairier than its savannah counterpart, Buffaloes, Bushbucks, African Civet cats, Banded and Marsh Mongooses and Bush pigs.
The park is blessed with high populations of Chimpanzee, this ranks it the top tropical rain forest in East and Central Africa for Chimpanzee trekking and habituations. The other primates found in Kibale include the black and white colobus monkey, Guereza Colobus, Olive Baboon, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, and Red-tailed Monkeys among others. red colobus and Lhotse’s monkey
Facts about Chimpanzees
Chimps live in groups called troops, of some 30 to 80 individuals. These large groups are made up of smaller, very flexible groups of just a few animals, perhaps all females, all males or a mixed group. They sometimes chew leaves to make them absorbent and then use them as a sponge, dipping them in water and sucking out the moisture. They also use grass stems or twigs as tools, poking them into termite or ant nests and eating the insects that cling to them. They are able to wedge nuts between the roots of a tree and break the shells open with a stone.
Chimps are both arboreal and terrestrial, spending much of their daytime hours on the ground. They are quadrupedal, walking quickly on all fours with the fingers half-flexed to support the weight of the forequarters on the knuckles. They occasionally walk erect for short distances and Chimps are agile climbers, building nests high up in trees to rest in during midday and sleep in at night. They construct new nests in minutes by bending branches, intertwining them to form a platform and lining the edges with twigs. In some areas chimps make nests on the ground.
Bird life in Kibale is also a great attraction with over 210 recorded species which include Red-chested Fluff tail, Red-winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, Green-breasted Pitta, Grey-winged Robin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey-throated Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, , Uganda Woodland Warbler, White-naped Pigeon, Chestnut-winged Starling, Orange-tufted and Tiny Sunbirds, Grey-headed Olive-back African Pitta among others
Chimpanzee tracking is the top leading visitor activity one should not miss. In Kibale forest trekking the Chimps is scheduled twice on a daily basis , the morning shift trekking from 8:00 am and followed by the afternoon shift that starts at 2:00 pm
Chimpanzee habituation is very common in Kibale; this venture enables visitors to interact with the Chimpanzee for a full day learning more about the behaviors, physical characteristics, diet and habits
Other visitor activities including:-
- Bird watching
- Community visits
- Bigodi wetland walks
- Guided Nature walks
- Visiting the crater lakes
Kibale National Park has a wide set of accommodation facilities to cater for your overnight stay and meals including Kyaninga Safari Lodge, Ndali Lodge, The crate Lodge, & Kibale safari Lodge (High end Lodge), Primate lodge, Mountains of the moon (Mid range Lodging) or Kibale Forest Camp, Chimpanzee Guest House (Budget Lodging)
How to get there
As you set off from Kampala, following Mityana Road that connects to Fort Portal (320km) from Kampala almost a 4 hour’s drive. 35km from Fort Portal, is reached via a dirt road.
Best time to Visit
Any time of year