Kibale Forest National park
Kibale Forest National park also called the world capital of primates is one of the popular national parks in Uganda. The park is located in the Western part of Uganda and dominated by the rain forest. The park is a home of primates with 13 species of primates found at the park. The park covers a total land area of 766 square kilometers with almost dominated by the rain forests. The popularity of the park is based on the ever green forest though there is diverse array of landscapes. The Kibale forest is among the last remaining expanses that contains both lowland and montane forests.
Kibale Forest park was established and gazetted in 1932 but took some good years to be officially established. The park was later in 1993 established officially as national park. Its part of the great Rwenzori ecosystem that runs across the Queen Elizabeth national park. Kibale Forest National park is governed by the Uganda wildlife Authority. The park is an important ecosystem and the safari destination. It’s a home of the habituated Chimpanzees, it has the greatest number of habituated in Uganda.
Kibale is located in the highest elevation which stands at 1,590 meters above seas level. The lowest point of the park is at 1,100 meters that is around the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley. The park also hosts a wide range of tree species with over 351 tree species recorded at the park. The oldest tree at Kibale Forest National park goes up to 200 years old. The park supports different habitants due to the variety of altitudes at the park. The habitants range from the tropical evergreen forest to the Fort portal plateau, the woodlands and open savannahs along the rift valley floor.
Kibale Forest National park is one of the Africa’s foremost research sites especially for trees and primates. The park is known for Chimpanzee tracking, birding and swamp walks. The park also habits over 70 mammal species, over 375 bird species and 13 primate species.
Getting to Kibale forest national park
There two key routes that lead to this wonderful national park. One route passes through Mbarara and continue to Kasese passing though Queen Elizabeth national park. The second route Take the road from Fort Portal to Kamwenge, which commences near the bridge over the Mpanga River in Fort Portal and is well signposted. Turn left at the junction 12 km from Fort Portal and follow signpost for a further 24 km to Kanyanchu Tourist Centre.
Attractions in Kibale Forest National park
Kibale Forest National park is one of the most visited national parks in Uganda. The park is gifted with wide range of attractions. Below are some of the key attractions that are found at the park.
Chimpanzees and other primates.
Kibale Forest National park is a home of over 1500 chimpanzees making it one of the premium chimpanzee tracking location not only in Uganda but entire Africa. The park is the only place in Uganda where a guest is very sure of viewing Chimpanzees in the wilderness. The other primates species at the park include: black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkey, bush baby, Baboons, Lhost Monkey and many more.
The park is birding paradise with over 400 bird species with the forest species dominating. Bigodi Swamp is one of the key birding destinations around the park. Some of the bird species include: grey Parrot, African Crowned eagles and black bee-eaters, Guinea Fowl, Great Blue Turaco, African Pied wagtail, Pin-Tailed whydah, Tropical boubou, Slender-billed weaver, blue-headed bee-eater, Nahan’s francolin and Masked apalis mention but a few.
The park has a record of 70 mammal species that can be seen at the park. The rareness of the mammals make some travelers feel like it’s a lie but very true. Some of the animals found at the park are Forest Elephants, Giant forest Hogs, bush pigs, red duiker and many others. There have been some rumors of the leopards.
This is one of the few remaining rainforests in Uganda. It has over 351 tree species across the park.
Activities done in Kibale Forest National park
Chimpanzees tracking is one of the key activities that are done in Kibale Forest national park. Chimpanzee tracking in the park is done in three swifts those are early motning which start from 7:30am, the second which id mid-morning swift which starts from 11am and the afternoon which starts from 2pm. Chimpanzee tracking starts with briefing at the park headquarters before the travelers are matched to the forest with the guide or park ranger. For anyone to do Chimpanzee tracking one has to book in advance by paying in the Uganda wildlife Authority. You can also book using Reputable local tour operator.
Swamp walk and nature walk
Nature walks are some of the activities that cannot be missed during your Uganda safari in Kibale Forest national park. Nature walk is done mostly in the afternoon hours along the crater lakes area, Bigodi swamp and other areas around the park. During this nature walk travelers encounter more primates and birds outside the forest.
Other activities that can be done in Kibale Forest National park are:
Nocturnal forest walks
And many more