Kibale National Park is a 795sqkms tropical rain-forest park located in Western Uganda and forms a joined block with Queen Elizabeth National park. It was gazetted as a national park in 1993. The park is accessible from Kampala within only 6 hours’ drive and preferably, a 4×4 safari vehicle is suitable for visitor road trip to this primate paradise.
Kibale is amazingly one of the few African safari parks that is endowed with a huge profusion of primates in Africa- a total of up to 13 primate species live in Kibale including a population of 1500 chimpanzees, blue monkeys, Uganda mangabeys, red tailed monkeys, red colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, pottos, bush babies, etc.
In addition to primates, Kibale also supports over 375 bird species, a total of 250 colorful butterfly species 250 species of trees and many more. The park sits on elevation range of 1100m the lowest point (mainly the Albertine rift valley in the Southern side) and 1600m- the highest point on the Northern edge.
It is one of the best destinations for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda with its beautiful and expansive tropical forest in Uganda provides home to more species of flora and fauna.
Kibale national park is habitat to much more forest wildlife, most especially 13 species of primate coupled with chimpanzees. The Forest covering predominates in the central and northern part of the park on the raised Fort Portal plateau. At the park’s northern tip, Kibale is highest on altitude and rises up to 1590m above sea level.
The park is famous for its different varied and large population of Primates in Africa. The most popular include the great chimpanzees and its acknowledged that Kibale has about 1450 chimpanzees. It also habours a rare species called L’Hoest’s monkey along with the colobus monkeys. There are large numbers of other primates which include blue monkeys, black and white colobus, red tailed monkey, bush baby and cheeked mangabey. The in the Kibale park wildlife is rare to be seen. The rare wild animals include leopard, bush pig, duiker, buffalo, and elephant. Other residents of the park are; bufferflies, reptiles along with amphibians.
The Kibale Flora and fauna has been supported by different factors such as the wet tropical forest that grows on the Fort Portal Plateau. The dry tropical forest, savannah, the woodland as well as the diverse altitude. The central part has a dense forest that is a habitat to many species. The trees are high with above 55m and show a semi-closed canopy of trees with crowns. The Uganda forest has a variety of herbs, ferns and about 315 tree species have been noted in the park.
The park is also rich with birds, this makes it important for bird watching as over 335 species of birds are found in Kibale. The few that are easily spotted are; Nahan’s francolin, Cassin’s spinetail, blue-headed bee eater and masked apalis.
What to pack
Once you are certain about when best to visit Kibale, the next step is to consider what items to carry and not to. Your packing list for a safari in Kibale Forest National Park should comprise of waterproof hiking boots, daypack, cameras free of flashlight, sweater, raincoat or jacket, insect repellent, first aid kit, long trousers, pair of sock, long sleeved shirts, toiletries, sunglasses, sun hat, bottled water, snacks to keep you fit, valid chimp permits, passport, visas, etc.
Accommodation in and around Kibale
- Primate Lodge
- Ndali Lodge
- Crater Safari Lodge
- Mountains of the Moon Hotel
- Isunga Lodge
- Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse
- Chimp’s Nest
- Papaya Lake Lodge
- Kyaninga Lodge