Situated in the western part of Uganda, Kibale Forest National Park is among the top leading and most visited places in Uganda that has a number of activities that you can engage in. This is also known as the ‘primate capital of the world’ and this is because of the fact that it does have more primate species than any other place in East and central Africa.
The highlight of your trip to this park located in Fort Portal is to see chimpanzees as they play, feed and seen both on ground and tree branches. Its during the tracking that you will come across other primate species that reside within the park’s boundaries. These include a Black and white colobus monkey, Patas Monkey, Red Tailed Monkey, Mangabeys, Red Colobus Monkey, L’Hoest’s Monkey, blue monkey, olive baboon, potto and other species.
Apart from primate safaris, there other exciting activities you can engage in while in Kibale Forest National Park and these do include;
It’s absolutely memorable and rewarding getting close and staying close to man’s closest relative – chimpanzees for more than an hour. It’s during this time that you can observe and study their behavior as they play and feed, take as many photos as you want and much more. To participate in chimpanzee habituation, you will need to have purchased a chimpanzee habituation permit that is availed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Kibale is also among the best birding destination in Uganda with the park hosting over 350 species of birds that be seen in its boundaries and 6 of these are endemic to the region. While on a safari to this park, you definitely don’t have to miss out visiting the Bigodi wetland sanctuary also known as the ‘birder’s paradise’ which has over 138 species of birds.
These can be seen on a guided safari through boarded walk trails and from the viewing points. Some of the bird species you can look forward to seeing include; the popular papyrus gonolek, white collared olive, African pitta, black capped apalis, crowned eagle, black crowned waxbill among others.
Natural walks and hikes
This is another way you can fully explore what the park does have within its boundaries. While on a nature walk you can visit the amabere caves, the various rivers, swamps and also get the opportunity to have a look at other wildlife species that reside here.
Your safari to Kibale is incomplete if you don’t get the opportunity to the local community and get to see how they interact and live their lives. Kibale is surrounded by the Batoro people and visiting these people will equip you with information about their rich culture, their lifestyle, and also get the opportunity to visit the Tooro kingdom palace – where the king resides.
Another tribe that you don’t have to miss visiting while on your trip in Kibale is Bakiga people. These are mainly known to be strong and subsistence farmers and visiting them is an experience worth it.
Best time to visit Kibale Forest National Park
Tourism is an all year round activity which does imply that you can visit any time of the year and still have that much needed rewarding experience you need. However to have that very best experience, you will need to visit the park during the months of June to September and December to February. It’s during this time that the country and Kibale receives less or not rainfall at all which makes the trails in the parks dry and less slippery which eases movement.
During the wet season that takes place during the months of march to May and October to early December, the park receives a lot of rainfall which does make the trails within the park hard to pass through since they are slippery. To have a rewarding experience, you will need to visit the park during the dry season.
Regardless of the season you choose to visit the park, we assure you that you will have a fun packed time.
How do I get to Kibale National Park
Kibale Forest National Park can be accessed by either road or air. By road you can use the Kampala – Fort portal route through Mubende which is a 6hr drive from Kampala city. It can also be accessed through Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara- Kamwenge – Fort portal route. However, this is the longest and favorable for those planning to visit Lake Mburo National Park on their trip. For travelers already in Fort Portal, the park is just an hour away.
By air, you will need to book a chartered plane from Entebbe or Kajjansi airstrip to Kasese airstrip which is close to the park or Nyakisharara in Mbarara and then drive to the park through Kamwenge.