Kibale forest National Park is located in western Uganda in the districts of kabarole and Kamwenge which is about 5-6 hours’ drive from Entebbe International airport/Kampala. Kibale National Park has the largest chimpanzee population standing at approximately 1500 individuals and is the best place to trek habituated wild chimpanzees in the whole of Africa.
Kibale forest covers an area of 795 sq. km. the park is a well-known home to chimpanzees and other 12 primates making it one of best national parks to visit while on your Uganda primate safari.
There are 13 primate species in the park and these include: close relatives the chimpanzees, grey cheeked mangabey, endangered red colobus, black-and-white colobus, blue monkey, olive baboon, potto, bush babies, red-tailed monkey and the, rarely seen, Hoest’s monkey. Kibale National Park can be reached from kampala via Mubende on a very good road with a stopover in Mubende town.
KibaleNational Park is in a closer proximately to semliki, Queen Elizabeth National Park and from Kibale to Queen Elizabeth is just 2 hours drive. It also gives you the great views of Rwenzori Mountains. Those interested in flying can charter flight from Entebbe international Airport or Kajjansi to Fort Portal saka or Ndali.
Kibale national park has three habituated chimpanzee communities that can be trekked but in order to reduce on food competition, these communities that are composed of 50-150 individuals tend to break up into smaller parties of 10-20 individuals, later re-join in the evening to make their nest.
Chimpanzee trekking adventure starts with a briefing at the Park Headquarters later rally behind your experienced guides and trackers who will accompany your party on an early morning trek into the forest to view wild chimpanzees as well as several other species of primates in their natural habitat. You will have an opportunity to be within a few metres of these amusing and very social apes, sharing in their daily lives and experiencing their day-to-day activities. Chimpanzees, our closest cousins, are extremely endangered with only an estimated 5000 remaining in Uganda
For those interested in birding, Kibale is one of the few places where you can spot over 350 birds. In the nearby bigodi village, enjoy a swamp walk that can supplement on your chimpanzee trekking and all proceeds from this walk goes to community development projects.
Bigodi wetland Sanctuary is a highlight of the area,Located just outside the park itself is a community-run reserve that provides a great example of how tourism and local communities can work together benefit the environment. The sanctuary has over 335 bird species and at least five primate species.
Bigodi wetland Swamp is one of Uganda’s best bird watching sites. Its rich ecosystem makes it a spectacular venue for viewing numerous primate and bird species in their natural habitats. This two to three hour walk can be tailored to your individual schedule and interests. All proceeds from this walk goes to developing community projects in the area that’s how the community is benefiting from the presence of Kibale National Park.
There are two categories of nature walks i.e. half day walk and night walk
Half day walk takes you through tropical rainforest with experienced wildlife guides. Enjoy scenic views, the sights and sounds of the rain forest, ample opportunities for bird watching and glimpses of the many monkey species living in the park as they move through the forest canopy.
At night, set out on foot into the park with your guides as the nocturnal world of the forest comes to life. Using spot lights allowing visitors to see the many creatures who move about the forest at night, your guide will help you spot pottos, owls, bushbabys, genets, and on, rare occasions, small jungle cats.