KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Kibale being an extensive National Park, it’s the most accessible of Uganda’s major rainforests protecting some excellent forest for bird watching. Kibale is home to a remarkable 13 primate species, including the much localized red Colobus and Lhotse’s monkey.
It also holds the greatest variety and concentration of primates found anywhere in East Africa. Numerous birds and primates combined with easy access, due to good infrastructure and a variety of interesting activities make this forest a worthwhile safari destination.
Kibale forest National Park rests on approximately 560 km 2 large, and it is mainly occupied by two tribes i.e. Batooro and Bakiga traditionally both tribes utilized the forest for food, fuel, building materials and other viable resource to man’s life.
Kibale Forest National park attractions
Kibale Forest’s most famous attraction, however, is the opportunity to track habituated chimps – these delightful apes, more closely related to humans than to any other living creature, are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees. Other primates that may be found on these guided walks include Guereza Colobus, Olive Baboon, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, L’Hoest’s Gentle ( Blue) and Red-tailed Monkeys is more likely to be found in open areas adjacent to the forest. You may also find evidence of Elephants, Bush Pig and Buffalo along the trails, whilst Bushbuck, Blue, Harvey’s and Peter’s Duickers are other shy inhabitants of the forest interior. The guided night walks are also rewarding: Potto, Spectacled Demidoff’s and Thomas’s Galagos, Lord Derby’s Anomalure, African Civet and Common Genet are all possible.
A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight botanists and butterfly lovers, while birders are in for a treat with 335 species recorded including the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush.
The elusive forest elephant, smaller and hairier than its savannah counterpart, moves seasonally into the developed part of the park, while other terrestrial mammals include buffalo, giant forest hog and a half dozen antelope species.
The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary Walk
The walk is about 4 km in length, taking 3-4 hours at a birding pace with lots of wildlife to spot . With all proceeds from eco-tourism going back into the community, this is a conservation project well worth supporting. A number of birds can be spotted out including the rare shoebill stock
Bird Species in Kibale Forests
Red-winged Francolin, Red-chested Fluff tail, White-naped Pigeon, Green-brested Pitta, African Pitta,Joyful Greenbul, Grey-winged Robin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey-throated Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycather, Masked and Black-capped Apalises, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Chestnut-winged Starling, Orange-tufted and Tiny Sunbirds, Grey-headed
A wide range of other interesting mammals exists from the list of over 60 species include Alexander’s Cusimanse, Swamp Otter, Ratel (Honey Badger) and African Palm Civet Ichneumon, Banded and Marsh Mongooses. Although Golden Cat, Serval, Lion, Leopard, Warthog, Giant Hog and Hippopotamus are recorded from the park, they are unlikely to be encountered in the Kanyanchu area. Sitatungas are known from Bigodi Swamp but are infrequently seen. The spectacular and beautiful Rhinoceros Viper is fairly common here but is, unfortunately, less often found alive than as a road-kill.
Safari Lodges in Kibale forest National Park
Ndali Lodge and Kyaninga Lodges are the top most luxury accommodation with thatched cottages overlooking acrater lakes.
The other place to spend the night is in Primate Lodge Kibale, Mountains of the Moon Hotel, Kibale Forest Camp do provide excellent overnight services to visitors
Modern Bandas, luxury tents and a comfortable Sky Tree House at Chimps Nest, Chimpanzee Guest House, Nyinabulitwa country Resort, Fort Motel indeed provide quality services as well especially to budget visitors.
The Rwenzori View Guesthouse located in Fort Portal approximately 30 kms from the forest. Comfortable, middle class rooms with or without private bathrooms are available
Tips on Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forests
a). When trekking you are advised to remain in a tight group and follow the guide’s directions at all times
b). The maximum number of people in a group is 4 visitors per guided walk
c). The maximum time allowed with the chimps is one hour; however, the time might be shortened under the guide’s discretion to eliminate stressful situations for the chimps
d). Please note that this is not a Zoo so it is a tropical rainforest and sightings depend on factors such as time of the day fruit availability, weather and how quite the primate group is.
e). Please remain at a distance of 8 meters from the chimps or the distance that your guide recommends
f). Under no circumstance shall you chase while they descend or to or walk on higher ground.
h). You are advised not to enter the forest if you are sick as this can put the animals at serious risk
I). Please refrain from eating near the chimps and other primates
j). Please do not shout in the forest
k) it’s advisable to wear long boots that cover your toes and long trousers as there are red ants and slippery trails, also carry along water proof clothing in the rainy season.
l). Children under 13 years are not allowed to view the chimps for safety reasons.
m). If you need to urinate please do so off the trail system.
n). If you need to defecate, please do so off the trail system and bury all in a hole all waste.
How to get to Kibale Forests
From Kampala via Fort Portal to Kamwenge, which commences near the Mpanga river bridge Fort Portal town Kabarole district? Turn left at the junction 12 km from Fort Portal and an additional 24 km to Kanyanchu Tourist Centre.