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Kibale Forest National Park


Kibale Forest National Park features is one of Uganda's most spectacular national Parks that you should consider visiting while in Uganda. The park features extensive tropical rain forest, grassland and swamps. It covers an area of about 795 square kilometres and stands at altitude of about 1290 meters in the north and 1100 meters along the rift valley in the south.

For primate enthusiasts, they should consider Kibale Forest National Park. The park boasts of over 13 distinct primate species with over 1500 chimpanzees out of all the 5000 individuals that Uganda is known for. Others include the rare L’Hoests, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, red colobus monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, pottos, blue monkeys, bush babies, baboons.

This protected area also refuges about 350 tree species most of which stretch up to 55 meters and they are more than 200 years old. It also habitat  to about 70 distinct mammal species including forest elephants, buffaloes, leopards, bush pigs, duikers and over 370 bird species as well as several butterflies, reptiles and amphibians.

The notable bird species at this park include the rare green breasted pitta, red faced woodland warbler, black capped apalis, purple breasted sun-bird, yellow spotted nectar, brown chested alethe, yellow rumped tinker bird, crowned eagle, black eared ground thrush, little greenbul, dusky crimson wing, blue headed sunbird, collared apalis and many more.


Kibale National Park experiences two dry seasons and two wet seasons. The dry seasons are experienced between June to July and December through to February. Despite these being the driest months, it is an excellent time for chimpanzee trekking.  The two wet seasons exist between March to May and August through to November. The forest trails can become slippery, making chimpanzee trekking more challenging.  It is recommended that during the wet season to bring waterproof clothing.


1.Chimpanzee Trekking

Chimpanzee trekking features the most sought after primate adventures by most travellers on safari to Kibale Forest National Park. This adventure is conducted in the morning (8:00am) and in the afternoon (2:00pm) at Kanyanchu visitor centre. Chimpanzees at this park were habituated for visitors to track around 1991 and they can easily be tracked in the jungles of Kibale National Park. This adventure lasts for about 2 to 4 hours depending on where they are found, nature of the habitat and walking speed of visitors and up on getting them, you will spend an hour to take as many photos as possible.

2.Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

Besides the usual treks, you can also engage in chimpanzee habituation experience a. This chimpanzee adventure takes visitors the whole day of chimpanzee exploration while acquainting them to human presence. It is conducted by park trackers/researchers and visitors starting early in the morning till sunset. This adventure is usually done all year round. The activity starts early at 6 am before  the chimps come out of their nests until evening when they return to their nests.

3.Nature Walks/ Forest Hikes

For visitors who wish to explore the park in depth, consider forest walks a must. The forest walk at the park takes you through a 12 kilometre walk and it is restricted only to dry months especially around mid November to February and June to September. This rewards visitors with remarkable views of the park’s grassland, tropical rain forest and swamps.

Visitors also get a chance to spot out most of the park’s avian species and primates as well as butterflies. The forest walks usually begin at 8:00am and 2:00pm local time.

4. Other activities

Other activities to do while in Kibale National Park include cultural heritage and nature trail walk-an absolute walk that lasts for 2 to 6 days through the forest. It starts and ends at Kanyanchu or at Sebitoli visitor center. The walk takes visitors via the forest during day time and in the evening, to community run campsites near the villages of Kikoni, Nyaibanda and Nyakalongo. This also provides you opportunity to meet with the Batooro and Bakiga tribes.

After or before your chimpanzee adventures at Kanyanchu River Camp, never miss to pay a visit to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary just next to the park. This sanctuary lies within Magombe Swamp and it is credited for its amazing primates (red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red colobus monkeys as well as bushbucks, mongoose, sitatunga and over 138 bird species, all of which can be spotted while on guided walks. If you are looking for the best primate destination then consider Kibale Forest National Park a must to visit while you are on your safari in Uganda.

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