Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park is the most accessible among Uganda’s primary rainforests. The forest boasts the highest concentration of primates in Africa with 14 species. These are both diurnal and nocturnal primates.
Kibale Forest National Park is most famous for Common Chimpanzee trekking activities and the existence of a highly sought after bird, the Green-breasted Pitta. The park has a well established Chimpanzee tracking program with the highest success rate in the region. The forest has the most top record of Chimpanzee individuals for any protected area world over, numbering over 1450. Other primates that occur on guided walks include Mantled guereza, Olive baboon, Uganda mangabey, the rare L’Hoest’s monkey, Red-tailed and Blue monkeys, and the highest number of the threatened Uganda red colobus in Uganda.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) is another highly participated activity in the park. This activity starts typically early and spends the day out watching the Chimps. It is fantastic to watch Chimpanzees leaving their overnight nests between 6:00 – 6:30 am before feeding and also watch them copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, resting, patrolling territory and displaying until it is time to build new nests around 7 pm.
Kibale Forest National Park Nocturnal Walks can be so rewarding with records of Pottos, Demidoff’s galago, Thomas’s galagos, Lord Derby’s anomalures, African civets, Kibale African golden cats, Uganda wildcat and Genets.
Other fascinating mammals from the list of over 60 species include; forest adapted Elephants, Buffaloes, Giant forest hogs, and the regularly encountered Bushbucks, Duikers, Ichneumon, Banded and Marsh mongooses, Alexander’s cusimanse, and the rare African palm civet. Although the Kibale African golden cats, Serval cats, Lions, Leopards, Warthogs, Giant hogs and Hippopotamus occur in the park, they are unlikely to be encountered in the Kanyanchu area. Sitatungas are known from Bigodi Swamp but and are less infrequently seen.
The spectacular and beautiful Rhinoceros Viper is reasonably common here but is, unfortunately, less often found alive than as a road-kill.
So far, 375 species of birds occur, but more species are likely to be added. The park has the Green-breasted Pitta as the most sought after species along with others; Chubb’s Cisticola, Black-capped Waxbill, Africa Shrike-flycatcher, African Black-headed Oriole, African Emerald Cuckoo, African Green-pigeon, Black-crowned Tchagra, African Wood Owl, African/Rwenzori/Abyssinian Hill-Babbler, Alpine Swift, Ashy Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Black Bee-eater, Black Cuckoo, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Black-and-white Mannikin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Black-billed Turaco, Black-billed Weaver, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, African Dusky Flycatcher, Black-headed Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, African Citril (Western Citril), Black-throated Apalis, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-throated Roller, African Blue Flycatcher, Bocage’ Bush-shrike, Bronze Mannikin, Zebra Waxbill, Bronze Sunbird, Brown Illadopsis, Brown-capped Weaver, Brown-chested Alethe, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Brown-headed Tchagra, African-pied Wagtail, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Yellow-billed Barbet, Afep Pigeon, name it.
The shady forests with a list of 351 tree species with some as old as 200 years and a healthy butterfly Checklist of over 250 species provide botanists and butterfly enthusiasts with a rare treat.
Community- based eco-tourism has been developed at Kibale, and there are regular community walks to the neighbouring local villages.
Kibale Forest National Park Rules
1. Please note that this is not a Zoo but a tropical rainforest, sightings depend on factors such as time of the day fruit availability, weather and others.
2. The maximum number of people per guided group is 6.
3. The maximum time allowed with the Chimps is one hour. However, the ranger guide has the right to shorten it under circumstances like avoiding stressful moments to the Chimps.
4. Please keep in the group during Chimp Trekking and follow the guide’s directions at all times.
5. Please maintain a distance of seven meters from the Chimps or the range that your guide recommends
6. Under no circumstance shall you chase while they descend or walk on higher ground.
7. You are advised not to enter the forest if you have a contagious sickness as this can put the primates at serious risk
8. Do not eat in the presence of Primates
9. Please avoid shouting in the forest
10. It is advisable to wear long boots that cover your toes and long trousers as there are red ants and slippery trails, also carry along waterproof clothing which would be of importance if it rained.
11. Children under 15 years are not allowed to track Chimpanzees.
12. If you need to urinate, please do so off the trail system.
13. If nature calls, please bury all faeces, and this must be done off the trails
There are educational walks for children who are not allowed to track the chimpanzees.
The park is 360 km away for Kampala; Estimated transit time: 5 hours
Kibale Forest National Park
- Size: 766 sq km
- District: Kabarole
- Geographical location: Western Uganda
- Altitude: From 1,110-1,590 metres above sea level
- Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda
- Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Uganda (CHEX)
- Birding Walks (Highlight is Green-breasted Pitta)
- Day and Night Forest Nature walks