Kibale Forest National Park is located in the Western Part of Uganda covering an area of 766 sq kms with evergreen rain forest and varying terrains. The Montane Rain forest is one of Africa’s vast reserved green forests and was founded in 1993 bordering Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Park is prominently know to inhabit the rare species of Chimpanzees that are tracked by all kinds of travelers from all over the world as well as the red colobus monkey, rare L’Hoest’s monkey, black-and-white colobus, blue monkey, red and blue duikers, bush bucks, sitatungas, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, common warthogs and African buffalo. There are also various bird species that can be seen around the park and these include; the olive long-tailed cuckoo, western tinker bird, ground thrush, two species of pittas (African and green-breasted) and the grey parrot.
Flora of the Park
The Park comprises of 229 species of trees and some are endangered i.e Cordia millenii, Entandrophragma angolense, and Lovoa swynnertonnii. Other trees also exist i.e the shade-tolerant shrubs and herbs, which include Palisota schweinfurthii and Pollia condensata, in addition to ferns and broad leaf grasses.
People around the Park
Two major tribes of people inhabit the regions close to the park i.e the Batooro and Bakiga and these benefit from the Park for food, fuel, and other resources. It has improved their standards of living as many have received jobs.
Activities to do in the Park
Chimpanzee Tracking is the most prominent Safari Activity carried out in the Park and this requires visitors to transfer to the Park headquarters for briefing on the Dos and Don’ts around the Chimpanzees then later in groups of 8 with a skilled ranger guide, proceed to the starting Point at Kanyanchu Visitor’s Center where you leave from to penetrate the forest to track the Chimpanzees for 2-4 hours depending on their movement in the forest and when you meet them, an hour is allowed to stay in their presence taking numerous photos to keep for memories. You Must carry a valid Chimpanzee Tracking Permit with you at US $150 per person.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
Chimpanzee Habituation is another exciting Safari Activity to carry out in Kibale Forest National Park and involves you transferring through the forest following the Chimpanzees from the time they wake up to do their daily activities to the time in the late evening when they build new nests to spend the night. You follow the Chimpanzees as they do their daily activities like patrolling, foraging, breast feeding, playing, leading, communicating, etc. We recommend you carry your packed lunch since you stay with the Chimpanzees from early in the Morning to late in the evening i.e the activity takes the whole day. Carry with you the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience permit at US $200 per person.
Hiking and Nature Walks
The Park is very ideal for visitors interested in Hiking and Nature Walks around the forest vegetation following different trails marked in the Forest. There is the Sebitoli Forest Hike that offers you views of various bird species and Primates as well as the Kihingani Wetland walk that takes you to various trails outside the Park.
Bird Watching is another safari activity carried out in the Park offering you views of numerous species of Birds flying around their natural forest vegetation habitat. the White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Western Nicator, Grey-winged Robin-chat, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Black Bishop, White-breasted Negrofinch and Black-crowned Waxbill.
Kibale Forest National Park is an ideal safari destination for all travelers interested in experiencing the unique Cultural traditions in Uganda. The tribal people that stay around the Park are the local Batooro who have rich cultural traditions that can be adventured by all visitors interested in getting the African custom touch.