Do you want to know more about the life and behavior of human’s closest Relatives (the chimpanzees)? Have you ever spotted various primates co-existing in one destination? Visit Kibale nation Park and Let all your questions be answered.
Kibale National Park is located in Western Uganda with a moist evergreen rain forest. It covers 766 square kilometers (296 Sq. mi) in size with diverse array of landscapes. Kibale National park is one of the last remaining areas to harbor both lowland and montane forests in East Africa; it carries the last large portion of the pre-montane forest.
Kibale National Park was gazetted in 1932 and given its status in 1993 to protect a large forest area initially managed as a logged forest reserve; the Forest spreads and joins with Queen Elizabeth National Park which is equally one of the best tourist destinations. The park is recognized for its population of habituated chimpanzees and twelve other species of primates.
The main two tribes that reside around this park include the Batooro and Bakiga. This park is of great significance to them since it enables them to find what to eat, fuel and local herbs. It is believed that various benefits from the park such as jobs and market for locally made souvenirs have made the population to greatly increase
The park has one of the highest diversity and concentration of primates in Africa, such as the endangered chimpanzees, the red colobus monkey, the rare L’Hoest’s monkey, and others.
Basing on the most recent research, there are approximately 229 species of trees found within the moist tropical forests of the park, such as Cordia millennial, Entandrophragma angolense, and Lovoa swynnertonnii Forest management. Also, there is an abundance of tree species that specifically require animal dispersal of their seeds that were far more abundant than non-animal dispersed species in the plot with the longest duration of fire exclusion.
The park protects a large block of rainforest that offers some excellent haven for birding, harbors the greatest variety and concentration of primates found nowhere else apart from Kibale forest. Some of the bird species that can be found include the Red-chested Flufftail, White-naped Pigeon, Green-breasted Pitta, African Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Grey-winged Robin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey-throated Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher and others.
In comparison with other destinations, Kibale national park is a unique destination in that tourists have up to 100% chance of sighting the primates. Some of these primates include, Chimpanzees which are the closest relatives of Human beings, Guereza Colobus, Olive Baboon, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, L’Hoest’s Gentle ( Blue) and Red-tailed Monkeys are more likely to be found in open areas adjacent to the forest. You may find evidence of Elephant, Bush Pig, and Buffalos among others.
It is important to note that there are also some Nocturnal Primates In the park which includes Bush babies and Pottos. It is only possible to encounter these primates while having a nocturnal guided forest walk with spotlights which is unique and rewarding.
The other attraction just opposite the park is the Bigodi swamp, visitors who visit return with a smile since the adventure exposes them to different primates such as the sitatunga, baboons among others.
Hikes and Nature Walks
You can enjoy the different aspects at the park as you hike In and around Kibale National Park, A tourist is taken to the neighboring villages as you enjoy village walk and visit Bigodi Swamp and learn; a lot of hidden secrets in the magnificent destination.
Visiting the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary
Bigodi is a vast tract of wetland and a bird sanctuary located in the tropical jungle that possesses a variety of natural wonders with amazing primates such as monkeys, baboons, rare birds like the great Blue Turaco, abundant flora, etc. Bigodi has become a must-visit destination near Kibale Forest.
Primate Trekking and Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
The dominant tourist activity in Kibale National park is chimpanzee tracking. When compared to gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking is very simple and interesting. While in Kibale national park, only individuals above 15 years exercise chimpanzee tours in groups of 8 people in company of very knowledgeable forest guides.
Tracking goes for up to 6 hours depending on visitors’ speed and movements of chimps. It is important to note that visitors are encouraged to wear trousers and long-sleeved shirts to avoid being bitten by insects or being pricked by thorny bushes.
There are numerous lodges and safari accommodation that offer classic services to all the guests who come to the park, they range from luxury, mid-range and budget accommodations. Some of the luxury lodges include Primate Lodge, Ndali Lodge, Kyaninga Lodge, Crater Safari Lodge, Papaya Lodge, etc.
A traveler can access Kibale forest national park from Kampala through Fort Portal – Kamwenge districts. From Fort Portal, your journey will start at the bridge over the Mpanga River, us you proceed 12km to the main signpost and Kanyanchu tourist center after 24kms.