Kibale Forest National Park features one of the Uganda`s loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest. The park is home to a variety of forest wildlife species, most famously the 13 species of primates including the endangered chimpanzees. The northern part is dominated by the forest and central parts of the park on the elevated Fort Portal plateau. Kibale stands 1590m above sea level, making it the highest at the park’s northern tip.
The Northern part of Kibale is the wettest area, receiving up to 1700mm of mean annual rainfall, mostly during March-May and September-November. Kibale National Park generally has pleasant climate with a mean annual temperature range of 14-270C. The southern parts of Kibale National Park have the highest temperatures (and rainfall lower) where the terrain drops down onto the hot rift valley floor and forest gives way to open grassland.
Kibale National park covers about 795km2 and forms a contiguous block with Queen Elizabeth National Park, on an altitude of 1.100-1.590m above sea level. The vegetation of the park is dominated by the tropical rainforest.
Unique Attractions in Kibale Forest National Park-Uganda
Kibale National park is home to 60 mammal species, including forest elephants, buffaloes, hippos, bush pigs, warthog and duikers among others. Kibale is well known as the best are for sighting primates, counting 13 species. Particularly, the park hosts a vast population of endangered chimpanzees; also, there are vervet, red-tailed, Hoest’s and blue monkeys, red Columbus, grey-cheeked mangabey, black and white Columbus, olive baboons. The park has a record of 335 species in the bird list, of which four are only found here (Nathan’s francolin, blue-headed bee-eater, Cassin’s spine tail and masked apalis). The park also has over 250 species of trees that have been recorded.
What to do / Activities in Kibale Forest National Park-Uganda
Among the activities include the Chimpanzee trekking & Chimpanzee Habituation” from Kanyankyu gate as the main visitor activities, bird watching at “Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary” is the second main activity. Bigodi is a trading centre just outside the Park’s boundary; the Bigodi walk involves a guided walk through the Magombe swamp, where there are higher chances to see among others the papyrus gonolek and the great blue Turaco. The park allows nature walks to see primates, birds, reptiles, medicinal plants.
Where to stay/Accommodation in Kibale Forest National Park-Uganda
Kibale National Park provides a variety of luxury, midrange and budget lodges which include Kyaninga lodge, Ndali lodge, Crystal Crater Lodge (Luxury), Primate lodge, Mountains of the moon (midrange) Chimpanzee Guest House, Chimps Nest, Kibale Forest Camp (Budget accommodation).
Accessibility/How to get to Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda
Kibale National Park is settled about 26km south-east of Fort Portal town in western Uganda. The primary centre for tourism activities is the Kanyankyu River Camp, which can be accessed from Kampala either from the the south through Mbarara and Kamwenge or north, via Mubende and Fort Portal.
The northern route is shorter and quicker, with a 300km tarmac road running to Fort Portal and 36km on marram to Kanyankyu.
Public transport between Kampala and Fort Portal runs throughout the day (passing Sebitoli) and Fort Portal and Kamwenge (passing Kanyankyu).