Kibale national park is the most magnificent of Uganda’s tropical rain forests and one of the most rewarding areas to explore. Established at the end of the 18th century, Kibale boasts of 13 species of primates including the localized red colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys and the endemic Uganda manageable.
Kibale‘s major attraction is the chimpanzees, the delightful apes, most closest to humans than to any other living creature. These can be seen swinging in tree branches as one trek through the forest trails. While you enjoy your tour in this sunny side of nature, you have a life opportunity to sight over 300 bird species. The 180km long migration corridor for wildlife also habits mammals like the elusive forest elephants, buffaloes, giant forest hogs and half a dozen antelope species; thereby making it one of the most stunning parks in Uganda.
Situated ideally in the heart of the Toro Kingdom in western Uganda, near Fort portal, the park lies close to the tranquil Ndali- Kasenda crater area and is within a half days’ drive of Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori mountains and Semliki national parks. The park became a government forest reserve in the early 1940s.
The 795km park can be accessed from Uganda’s capital, Kampala along a newly surfaced road via Kasese (near Queen Elizabeth national park). The park can be reached from Kampala via Mubende and fort portal or through Mbarara and Kamwenge. There is daily public transport between Kampala and fort portal by bus.
Kibale national park has access to two airstrips; Nyakisharara airstrip in Mbarara (about 98km through Kamwenge from Kanyanchu) and Kasese air strip, 75km from fort portal town. It can also be reached from the airstrip in Toro or Semliki wildlife reserve, only 86 from Kanyanchu.
Chimpanzee habituation experience
The chimpanzee habituation experience (CHE) allows you to accompany Kibale’s researchers and habituators as they follow chimpanzees during their daily activity, thereby getting them used to human presence without altering their natural behaviour. This is an all day and early visitors may be able to see the spectacular scene of chimps de- nesting, feeding, copulating, hunting breast feeding, resting, patrolling and displaying until they build new nests and retire for the night around 7:00pm. Note: (advance booking is essential).
Primates walk (chimpanzee tracking)
Also you can experience and participate in the chimpanzee tracking walks which starts from the Kanyanchu visitor centre at 08:00am and 02:00pm and lasts 2-3 hours. Park guides are readily available to take tourists through this ritual. This walk is for six persons per group and advance booking is essential.
Day hikes/ nature walks
This is an exploration of the park’s diverse habitats providing very close contact with nature. The walks begin at 08:00am, 10:00am and 2:00pm from Kanyanchu tourist centre and take about 2-3 hours. Remind your guide to show you the naked Adam and Eve tree, one of Kibale’s unique wonders.
Bird watching and night nature walk
Kibale national park boast of 372 bird species of which 60 percent are recorded Uganda’s forest birds. Bird watchers can spot various species of these birds as they enjoy the various activities in the park. Also there is night nature walk which allows visitors to track the unique species of birds, animals and insects such as Bat, Owl, Pottos, Bush babies, Civets, Genet cats and Eastern needle nailed; that are most active at night.
Only children above 12 years are allowed to go into the forest to view the chimps. Kibale has a variety of activities for children under 12 years including educational forest walks of 1-2 hours followed by creative activities like pond dipping, cyanotype photography and batik making. Through these educational forest walks, the children can learn about the ecosystem and its inhabitants. Parents can enjoy their forest walk with the knowledge that their children are occupied in worthwhile activity with trained ranger guides.
Cultural heritage and nature trail
Follow a 2-6 days cultural heritage and nature trail through the tropical forest and meet local people and gain insights into their cultures. The full walk can start or end at either Kanyanchu or Sebitoli. Explore the forest during the day, end for a rest at the community run campsites near the villages of Kinoni, Nyaibanda and Nyakalongo. Porters can be hired to carry equipment’s; the walk is most exciting in groups of up to 6 people.
Accommodation & Camps