what m akes kibale forest national park a unique destination for primate safaris-africa
Kibale Forest National Park of Uganda stands at an altitude of between 1,590 and 1,100 meters above sea level and is situated in the western part of Uganda within the East African Rift Valley. Kibale Forest National Park was created as a forest reserve in 1932 due to its rich bio-diversity, and it became a game park in the 1990s. Kibale Forest National Park is Uganda’s top primate capital, and it offers numerous tree species with more than 350 scattered along the vast plateaus and plains, including the pre-montane forest that can’t be seen anywhere else in East Africa.
Kibale Forest National Park also has montane and lowland forests with rare and endangered species like Lovoa swynnertonnii, Entandropragma, and Cordia millennia. Kibale forest national park has tall trees that are standing at an average of 55 m above sea level and offer over 1700 mm of rainfall annually, which facilitates the group of dense ferns, grasses, and herbs within Kibale.
Kibale Forest National Park's top attraction
Chimpanzee trekking and seeing other primates: Kibale Forest National Park is the best place in East Africa to view primate species. Kibale Forest National Park doesn’t have mountain gorillas but it has over 13 primate species than any other national park in East Africa. Chimpanzees are categorized as endangered species and are considered special because they share over 95% of the human DNA. Kibale Forest National Park offers the largest chimpanzee clans in East Africa, with over 5,000 individuals recorded. Chimpanzee trekking can also be done in other parks in East Africa, such as in Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda, Kyambura gorge of Queen Elizabeth National Park of Uganda, Budongo Forest in Murchison falls National Park of Uganda, Kalinzu Forest, and Tooro Semliki Game Reserve, but the chances of viewing chimpanzees are slim compared to Kibale Forest National Park.
What makes Kibale forest national park's primate safari more special is the park's beautiful collection of monkeys. While on your primate safari to Kibale Forest national park, expect to view animals such as L’Hoest monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, blue monkeys, the endangered Red Colobus, Red-tailed Monkeys, Bush Babies, black and white colobus monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, and Olive Baboons. Since Kibale forest national park is near Queen Elizabeth National park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, and Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park primate lovers should expect a complete African safari experience without moving for long distances.
Bird watching: Uganda is recognized among the best three places where bird lovers can go for bird watching in Africa. Kibale Forest covers over 180 km2, which is a birders' paradise, offering more than 374 bird species. You can expect to see Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Black-capped Apalis, African Grey Parrot, and Blue-breasted Kingfisher during your bird watching tour in Kibale Forest. Black Bee-eater, Black-eared Ground Thrust, Blue-headed Sunbird, Brown Chested Alethe, Brown Illadopis, Collared Apalis, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Crowned Eagle, Dusky Crimson Wing, Little Green Bul, Red Chested Owlet, Red-Faced Woodland Warbler, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Yellow Rumpled Tinkerbird, African Pitta, Western Nicator, Yellow Spotted Nicator, and White-naph,
Other wildlife species: Besides primate specie and bird species, Kibale forest National Park protects over 14 snake species, 27 frog species,200 butterfly species, over 20 reptile types, and nearly 70 mammal species which include bats, giant forest hogs, bush pig, forest elephants, forest leopards, forest buffaloes, hippopotamus, African cats, bushbuck antelopes, red/blue duikers, sitatungas semi-aquatic antelopes, mongooses, warthogs, and the seasonally spotted hyenas.
Local people: For travelers interested in experiencing Uganda’s local culture, Kibale has a lot of local activities worth taking part in. The Batoro are the majority tribe surviving near Kibale Forest National Park, and visiting the local communities should be on your top list for those interested in the cultural experience. The Batoro people have a rich heritage, history, and culture, and their king is called the Omukama. Another tribe around Kibale is called the Bakiga tribe. The Bakiga people are known as the hardest-working people. They normally rely on subsistence farming, which produces various local foods such as the famous Matoke (bananas).
Kibale Forest National Park Nature Walks and Hikes: A walk within the vast tropical rainforest is another great way to explore the rich biodiversity in Kibale forest national park and the surrounding landscapes, such as the Amabere Caves. Nature walks’ starting points are at Sebitoli or Kanyanchu, the parks’ headquarters. Regardless of which sector of the park you have chosen to start your walk, Kibale Forest treats travelers to the full spectacle of tropical forests, swamps, grasslands, and rivers. Travelers interested in viewing how the local people go about their daily lives and work in the gardens can engage themselves in a walk through Nyaibanda, Kikoni, and Nyakalongo villages, which offer the perfect nature walk trails. Night walks can be organized to see nocturnal animals such as bush babies, potatoes, and rare bird species that are only active at night.
Bigodi Wetlands Walk and Bird Sanctuary: A special nature walk within the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary within Kibale Forest National Park The Bigodi Wetlands Walk is considered one of the best places to go for bird watching and primate spotting in East Africa and attracts thousands of tourists annually. A three-hour nature walk via the Bigodi swamp allows you to see more than 310 bird species. As you walk near the palm trees, you expect to view different plants and at least see five primate species.
Activities for Children: fully experienced park rangers, professional guides, and drivers are available to make sure that both adults and children enjoy their primate safari while in Kibale Forest National Park. Children under 13 years of age are not allowed to take part in chimpanzee trekking, so they are often left at the lodge with a good caretaker while their parents are on the primate safari in Kibale Forest national park.
How do I access Kibale Forest National Park?
Kibale Forest National Park is much easier compared to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, all situated in the south-western corner of Uganda. Kibale Forest National Park can be accessed through a direct route from Entebbe or Kampala, which may take between 5 and 6 hours of driving via Mubende and Fort Portal. Those accessing Kibale Forest National Park from the southern sector can take the Kamwenge or Mbarara roads. Although domestic chartered flights are much more convenient and faster, Domestic flights are operated from Kajjansi along the Entebbe-Kampala highway or from Entebbe International Airport to Fort Portal or Ndali, then take a short drive to the park.
When is the best time to visit Kibale Forest National Park?
Kibale Forest National Park experiences a tropical climate, and its location along the equator makes tourism activities possible all year round. However, due to the equatorial effect, Uganda has two seasons: the rainy season (low) and the dry season (peak), which occur twice a year. These seasons sometimes affect the quality of the primate safari in Kibale National Park. The peak season happens in the dry months of December, January, and February, as well as in June, July, August, and September. These dry months are categorized as having little or no rainfall. There is less mud, which makes it easy to drive along the trekking trails or take walks within the park. During the peak season, the vegetation cover is reduced and thick bushes cover the area, allowing visitors to easily spot animals that enhance their Kibale forest vacation. The months of March, April, and May and September, October, and November are characterized as low seasons with more rainfall. This may not favor some clients, but it’s the best season for bird watching since it is the breeding season for many birds, especially the migratory bird species.
Accommodation facilities in Kibale Forest National Park
A safari holiday is worth the experience if it is spent in a wonderland. At the end of each tourist activity, enjoy your comfortable room surrounded by endlessly beautiful sceneries and fresh air. Kibale Forest National Park is lucky to have a variety of accommodation facilities to choose from. Kibale Forest National Park accommodation types during your primate’s safari range from budget to mid-range to luxury. Most of these lodges and hotels are located within the Kanyanchu, Nkingo, Ndali, and Bigodi areas of Kibale forest national park. Kibale forest national park's most recognized lodges include Primate Lodge Kibale Uganda, Chimps’ Nest Uganda, Nyinabulitwa Country Resort, and Kibale Forest Camp