Kibale Forest National Park

    Kibale Forest national park

Kibale forest national park has the highest diversity of primates in Africa. Indeed, there are 13 Primates species. And this includes the chimpanzees. Therefore, Kibale forest national park possesses the biggest number of primates in Africa.

The park is located in western Uganda. It lies about 36 kms from Fort Portal town. This park is mainly a tropical rain-forest. However, the southern part is woodland and Savannah. The landscape is mostly hilly. The highest point of Kibale forest national park is found in the northern part. The point is at 1590 m above sea level. Meanwhile, the lowest part lies in the south. That is, within the Rift valley at 1100 m.

The size of Kibale forest national park

The park is 795 sq. km. However, the park lies north of Queen Elizabeth national park. From the Rwenzori Mountains, Kibale forest is on the southern side.

Kibale forest national park with Redrock safaris

A chimpanzee drinking water on a trekking, birding and forest walk excursion in Kibale forest national park

The biodiversity of Kibale forest

The park has different habitats namely; forest, woodland and grasslands. These ecosystems are a home to various animals, birds and plants. There are 350 tree species. Infact, some rise to over 50m. Other trees are centuries old. Besides the chimpanzees, the other primates are red colobus, I’Hoest’s monkey, the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys. The grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, bush baby and potto also live here. However, there are larger animals too. For example, Elephants, buffalos, leopards, warthogs, bush pigs and Duikers roam this forest. Reptiles and amphibians also exist. Moreover, 250 butterflies species are in the park. And 375 birds such as the red headed malimbe, green backed Twinspot, African Pitta, Narina Trogon and white chinned Prinia.

Accessibility of Kibale forest

Yet the stretch from Entebbe via Kampala to Fort Portal is 355 km.

Similarly, the distance between kibale and Murchison falls national parks is 367 kms.  The driving time is about 8 hours. This is due to the bad road. However, it is now under construction.

The road from Kibale to Queen Elizabeth national park, is around 148 kms. The drive takes approximately 3 hours.

On the other hand, it is 110 kms from Semliki Valley national park to Kibale. Thus it takes about 2 hours.

Tourism activities in and around Kibale forest

The most popular activities are Chimpanzee trekking and habituation. Others are bird watching and nature walks. Outside the park, there are crater lakes with boat trips. One area of interest is the adjacent swamp of Bigodi. Here, there is a community project. It is possible to do the tour of the swamp and community. Kanyanchu is the briefing point for Chimpanzee tracking and forest walks. However, Sebitoli is the centre for bird watching and camping.

Lodges around Kibale national park

Kyaninga Lodge (High budget), Ndali Lodge (luxury) Primates Lodge, Kibale Guest Cottages (medium budget), Chimpanzee Guest House (Medium budget)

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