Kibale National Park- a forest of primate species

Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest

Kibale national park has the highest numbers and diversity of primates in Africa- 13 Primates species including the chimpanzees.

Kibale national park is located in western Uganda. It lies 36 kilometers south of Fort Portal town. It  is mainly a tropical rainforest. However, the southern part that joins Queen Elizabeth national park is woodland and savannah. The landscape is mainly hilly. The highest point of Kibale national park is  in the northern part at 1590m above sea level. The lowest part of the park lies south within the Rift valley at 1100m.

Biodiversity: The forest, woodland and grasslands of Kibale national park are a habitat to various animals, birds and plants. There are 350 tree species in the park, some rising to over 50m. Others are centuries old. 13 primate species are found in the park including the endangered chimpanzees, red colobus, the rare I’Hoest’s monkey, the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, bush baby and potto. There are large animals like elephants, buffalos, leopards, warthogs, bush pigs, golden cats and Duikers. Reptiles and amphibians exist. A variety of 250 species of butterflies live in Kibale national park. 375 species of birds have been recorded in the park that include the Red headed malimbe, Green backed Twinspot, African Pitta, Narina Trogon, Scally Illadopsis and White chinned Prinia.

Size:  795 sq. km

Location: Western Uganda north of Queen Elizabeth national park and south of the Rwenzori Mountains

Accessibility:  Entebbe-Kampala-Fort Portal 355 km.

Distance between kibale and Murchison falls national parks is 367 km and the driving time is about 8 hours due to the bad road ( it is now under construction).

From Kibale to Queen Elizabeth national park, it is a stretch of 148 km with driving time of about 3 hours.

From Semliki Valley national park to Kibale national park, there is a distance of 110 km and driving time of approximately 2 hours.

Tourism activities:

Chimpanzee tracking and habituation, bird watching, nature walks, community walks, crater lakes, boat trips and cultural performances. Areas of interest include the adjacent community swamp of Bigodi. Here, there is a community project where it is possible to undertake community tours. Kanyanchu is the briefing point for Chimpanzee tracking, butterfly watching and forest walks.   Sebitoli is a 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)