Kibale National Park is the most magnificent of Uganda’s tropical rainforests and one of the most rewarding areas to explore. Established at the end of the 18th century, Kibale boasts 13 species of primates including the localized Red Columbus and L’Hoest monkeys, Kibale’s major attraction is the chimpanzee the delightful ape most closely related 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 birds. It also includes mammals like the elusive forest elephant, buffalo, and giant forest hog and half a dozen antelope species thereby making it one of the most stunning parks in Uganda. Situated ideally in the heart of the Tooro 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 Semuliki National Parks. The park became a government Forest Reserve in the early 1940s.
THE LOCAL PEOPLE
The people living around the park today are mainly Batooro and the Bakiga from the densely populated South-Western part of Uganda.
Kibale boasts the highest diversity and density of primates in Africa. Kibale’s 1,450 chimpanzee population represent Uganda’s largest of this endangered species. Kibale is also home to the rare L’Hoest monkey and East Africa’s largest population of the threatened red colobus monkey, the black and white colobus, blue monkey, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkey, olive baboon, bush baby and potty.
The park also boasts of over 372 species of birds including six that are endemic to the Albertine Rift region, namely black-capped Apalis, blue-headed sunbird, collared Apalis, Dusky crimsonwing, Purple-breasted Sunbird and Red-faced woodland Warbler. Other ‘Kibale Specials’ include the African Pitta, Green-breasted Pitta, Black Bee-eater, Yellow-spotted Nicator, Yellow-romped tinker bird, Little greenbul, Black-eared Ground Thrush, Brown-chested Alethe, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Abyssinian Ground-thrush and the Crowned Eagle.
The park inhabits a variety of savanna wild mammals such as the elusive Forest Elephants, Forest Buffalos, Antelopes, Leopards, Hyenas, Hippos, Bush pigs and Duikers. More attractions; butterflies such as swallow tails, Charaxes and Nymphalidae, Reptiles and Amphibians, etc.
There is a variety of tropical tree species in the park, some of which grow up to over 55 meters high and exhibiting a semi-closed canopy of stratified tree crowns. 351 tree species have been recorded in the park among which are Ptyregota, Funtu-mia, Entandrophragma, Piptadeniastrum Africana, Gate trees and the ‘Naked Adam tree’.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience, Primate Walk (Chimpanzee tracking), Day Hikes/Nature Walks
The 795sq km park can be accessed from Kampala via Kasese (near Queen Elizabeth National Park). The park can also be reached from Kampala via Mubende and Fort Portal or through Mbarara and Kamwenge.
Kibale National Park has access to two Airstrips; Nyakisharara Arstrip in Mbarara (about 98km through kamwenqe to Kanvancui) and Kasese air strip, 150km from Fort Portal town. It can also be reached from the airstrip in Tooro/Semuliki Wildlife Reserve only 86Km from Kanyancu.