Top Things to do in Kibale National Park
Top things to do in Kibale national park : Kibale national park also known as the primate capital is located in western part of Uganda in Kabarole and Kamwenge districts. It total area of 766 square kilometers which is comprised of tropical rainforest and Afromontane forest that acts as habitat for 13 primate species including over 1500 chimpanzees, other primates like l’hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, bush babies, l’hoest monkeys, mammal species like forest elephants, buffaloes, sitatungas, wild dogs, bush pigs, duikers and variety of bird species such as the great blue turaco, black bee-eater, Cassin’s spine tail, Nahans francolin, collared apalis, crown eagles among others.
Top things to do in Kibale national park
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park
Chimpanzee trekking is the most popular activity carried out in kibale forest national park. The national park is a home of about 1,500 chimpanzees and trekking of chimpanzees starts early in the morning with a briefing at Kanyachu visitors centre about the rules and regulation to follow during trekking. After the briefing you will be allocated a park guide who is knowledgeable about chimpanzees and start trekking in the jungle which takes about 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are located.
During trekking you will be able to view other primate species such as black and white colobus monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, l’hoest monkeys, view different tree species, plants, bird species among others. Once the chimpanzees are found you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you a chance to watch them feed, breastfeed, play, hunt, mate, fight, rest, learn about their habits, behaviors, take photos and record the breathtaking moments to show people back home after the safari.
Chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale national park
Chimpanzee habituation experience is an adventurous activity in Kibale national park where chimpanzees are trained to get used to human presence for trekking. Chimpanzee habituation process takes a period of 2 years to be complete and just like chimpanzee trekking the habituation experience starts very early in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters where after you will join a team of researchers, trackers, park guides and enter the forest in search of the chimpanzees under habituation process.
Once the chimpanzees are found you will be able to spend four hours with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn about their habits, lifestyle, behaviors, learn how to identify them by their markings, scars, personalities, watch chimpanzees leaving their nests, feeding, breastfeeding, hunting, mating, resting, playing and making their nests for the night which gives you fascinating and unforgettable experiences on your safari in the park.
Bird watching in Kibale national park
Kibale national park is a home of more than 375 recorded bird species including forest birds, endemic birds which have not been recorded in other national parks in Uganda, near endemic birds which are also found in other destinations and migratory birds which make it an ideal destination for bird watching.
Bird watching in kibale national park is best done early in the morning or late in the evening with an experienced bird guide who will help you to spot different bird species such as the great blue turaco, black billed turaco, yellow spotted barbet, purple headed starling, black bee-eater, white bellied crested flycatcher, grey throated tit flycatcher, tiny sunbird, white collared olive back, green breasted pitta, white naped pigeon, black bishop, brown throated wattle eye, hairy breasted barbet, Nahans francolin, Cassin’s spine tail, red winged francolin, black crowned waxbill, masked apalis, Abyssinian ground thrush among others.
Nature walk/ hiking in Kibale national park
Nature walk is an interesting and adventurous activity in Kibale national park which begins with a briefing at Kanyachu visitors centre or Sebitoli. After the briefing you will start hiking in the forest with the company of a well trailed park guide passing through grasslands, swampland where you will get up close and personal with various wildlife species such as forest elephants, duikers, bushbucks, primates like black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, view different bird species, plant and tree species, listen to sweet sounds of bird species, enjoy the cool breeze, breathe fresh air among others.
Nocturnal forest walks in Kibale national park
Nocturnal forest walk is an interesting activity in the park where you will be able to explore the park at night with the company of a well trained ranger guide and spotlight torches for clear viewing of nocturnal primates. During the guided nocturnal forest walk which starts at around 7:00pm you will get a chance to view nocturnal animals like bush baby, pottos, galagos, tree Hyrax, cricket, nightjar among others.
Where to stay during your safari in Kibale national park
Kibale national park has a wide range of accommodation facilities where you can stay during your safari. The accommodations range from budget, midrange and luxury including Primate Lodge Kibale, Chimps Nest, Kibale Forest Camp, Kanyanchu River Camp, Nyinabulitwa Country Resort and Safari Camp, Chimpanzee Forest Guest House, Mountains of the Moon Hotel, Ndali Kasenda Lodge, Papaya Lake Lodge, Kyanika Lodge, Aramaga Rift Valley Lodge, Crater Safari Lodge, Isunga Lodge, Kibale Safari Lodge, Rweetera Safari Park among others.
Best time to visit Kibale national park
The park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best period is during the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June to September and December to February. During the dry season the park receives less rainfall therefore vegetation will be thin which gives you an opportunity to clearly view chimpanzees and other wildlife species. Also during the dry season hiking and chimpanzee trekking trails will be passable compared to the wet season when the trekking trails are muddy and slippery hence making trekking difficult.
It can also be visited during the wet season in the months of March to May and November because that’s the best period for birding where bird lovers will be able to view migratory bird species.
How to get to Kibale national park
Kibale national park is located in western part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala via Mubende – Fort Portal road or Mbarara – Kamwenge road to the park headquarters which takes about 5 to 6 hours drive in a 4 WD safari vehicle.