Kibale Forest National Park
The Primate Capital of the World
Kibale Forest National Park is the most magnificent of Uganda’s tropical rain forest and one of the most rewarding areas to explore. Established at the end of the end of the 18th Century, Kibale Forest boasts of 13 species of primates including Chimpanzees, the localized Red Colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys and the endemic Uganda Mangabay.
The 795sq park can be accessed from Uganda’s capital Kampala, along a newly surfaced road via Kasese (near Queen Elizabeth National Park). Kibale Forest National park can also be reached from Kampala via Mubende and Fort Portal or through Mbarara and Kamwenge. There is public transport between Kampala and Fort Portal by bus.
Kibale Forest National Park has access to two Airstrips; Nyakisharara Airstrip in Mbarara (about 98km through Kamwenge from Kanyanchu) and Kasese air strip, 75km from Fort Portal town. It can also be reached from the airstrip in Toro/ Semiiliki Wildlife Reserve, only 86km from Kanyanchu.
Activities in Kibale Forest
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) allows you to accompany Kibale’s researchers and habituates as they follow chimpanzees during their daily activity, there by getting them used to human presence without altering their natural behavior. This is an all day and early visitors may be able to see the spectacular scene of chimps de-nesting, feeding, copulating, hunting, breast feeding, resting, patrolling and displaying until they build new nest and retire for the night around 7:00 pm. (Note: Advance booking is essential).
Primate Walk — Chimpanzee Tracking
Also, you can experience and participate in the chimpanzee tracking walks which starts from the Kanyanchu Visitor Center at 08:00 am 2:00 pm and lasts 2-3 hours. Park guides are readily available to take tourists through this ritual. This walk is for six persons per group and advance booking is essential.
Day Hikes/ Nature Walks
This is exploration of the park’s diverse habitual providing very close contact with nature. The walks begin at 08:00 am, 10:00 am and 2:00 pm from Kanyanchu Tourist Center and take about 2-3 hours. Remind your guide to show you the naked Adam and Eve tree, one of Kibale’s unique wonders.
Bird Watching & Night Nature Walk
Kibale Forest National Park boasts of 372 bird species of which 60 percent are recorded Uganda’s Forest Birds. Bird watchers can spot various species in the park. Also, there is night nature walk which allows visitors to track the unique species of birds, animals and insects such as Bat, Owl, Pottos, bush babies, Civets, genet cats and Eastern needle nailed, that are most active at night.
Children’s Activities in Kibale
Only children above 12 years are allowed to go into the forest to view the chimps. Kibale has a variety of activities for children under 12 years including educational forest walks of 1-2 hours followed by creative activities like pond dipping, cyanotype photography and batik-making. Through these educational forest walks, the children can learn about the ecosystem and its inhabitants. Parents can enjoy their forest walk with the Knowledge that their children are occupied in worthwhile activity with trained ranger guides.
Cultural Heritage and Nature Trail
Follow a 2-6 days heritage and nature trail through the tropical forest and meet local people and gain insights into their cultures. The full walk can start or end at either Kanyanchu or Sebitoli. Explore the forest during the day, end or rest at the community – run campsites near the villages of Kinoni, Nyaibanda and Nyakalongo. Porters can be hired to carry equipment. The walk is most exciting in group of up to 6 people. (Note: Pre-booking is essential).
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