Top Things to do in Kibale National Park
Top Things to do in Kibale National Park: Kibale national park is one of the best protected areas to visit during your safari in Uganda. The park is located in western Uganda near Fort Portal town and it’s known for harboring the highest number of primates in Africa. The national park is also known as the primate capital because it’s a home of 13 primate species including chimpanzees, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, l’hoest monkeys bush babies, pottos. Kibale national park also harbors animals like warthogs, buffaloes, bush pigs, forest elephants, bushbucks, duikers, sitatungas, leopards, different bird species like blue breasted kingfisher, blue headed sunbird, crowned eagle, brown chested alethe among others.
Top things to do in Kibale National Park
Chimpanzee trekking in one of the popular activities in Kibale national park where visitors get an opportunity to move deep into the forest in search of the habituated chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking starts early in the morning with a briefing at the Kanyachu park headquarters about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing you will be allocated a park guide who is well conversant with trails in the jungle and a habituated chimpanzee family to trek. Trekking of chimpanzees in Kibale national park starts at around 8:00am and takes 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are because they like to move deep into the forest in search of food especially during the dry season. during trekking, you will be able to view other primates like grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, view different bird species among others. Once the chimpanzees are found you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural environment where you will be able to learn about their behaviors, habits, watch them carrying out their daily activities like breastfeeding, feeding, playing, resting, take pictures and record videos to show people back home after the safari.
Chimpanzee habituation experience
Chimpanzee habituation experience is an adventurous activity where chimpanzees are trained to get used to human presence for trekking. Chimpanzee habituation experience in the park starts as early as 6:00am with a briefing about the rules, regulations and expectations at the park headquarters. After the briefing you will start trekking in the forest with a team of researchers, chimpanzee doctors, park guides, rangers and trackers to where the chimpanzees slept the previous night. When the wild chimpanzees are found you will be allowed to spend four hours with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to watch them arise from their beds, watch them feed, copulate, hunt, breastfeed, rest, patrol, observe their behaviors, lifestyle, take pictures and record the moments with a flash less camera.
Kibale national park is a home of more than 370 recorded bird species Albert rift valley endemics, forest birds and migratory birds which make the park one of the best birding destinations. Bird watching in Kibale national park is best done during the guided forest walk with an experienced bird guide who will help you to spot different bird species such as crowned eagle, collared apalis, brown chested alethe, blue breasted kingfisher, collared apalis, African pitta, black eared ground thrush, blue headed sunbird, black bee-eater, red faced woodland warbler, purple breasted sunbird, little greenbul, grey parrot, western nicator, dusky crimson wing, Nahans francolin among others.
Nature walks in Kibale national park starts from the park headquarters where the park guide will brief you about the safety precautions and expectations. After the briefing you will start hiking in the jungle where you will be able to get close with different animals like elephants, bushbucks, duikers, primates like black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, baboons, listen to sweet sounds of bird species, view different plant species, beautiful butterflies, enjoy the cool breeze, relax your mind in a peaceful and quiet environment, take great pictures among others.
Nocturnal forest walks
This is an exciting activity where visitors get an opportunity to walk in the park at night with an armed park ranger and spotlight torches for clear viewing of nocturnal animals. Nocturnal forest walks in Kibale national park take place at 7:30am from the park headquarters where you will first be briefed about the safety, expectations and then start trekking in the forest following different trails. During the nocturnal forest walk which takes about 2 hours you will be able to view nocturnal animals like serval cats, tree hyrax, civet, primates like pottos, bush babies, view birds like nightjar, owls, listen to sounds of birds singing among others.
Bush craft children activities
Kibale national park is one of the few national parks that offers bush craft activities for children below the age of 13 years because they are not allowed to participate in chimpanzee trekking. During bush craft activities children will be given friendly park guides, professional drivers and trained rangers who will take the children around the forest, teach them about survival skills in the forest, learn about different plants, spot some primates like monkeys, birds, take some photos, engage in forest games like batik making , visit the communities around the park among others.
Best time to visit Kibale national park
Kibale national park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season during the months of June to October and December to February. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the park therefore access roads will be passable, vegetation will be thick which allows you to easy view animals and primates, chimpanzee trekking and nature walk trails will be passable compared to the wet season when the trails are muddy and slippery. Kibale national park can also be visited during the wet season in the months of March to May and November because that’s the breeding season for bird species therefore bird lovers will be able to view colorful and migratory bird species.
How to get to Kibale national park
Kibale national park is located in western Uganda and can be accessed by both road and air transport means. When using road transport you will drive from Kampala through Mubende or Fort portal or drive through Masaka, Mbarara road to the park headquarters which takes about 5 to 6 hours drive. When using air transport to Kibale national park you will book scheduled or charter flights from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airfield to Fort Portal airstrip and then take a car to the park headquarters.