Kibale National Park is a renowned Uganda destination for chimpanzee trekking plus other primate activities, not only in Uganda about other parts of Africa as well. The Park is found in the south western region of Uganda covering up districts like Kamwenge, Fort Portal, Kabarole districts among others. Kibale national park is famously known as the primate capital of the world. This is attributed to the large population of primates it accommodates. Kibale national park is home to over 13 primate species including the human closest chimpanzees.
The park is the best destination for the African primate safaris like chimpanzee trekking among others. kibale national park holds over 1000 chimpanzees dwelling within the forest. Some of the chimpanzees are habituated. Besides the chimpanzees, there are other primates that play in the forest with in the national park. These include the black and white monkeys, red colubus monkeys, blue monkeys among others.
Attractions in kibale national park
Despite the other attractions in kibale national park, the chimpanzees are the leading attractions marking a highlight onto the Kibale National Park safaris. Kibale holds quite a number of chimpanzees inside the forest, about 1400 chimpanzees, and some of these chimpanzees are habituated and ready for visitors, such as the kanyanchu and kanyawara chimpanzee groups.
The other wildlife in kibale include monkeys of different species such as the black and white colobus monkeys, the red colubus monkeys, the blue colubus monkeys, night primates like the pottos, galagos, plus the olive baboons among others. It protects other wild animals besides the primates like the elephants, leopards, snakes, bats, buffaloes among others.
Kibale is also a birders paradise with quite a range of interesting bird species. This park harbors over 300 bird spices which include the wetland birds and forest bird species among others. The national park holds over 23 bird species which are endemic and localized to the Albertine rift valley area, the Albertine birds. Other birds which are found with in kibale national park are migratory and, you can mainly find then in kibale national park during November, which is also the best season for birding.
Magombe wet land is another attractive feature of this national park. Magombe wet land is mainly famous because of the Bigodi wetland sanctuary, a community-based conservation project for chimpanzees and a lot of bird species. Bigodi wetland is where most of nature walk in Kibale are conducted; the wet land is accessible via a planted wooden trail. Within the wet land you can get a chance to see a number of bird species and a few chimpanzees plus baboons.
The cultural encounters in Kibale National Park are also spectacular; kibale national park is associated with mainly to dominate tribes, the Bakiga, and the Batooro, which leave near the national park. The lifestyle of the bakiga plus the folklore of the batooro people are such interesting insight into the African culture. The cultural walk in kibale park can lead you to the Tooro kingdom palace, the karambi tombs, the Amabare ganyina mwiru caves, and other interesting historical and cultural sites.
The Kibale Crater Lakes, despite the fact that they are not found with in the national park, they are still regarded as attractions for kibale national park. Some of the explosion crater lakes are found on the fringe of kibale forest including Ndali lake, Nyamusagani Lake among others. The crater lakes in kibale national park provide a tranquil environment for picnics and beautiful sites for construction of lodges.
Activities in Kibale
The major activity in kibale is chimpanzee trekking and it is the highlight of the safaris to this protected area. Chimpanzee trekking in kibale national park starts at kanyanchu visitor center where the trekkers are briefed about the forest then head into the forest for chimpanzee trekking. Chimpanzee trekking provides a real-life experience with the chimpanzees in their natural setting; it is an opportunity of learning about the different traits and behavior the chimpanzees in kibale national park.
Chimpanzee habituation is yet another interesting activity done in Kibale. Many times, chimpanzee habituation has been misinterpreted for chimpanzee trekking or tracking, however, chimpanzee habituation is a whole new experience. Chimpanzee habituation involves training the chimpanzees to learn and cope with the visit of humans hence reducing the negative response to human interference. Chimpanzee habituation in kibale a full day activity that starts early in the morning at around 5 am before the chimps start feeding and ends in the evening when the chimpanzees’ nest in another area. Chimpanzee habituation is an opportunity for you to understand the chimpanzee behavior deeply such as copulation, feeding habits, socialization, communication, to mention but a few.
Crater tour is another activity that involves the visit to different crater lakes found within Kibale. There are a number of crater lakes found within the kibale crater region, they include Lake Nyabulitwa, Lake Nyabikere, Lake Layantonde, Lake Kasenda, Lake Nkuruba, Lake Kifuruka, and Lake Nyinambuga among others. The Crater Lakes area is commonly known as the “ndali kasenda crater region”, the name attributed to one of the major lakes in the region, Lake Kasenda. The craters of Kibale provide a good area for hiking and an environment full of tranquility for picnics and beautiful photography.
Bigodi wetland sanctuary nature walks offer an opportunity to the birders to see a number of beautiful swamp birds, bigodi wetland holds over 200 bird species, plus other animals such as primates, mammals, insects and frogs which make the swamp a unique wildlife sanctuary indeed. You can enjoy watching a number of beautiful birds in bigodi swamp including the purple breasted sunbird, Abyssinia, the African pitta, collared apal, ground thrush, crowned eagle, black-capped apalis, weavers, cuckoos, green breasted pitta, papyrus gonolek, flycatchers, hornbills, among others.
Other activities include the kid’s forest tactic training, it helps the kids to learn a lot about forest tactics, kids’ nature walks help the children to learn about the different trees in kibale forest, primates like monkeys, birds among other interesting features of kibale national park. The cultural encounter is also an interesting activity and it exposes you to deeper understanding of the batooro culture; you can visit the Tooro kingdom palace, royal tombs for Tooro kingdom, historical sites like the Amabeere ga nyina mwiru among others.
Accommodation in Kibale National Park
The national park is supplied with a number of accommodation facilities ranging from budget to luxury lodges with in the national park and outside kibale forest. The budget lodges include rwenzori guest house which was found by the Dutch, nkuruba nature reserve and community campsite found at Lake Nkuruba, Nyabulitwa country resort, and safari camp among others. the mid-range accommodation includes chimps nest which is found on the fringe of kibale forest, chimpanzee forest guest house, Jerusalem Paradise Hotel Fort Portal, Kibale forest camp and the mountains of the moon hotel. On the other hand, the luxury lodges in kibale include, Ndali Kasenda lodge, Primate Lodge, Kyaninga Lodge, Papaya lake lodge, and Kyaninga lodge among others. There is quite a range for you to choose from based on your safari plan.