Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park is a first choice for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. This park has a record of thirteen species of primates and several monkey species, which is the highest number for any National Park in Uganda. Birds and butterflies are abundant, and several beautiful forest-fringed crater lakes lie within a few kilometres of the park boundary.
Kibale is an extensive National Park, protecting a large block of rainforest that offers some excellent forest for bird watching. Superb birds and primates combined with easy access, good infrastructure and a variety of interesting activities make this forest atop Uganda Safari destination. The long term protection of the forest has been enhanced by the many community-based facilities like Bigodi Walk
The Wild in Kibale
Visitors can expect to see five or six species in addition to a chimpanzee. Species active during the day include vervet, red-tailed, l’Hoest’s and blue monkey, black-and-white colobus, olive baboon, Ugandan red colobus and Uganda mangabey. Other mammals including lion, elephant and buffalo are present but rarely seen.
The habituated chimpanzee bands in Kibale are generally the best for tracking compared to anywhere in the world and sightings are almost 100 percent assured. The park provides refuge to the world’s largest population of the endangered red colobus monkey, and it is an important stronghold for Uganda mangabey, a national endemic first recognized as a full species in 2007. Several nocturnal primate species are present as well, including potto, Demidov’s dwarf galago, and the eastern needle-clawed bushbaby. The very specialized sitatunga antelope can be found in marshy areas.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX)
Imagine hanging out with a group of scientific researchers, doctors and a bunch of rowdy chimpanzees all day. The tension, the sounds, the following, the tracking and all the mixed emotions pouring on you like Micheal Dauglass in Romancing the Stone. This is an African adventure like no other.
Chimpanzee habituation is when researchers try to get a band of chimpanzees to get used to human presence. It is an experience that is offered in Kibale National Park to anyone above 15 years of age and can pay a habituation permit of US$220. It starts at 06:00 when the chimps leave their nests to 19:00 when the chimps start building their nests for the night.
Bird Watching in Kibale
This massive and ancient rainforest is a haven for a large number of bird species, some of which are endemic. A birder could spot the Red-winged Francolin, Red-chested Flufftail, White-naped Pigeon, Green-breasted Pitta, African Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Grey-winged Robin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey-throated Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Masked and Black-capped Apalis, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Chestnut-winged Starling, Orange-tufted and Tiny Sunbirds, Grey-headed Olive-back.
Best Time To Visit Kibale
The Dry seasons (from June to July and December to February) are the best time for tracking chimpanzees. The park stays open throughout the year, but in heavy rain, the trails might be difficult to walk and the overall experience might be compromised.
- Kibale National Park is one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda.
- With over 1500 chimpanzees in Kibale Forest alone
- Chimpanzee Tracking Permit is US$150 per person
- Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) is US$200 per person
- Kibale National Park is one are of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to explore.
- It has got cool weather and rich soils that are ideal for growing some of Uganda’s best tea.
- The park is also home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee.
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