Kibale National park is one of the best tourist destination in Africa particularly Uganda. The Park is located in south Uganda protecting moist ever green rain forest. The park is with in districts of Kaborole and Kamwenge. Kibale has one of the highest concentration of primate in Africa. The park contains beautiful and most varying tracts of tropical forest, the forest has a variety of herbs, ferns and about 315 species. . The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kibale National park was gazetted in 1932 and formally established in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logged Forest Reserve. The two tribes of Bakiga and Batooro inhabit the area around the park, they use it for fuel and food.
Kibale is well known for its various and large population of Primates in Africa. These mostly include the great chimpanzees and Kibale has about 1450 chimpanzees. The park also inhabits a rare species called L’Hoest’s monkey and colobus monkeys. Other species includeblack and white colobus, blue monkeys,cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkey and bush baby. Buffalo, leopard,elephant bush pig,duiker,,bufferflies,reptiles and amphibians are also rarely seen. Flora and fauna of Kibale has been supported by different factors such as the wet tropical forest that grows on the Fort Portal Plateau. The dry tropical forest, savannah, the woodland as well as the diverse altitude. The trees are high with above 55m and show a semi-closed canopy of trees with crowns. The park also has about 138 bird species and these can be seen during the nature walks.
Bigodi Walk is an activity done at kibale National park which include; an observation tower and a boardwalk that traverses the papyrus beds. The path and boardwalk sometimes may be flooded and muddy after heavy rain, so gumboots are recommended. They can be hired at the visitor centre. The walk is about 4 km in length, taking 3-4 hours at birding pace. Kibale has a well-established Chimpanzee-tracking program with a high success rate. Other primates that are found on these guided walks include GuerezaColobus, Grey-cheeked Olive Baboon, Mangabey, L’Hoest’s Gentle and Red-tailed Monkeys.
The park has excellent accommodations like primate lodge which is located in kanyanchi, the lodgehas modern bandas, luxury tents and a comfortable Sky Tree House. The lodge is located in the middle of the forest, exactly where chimp tracking starts from. A charming restaurant, bar and fire place will make sure you will spend the evenings pleasantly.others include tree houses, cottages and up market accommodation. Every accommodation has a campsite with aresturant serving both international and local guests. Budget travellers are also cattered for with in Bigodi, Ndali crater and Nkingo.
Kibale National park can be accesed from kampala to fortportal, then the road from Fort Portal to Kamwenge, which commences near the bridge over the Mpanga River in Fort Portal and is well signposted. Turn left at the junction 12 km from Fort Portal and follow signpost for a further 24 km to Kanyanchu Tourist Centre.
ACITIVITIES IN KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale
Chimps in kibale have been tracked since 1993 and the chances of locating them are excellent. Briefing starts at 8am and 2pm and last an average of three hours, depending on various factors. Thirteen species can be sought.
Cultural Encounters in Kibale
The daily life of the Batooro can be discovered during village walks, including stops at the village’s primary school, church and traditional healer.
Birding in Kibale
Bird watching tours start at 7am at Kanyanchu and it can easily be done in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, located just outside the park which habitats around 138 bird species which may be seen during guided walks along the boardwalk trail and viewing platforms.
Hiking/Nature Walks in Kibale
When chimpanzees and other wilds in the forest rest up at dusk, a nighttime shift of rarely seen creatures becomes active. Night walks through the forest use powerful torches to seek nocturnal creatures.
The swamp is located in Magombe swamp, The area has a lot of primates like Vervet Monkey, Baboon, Red tailed Monkey, Red colobus Monkey and Mammals include Sitatunga, bushpigs, Chimpanzees and bush bucks.