Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale is highest at the park’s northern tip, which stands 1,590m above sea level. The lowest point is 1,100m on the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley to the south. 351 tree species have been recorded in the park, some rise to over 55m and are over 200 years old. Kibale’s varied altitude supports different types of habitat, ranging from wet tropical forest on the Fort Portal plateau to woodland and savanna on the rift valley floor. Kibale is one of Africa’s foremost research sites. While many researchers focus on the chimpanzees and other primates found in the park, others are investigating Kibale’s ecosystems, wild pigs and fish species, among other topics.
Kibale National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. Forest cover, interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, dominates the northern and central parts of the park on an elevated plateau.
Kibale is famously known for Chimpanzee tracking, the park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee. The park also contains over 375 species of birds. Kibale adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south to create a 180km-long corridor for wildlife between Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Sebitoli in the north of Kibale National Park.
The Kibale-Fort Portal area is one of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to explore. The park lies close to the tranquil Ndali-Kasenda crater area and within half a day’s drive of the Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National Parks, as well as the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.
1 Primate Walk
2 Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
3 Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
4 Cultural / Farm Walk
5 Lunch at Tinka’s
About Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park is the most accessible of Ugandan’s rainforests. It covers an area of 766km², of which the dominant vegetation is lush and shady rainforest but is interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp.
This enchanting and exotic environment is home to at least 60 mammal species, remarkably 13 of which are primates. It also has a rich diversity of birds, with 335 species identified including the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush. An exploration under the shady, green canopy will brim with discoveries to delight botanists and butterfly lovers alike.
The most alluring and rewarding activity in Kibale Forest is tracking for habituated chimps. The opportunity to gain a privileged and unforgettable insight into the daily lives of man’s closet relatives is one which will be cherished and remembered for a number of years.
Kibale Forest is home to 13 primate species and a guided forest trek can be taken in search of one of the most popular primate species in the world – the chimpanzee. There are 9 diurnal primates, these include, vervet, red-tailed, L’Hoest’s, blue monkeys, greycheeked manabey, red colobus, black and white colobus, olive baboon and the most famous of all, the chimpanzee. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds are good with the chance of encountering them standing at higher then 90%. Whilst trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be surrounded by bird song and can expect to see at least 5 or 6 other types of primate, most probably the grey-cheeked managebey and the red-tailed monkey. The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
This is an unforgettable and almost unbelievable experience for chimp enthusiasts and aspiring researchers. This involves staying with the chimps all day. Having the time to really connect with the group and learn about their different characters and habits. This experience offers a real chance to develop fieldwork skills and learn about behavioral research.
Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
This small, but impressive wetland sanctuary protects the Magombe swamp and is an important contribution to Ugandan conservation. It is run by Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED) and all the money raised from tourism is used in community projects in Bigodi. The trail offers one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa and gives walkers the attractive prospect of seeing various different primate species in just a few hours. The swamps are a haven for a huge number of bird and butterfly species and so ornithologists will be in great delight as they trek through the rich swamplands accompanied by the great diversity of sights and sounds of the beaked and tuneful residents. Visitors can also expect to see at least 5 to 6 of the different primate species which reside in Kibale Forest National Park.
Cultural / Farm Walk
This is available for any of the clients and lasts about 2 hours. The walk includes visiting the vanilla plantations, where Ndali grow and process their own vanilla for resale locally and internationally. The vanilla grown on site is supplemented with that grown by over 1000 other farmers, a community project implemented and maintained by Ndali. On the walk you also encounter coffee plantations and a wide variety of birds and some small primates. On the way back up to the lodge, clients are shown the extensive Ndali kitchen gardens where a wide variety of fruit and vegetables is grown and used at the lodge or sold at the local markets.
Lunch at Tinka’s
Tinka is an prominent community leader in Bigodi district and he welcomes you into his home to enjoy a traditional Ugandan meal.
Not only will you be able to supply the Ugandan diet, Tinka will also describe each dish and give you background information on the farming, harvesting and cooking methods involved in preparing the foods.