Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest Natinal Park is located in western part of Uganda in Kabarole district .The forest is 775kms containing tropical woodland, grassland, swamp vegetation the most common trees species being the Wild Rubber trees, Polita Figs which support flora and fauna. It protects a large block of rainforest that offers some outstanding forest for bird watching. There are 235 bird species which include the African Grain Hepista, Wood Piker, Red-winged Francolin, Red-chested Flufftail, White-naped Pigeon, Green-brested Pitta, African Pitta,

Joyful Greenbul, Grey-winged Robin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey-throated Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycather, Masked and Black-capped Apalises, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Chestnut-winged Starling, Orange-tuftedand others.

The forest is known to have a wide range of primates like the Red Colobus, Black and White Colobus, Red Tailed Monkey, Velvet Monkey and Baboon. There are also a variety of mammals which include Sitatunga, Bush Bucks, Mongoose, Bush Pig, Otters and Chimpanzees. Most of the facilities in this area are community based hence contributing to the local community revenue to keep them focused on protecting and preserving the area. The area is largely occupied by two tribes i.e. Batooro and Bakiga traditionally both tribes utilize the forest for food, fuel, building materials and medicines.

Wildlife

Kibale has a Chimpanzee-tracking program with a soaring success rate. Other primates found on these guided walks include Olive Baboon, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, Guereza Colobus , L’Hoest’s Gentle ( Blue), Elephant, Bush Pig , Buffalo, Bushbuck, Harvey’s and Peter’s Duickers and Red-tailed Monkeys. During night walks, Potto, Spectacled Demidoff’s and Thomas’s Galagos, Lord Derby’s Anomalure, African Civet and Common Genet are all possible.

Other interesting mammals from the list of over 60 species include Ichneumon, Banded and Marsh Mongooses, Alexander’s Cusimanse, Swamp Otter, Ratel ( Honey Badger ) and African Palm Civet. Although Golden Cat, Serval, Lion, Leopard, Warthog, Giant Hog and Hippopotamus are recorded from the park, they are unlikely to be encountered in the Kanyanchu area. Sitatungas are known from Bigodi Swamp but are infrequently seen. The spectacular and beautiful Rhinoceros Viper is fairly common here but is, unfortunately, less often found alive than as a road-kill.

Accommodation

Lodges is this area includes: Mantana Luxury tented camp located in the middle of the forest. Though bush type it is relatively comfy. Primate Lodge Kibale also located in the middle of the forest and this is where you start Chimpanzee tracking from. It has a pleasant restaurant and a fire place for keeping you warm in the evening. Ndali Lodge, a luxury lodge with thatched cottages overlooking a crater lake. Rwenzori View Guesthouse situated in Fort Portal about 30 kilometers from the forest. Comfy rooms, middle class rooms with or without private bathrooms are available.

Kibale offers very within your means chimp tracking. Groups (restricted to 6 people) leave daily at 8:00 am and 3:00pm; the walks last about 3 hours. The suggested night walks depart from Kanyanchu Visitor Centre at 7:30 pm which you should book in advance. Remember to bring your torch! Gumboots are also recommended during heavy rains or can be hired at the visitors centre. Walk lasts about 4kilometers in length, taking around 3-4 hours at birding pace. Proceeds from eco-tourism go back to the community. Kibaale Forest Natinal Park is worth visiting to support the community.

Way in

Use the road from Fort Portal to Kamwenge, which starts 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.

Forest Regulations

  • Please note that his is not a Zoo so it is a tropical rainforest and sightings depend on factors such as time of the day fruit availability, weather and how quite the primate group is.
  • The maximum number of people in a group is 4 visitors per guided walk
  • The maximum time allowed with the chimps is one hour, however, the time might be shortened under the guides discretion to eliminate stressful situations for the chimps
  • When trekking you are advised to remain in a tight group and follow the guides directions at all times.
  • Please remain at a distance of 8 meters from the chimps or the distance that your guide recommends
  • Under no circumstance shall you chase while they descend or to or walk on higher ground.
  • You are advised not to enter the forest if you are sick as this can put the animals at serious risk
  • Please refrain from eating near the chimps and other primates
  • Please do not shout in the forest
  • It’s advisable to wear long boots that cover your toes and long trousers as there are red ants and slippery trails, also carry along water proof clothing in the rainy season.
  • Children under 15 years are not allowed to view the chimps for safety reasons.
  • If you need to urinate please do so off the trail system.
  • If you need to defecate, please do so off the trail system and bury all in a hole all waste.

Additional information