Top activities to do in Kibale forest national park; Kibale forest national park also known as the primate capital is located in western part of Uganda in Kabarole district. The national park covers a total area of 321 square kilometers and is known for harboring 13 primate species including chimpanzees, grey cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, bush elephants, antelopes and over 375 bird species. Kibale forest national park offer interesting activities that you can engage in during your safari including,
Top activities to do in Kibale forest national park
Chimpanzee trekking in one of the top activities in Kibale forest national that attracts big numbers of tourists. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park starts very early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking.
After the briefing you will be sub-divided into groups of 6 people where each group will be allocated a habituated chimpanzee family to trek and an experienced park guide who is well conversant with trails in the forest. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park takes about 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. During trekking, you will be able to view other primate species, different bird species, plant and tree species among others. Once the chimpanzees are found, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their behaviors, lifestyle, watch them feed, breastfeed, play, rest, hunt, fight, take pictures and record videos to show people back home.
Chimpanzee habituation experience
Chimpanzee habituation experience is another top activity in Kibale forest national park that attracts visitors to visit the park. Chimpanzee habituation experience is a process where the wild chimpanzees are trained to get used to human presence for trekking. The habituation experience takes a period of 2 to 3 years to be complete and the habituation process involves a team of researchers, park guides, park rangers and chimpanzee doctors. Chimpanzee habituation experience only allows a maximum of 4 people and it starts very early in the morning at around 6:30 am with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing you will start trekking in the forest in search of the chimpanzees and once found, you will be allowed to spend four hours with the chimpanzees which gives you a chance to watch them feed, patrol, copulate, breastfeed, hunt, rest, watch them build new nests, take photos and record the beautiful moments.
Kibale forest national park is a home of over 375 recorded bird species including Albertine rift endemics, forest birds and migratory birds which makes it one of the best bird watching destinations in Uganda. Bird watching is Kibale forest national park can be done very early in the morning or in the evening with an experienced park guide who will help you to spot different bird species including Green-breasted Pitta, Black-crowned Tchagra, African-pied Wagtail, Black bee-eater, African Green-pigeon, Black-capped Waxbill, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, African Wood Owl, Cameroon Somber Greenbul, Brown Illadopsis, Black and White Shrike-flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Black-throated Apalis, Brown-chested Alethe, Blue-throated Roller, African Emerald Cuckoo, Black Cuckoo, Zebra Waxbill, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Black-billed Turaco, Bronze Manikin, Bush-shrike, Cassins Spinetail, Nahan’s Francolin, Masked Apalis, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Chubb’s Cisticola, African Jacana, African Pitta, Crowned Eagle, Papyrus Gonolek, White Collared Olive, Papyrus Canary among others.
Nature walk is an adventurous activity in Kibale forest national park which gives visitors an opportunity to explore the tropical rainforests on foot with the company of an experienced park guide and armed park ranger. Kibale forest national park offers both day guided nature walks and nocturnal nature walks where you will explore the park at night with spotlight torches. During the day guided nature walk, you will be able to view beautiful butterflies, different bird species, plant and tree species, mammals like duikers, forest hogs, forest elephants among others.
During the night nature walk which starts at around 7:30pm after dinner, you will be accompanied with an armed park guide with spotlight torches for clear viewing of nocturnal animals like nightjar, tree hyrax, pottas, bush babies, serval cats, cricket, civet among others.
Best time to visit Kibale forest national park
Kibale forest national park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During this period there is less or little rainfall in the park therefore chimpanzee trekking trails and nature walk trails will be dry and passable which makes trekking easy compared to the rainy season when the chimpanzee trekking trails are muddy and slippery which make trekking difficult.
Where to stay in Kibale forest national park
There are a number of accommodation facilities in Kibale forest national park where you can stay during your bird watching safari. The accommodations range from budget, midrange and luxury including Primate lodge, Kibale forest camp, Kibale forest lodge, Rwenzori guest house, Nyankuruba nature reserve and community campsite, Isunga lodge, Rweteera safari park, Chimps nest lodge, Crater safari lodge, Mountains of the moon hotel, Chimpundu lodge, Kyaninga lodge, Aramaga rift valley lodge, Ataco country resort, Kibale safari lodge, Papaya Lake Lodge, Ndali lodge, Turaco treetops among others.
How to get to Kibale forest national park
Kibale forest national park is located in western part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means where by you will drive from Kampala via Mubende, Fort Portal and then to the park headquarters which takes about 6 to 7 hours’ drive.
Kibale forest national park can also be accessed by air transport means whereby you will book scheduled or charter flights from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kasese or Semuliki airstrip and then connect to the park headquarters by road.