Are you planning to travel to Uganda but still looking for a perfect destination for your safari? Kibale forest National park is one of the best destinations to quench the traveler’s thirst. The national park is located in the western subregion of Uganda, covering an area of approximately 766 square kilometers in size and it protects the moist evergreen forests. Besides the moist ever green forests, Kibale national park also encompasses the diverse array of landscapes and it is one of the few remaining destinations with both lowland and montane forests.
It was gazetted in 1932 and formally established in 1993 to protect the forests which were previously managed as a logged forest reserve and it forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth national park. The space where the two parks adjoin is about 180 kilometers and it is an important eco-tourism and safari destination habituating numerous chimpanzees.
Kibale national park is one of the parks in Uganda with the highest concentration of primates. The park hosts a large number of chimpanzees and other 13 species of primates. Among these include the Uganda mangabey, the Uganda red colobus, black and white colobus, blue monkey and others. Other animals besides the primates in the park include elephants, bushbucks, mongoose, leopards, buffalos, bush pigs, servals and sometimes the lions also visit the park. Also, the park hosts over 325 bird species including the western tinker bird, olive long tailed cuckoo and others. For the travelers to the park, there are various reasons why Kibale Forest National Park should be among the first thought about destinations during the preparation of the Uganda safari and among these reasons includes the activities to do during your stay. Among the must do activities in the park include;
Activities in Kibale National Park
Hosting over 1500 chimpanzee species, Kibale forest national park is the best destination for chimpanzee viewing thus making Chimpanzee trekking the most done activity in the park. The experience involves walking through the forests of the park in search of the endangered chimpanzees by the lead of a park ranger. When they are allocated, travelers are allowed to spend about an hour with them as they observe their ways of life and also take pictures with them.
Besides chimpanzees, Kibale forest national park is also a home to other primate species including the blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, red colobus monkeys, bush babies and others.
Note: For one to take part in chimpanzee trekking experience, he/she has to possess a trekking permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority that costs USD 200 per Non foreign resident person.
Chimpanzee habituation involves spending your precious time in the presence of trained chimpanzees for the whole day. The activity is done at Kanyachu information center where other activities like nature walking and chimpanzee trekking take place. Chimpanzee habituation gives the travelers a great opportunity to learn more about the life styles of chimpanzee like their ways of feeding, mating and also their habits since they are given a full day with them. Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale forest national park is done after purchasing a habituation permit at USD 250 per non foreign resident person.
Kibale national park hosts over 370 bird species thus offering a great opportunity to the travelers especially the bird lovers of observing various beautiful bird species. The best time for birding at the park is from March to May and From September to November since different birds including the migratory ones are always in the park. Among the birds to be seen include papyrus gonolek, African pitta, slender-billed weaver, tropical boubou, crowned eagle, African pied wagtail, blue breasted kingfisher, breasted pitta, pin tailed whydah, African grey parrot, and others.
Bigodi wetland sanctuary
This wetland is positioned in the magombe swamp outside the park. It is about the Kanyachu information center south of the park. Bigodi wetland sanctuary is governed by the village people who are well trained as the guides of the wetlands. Also, the wetland is a home to various wildlife species, bird species, butterfly and others. Birds in the wetland include African pitta, weavers, hornbills, purple breasted sunbird, bee-eater, great blue turaco and others. The animals in the wetland are; bushbucks, vervet monkeys, red colobus monkeys, warthogs, mongoose, blue monkeys and others. A visit to the Bigodi wetland sanctuary involves walking through the trails and swamps as you sight different features like grasslands, tree species, palms and others.
Accommodations in Kibale National Park
During your travel to the home of primates – Kibale national park, you don’t have to worry about where to spend your good nights since the park has a variety of accommodation facilities that are both affordable and comfortable to every client. These facilities range from luxury, mid-range to budget rates. Among these accommodations include; Kibale safari lodge, Kyaninga lodge, Mantana tented camp, Kibale forest camp and others.