Location of Kibale National Park : Kibale national park is located in western Uganda and is one of the best places for primate tours in the country. The size of Kibale National Park is about 321 square kilometers and it is home to 13 species of primates, 120 mammal species, over 370 bird species including Albertine rift endemics which can be seen around the forest.

The national park is located along the Kampala-Fort Portal road and the drive to Kibale national park takes about 5 to 6 hours and it is the quickest route used to get to Kibale forest national park. Another route whi5ch can be used to access the national park is the Kamwenge route.

Kibale national park is located about 348 kilometers from Kampala and it is situated south of the town of Fort Portal. Tourists can also explore Fort Portal town before continuing to the Kanyanchu park headquarters for their tours in Kibale park.

Neighboring towns of Kibale national park include Fort Portal which is the closest town at about 27 kilometers, Kasese town which is about 98 kilometers away and Kamwenge which is about 39 kilometers away and these towns can be visited during tours around the park.

There are also national parks which are neighboring Kibale national park and they include Queen Elizabeth national park which is about 3 to 4 hours drive away. Tourists can also visit Semuliki national park during tours around Kibale national park and the drive takes about 2 hours.

What to see in Kibale national park

Kibale national park is home to primates like chimpanzees, baboons, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys among others. Other wildlife species found in the Kibale forest include forest elephants, giant forest hogs among others.

There are also various bird species which can be seen when visiting Kibale national park and they include Nahan’s Francolin, Blue-headed bee-eater, Lowland-masked Apalis, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Batis, Cassin’s Spinetail, Masked Apalis, Green-breasted Pitta, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Collared Apalis, Brown-chested Alethe, Yellow spotted nicator, Little Greenbul, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Great Blue Turaco, Black headed Gonolek, Red fronted Tinkerbird, Red faced Woodland Warbler among others.

Activities to do in Kibale national park

Kibale national park is a location where different activities can be done and they include the following;

  • Chimpanzee trekking

In the morning and afternoon every day, tourists visiting Kibale national park get to enjoy chimpanzee trekking experiences.

Chimpanzee trekking is the most popular activity which is done around Kibale national park and it is done around Kanyanchu. The morning chimpanzee trek is done around 08:00 am and the afternoon chimpanzee trek takes place at around 02:00 pm.

The duration of the chimpanzee trek in Kibale national park can be about 4 hours and during this time, tourists explore the forest and search for the chimpanzees which they spend 1 hour in the presence of and observe their behavior.

Chances of encountering chimpanzees during the chimpanzee trekking experience in Kibale forest is at about 90% and the national park is considered one of the best destinations to engage in the activity during tours in Uganda.

  • Chimpanzee habituation

Chimpanzee habituation is another activity which is carried out during tours in Kibale national park and it is a full day activity.

During chimpanzee habituation, the chimpanzees are introduced to human presence in their natural habitat. This activity promotes conservation in Kibale national park and is done by researchers, ranger guides and the tourists.

Deep in the Kibale forest, tourists search for the chimpanzees which are non habituated and observe their behavior as they interact among themselves. The chimpanzee habituation process can take about 2 to 3 years before individuals track them for tourism purposes.

The chimpanzees in Kibale forest which are not accustomed to presence of humans live deep in the forests and the activity is a little challenging due to the uncertainty in the movement of the chimpanzee groups since they move to different locations.

Location of Kibale National Park
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale
  • Community tours

Community tours around Kibale national park involve interaction with local communities around the national park such as the Bigodi community, interacting with the Batoro people among other tribes.

During the community tours, individuals can enjoy traditional dance performances, storytelling, food preparation, visiting the homesteads, visiting local farms, visiting the Tooro palace among other activities with locals.

  • Bird watching

Bird watching is another activity which is done in different parts of Kibale national park. Some of the popular birding spots include the Bigodi wetlands where over 183 bird species can be seen during tours. Most of the Albertine rift endemic species can be seen around the national park making it an ideal destination to see various bird species.

  • Nature walks

Nature walks around Kibale forest can be done in the morning and also in the afternoon with ranger guides. During this activity various primates like black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkey among others can be seen as well as different bird species, butterfly species and tourists also get to learn about the different tree species at the destination.

Cost of visiting Kibale national park

Chimpanzee trekking permits for Kibale national park cost 250 USD for foreign nonresidents, 200 USD for foreign residents and 180,000 Uganda shillings for East Africans. This fee is inclusive of park entrance fee and guide fees.

The cost of chimpanzee habituation permits in Kibale national park is 300 USD for foreign nonresidents, 250 USD for foreign residents and 250,000 Uganda shillings for East African citizens.

Park entrance fees for Kibale national park is 40 USD for foreign nonresidents, 30 USD for foreign residents and 20,000 Uganda shillings for East African citizens. Children are charged 20 USD for foreign nonresidents, 10 USD for foreign residents and 5,000 Uganda shillings for East African citizens as park fees.

Where to stay in Kibale national park

Around Kibale national park, there are different lodges such as Kibale forest camp, Chimpundu lodge, Isunga lodge, Primates lodge, Kyaninga lodge, Ndali lodge, Crater safari lodge, Turaco treetops lodge among others.

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