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Kibale National Park is in South Uganda about 320 kilometres (5-6 hrs) by road, west of Kampala on 766 km². The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is an important eco-tourism and safari destination, popular for its population of habituated chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates. It’s the best place to see chimpanzees in East Africa with about 5000 chimps.
Kibae Forest is home to a large number of endangered chimpanzees, as well as the red colobus monkey (status: Threatened) and the rare L'Hoest’s monkey. The park is also home to over 325 species of birds, 4 wild fellids, 13 species of primates, a total of at least 60 other species of mammals, and over 250 tree species. Bird life is also prolific. – 325 sited species of birds, including the olive long-tailed cuckoo, Western Green tinkerbird, two species of pittas (African and Green-breasted) and the African Grey Parrot.
The park's population of elephants travels between the park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Other terrestrial mammals found here include red and blue duikers, bushpigs, warthogs, and forest buffaloes. – a place where while chimpanzee tracking you can also see 5 or six other species of primates. The carnivores that are present include bush pigs, three species of duiker and two species of otter.
To visit Kibale national Park for Chimps, you must have a chimpanzee tracking permit obtainable at UWA Headquarters in Kampala. Booking is usually done ahead of time and because permits are sold out on first-come, first-serve basis, chances are high that you may find all of them sold out during busy travel months. We are here to help you confirm your chimpanzee tracking tour at no extra cost.
Kibale Forest National Park: Best place to go Chimp tracking and the Primate Capital of East Africa
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Day 1: Kampala or Entebbe to Kibale Chimpanzee Forest National Park
Leave Kampala or Entebbe lodging at 6 or 6:30 am for your exciting Kibale Forest National Park Chimpanzee Tracking and Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary Safari experience. The journey is a pleasant one and our 4-wheel drive vehicle, your English speaking driver will do his best so that you will enjoy the journey through the Ugandan countryside. It is a scenic drive and once again you will be reminded why Uganda is the Pearl of Africa. Arrive at Fort Portal and continue toward Kibale Forest, one of the great African rainforest research reserves, is famous for the variety of primates and it is a terrific area for bird. Check in to the Kibale Forest NP lodging of your choice. Up-market Kyaninga Lodge is awesome; Mid-range Chimps' Nest Lodge is amazing, budget Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse or Kibale Forest Camp is excellent. They are all great, this is just to aid you choose something that fits your budget.
Lunch and afternoon Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary walk. This is a guided swamp walk that takes you closer seeing primates mostly monkeys, birds and butterflies. The guides are a wealth of knowledge is here and are so patient with visitors. The wetland is a birder’s paradise with about 138 species and is best known for being home to the Great Blue Turaco. This is a 2½ - 3 hour walk and is a must for bird lovers. The walk is almost as popular as the Kibale Forest Walk. You will need good walking shoes since part of the walk is sometimes muddy. Hopefully you will spot the elusive Sitatunga antelope and the Shoebill Stork. This is nothing to be missed. You will meet some of the some primates here, even a chimpanzee at times. Other primate species include the black-and-white colobus, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed, l’Hoest’s and blue monkeys, and olive baboons. Also, Bushbucks and mongooses and many more can also be found here. There is also an abundance of butterflies. Bigodi Sanctuary is located outside the park in Magombe Swamp.
Day 2: Chimpanzee tracking, plus 12 primates & Afternoon drive to Kampala
Breakfast in the Jungle, Enjoy it and get ready for a walk in Kibale Forest National Park. It is chimpanzee tracking (trekking) in the Kibale Forest Jungle Rainforest. Besides the Chimpanzees there is simply the fabulous rainforest, the other primates, the trees, the flowers, the abundance of birds, the sounds of the Rain Forest, butterflies floating through the air, the place to be, and then there are the chimpanzees grabbing your attention, and you are glad you came to Kibale Forest for Chimpanzee Tracking.
The things you need for the trek include: long trousers/pants, long socks, so that you can tuck your pants into your socks for protection, long-sleeved shirts, light hiking boots, day pack with a liter of bottled water, wide-brimmed hat and a light rain-jacket. There is one "animal" that you really need to watch for: fire ants! They are not very common but be ware of them as they might ruin the experience for you if you're not prepared for them. They are easy to spot and shun. Often there are trails of ants matching across the path, which can be avoided by jumping over them. Make sure that when your group stops on the trail, that you are not standing on or near an ant hill or ant trail.
Return to the lodge of an early lunch and check out.
You may consider spending more time with the Chimps and not just the 3-hour chimp trek of which just one is spent with them. You can do the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) and spend 4 hours watching and following the chimpanzees through the forest.
Common Question; What is the difference between regular Chimpanzee Trekking and Chimpanzee Habituation Experience?
Habituation here is simply a process of getting the chimpanzee oriented to human presence while in thier natural habitat. When you go for Chimpanzee Trekking, you are one hour with a fully habituated Chimpanzee Group after finding them. That means they are used to human beings. When you go on a 4-hour Habituation Experience, you are observing a Chimpanzee Group that is in the process of being habituated, – a process that takes up to two years long and you are a participant in the process. You go down in to the rainforest with a guide in a small group - max of 4 plus ranger. Once you find the chimps, you watch and follow them through the rainforest for a few hours. Expect the experience to differ each day as these are wild animals who are not trained to perform as if they are in a circus. On some days the trek may however be hard as you are often moving fast through dense forest so as to not lose the chimps. Learn more about Chimp Habituation Experience Vs. regular chimp trek.
Please Note – As of July 1, 2020, the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience increased in price from $200 to $250. Regular Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest increased from $150 to $200. Advance planning is necessary as this is not something you are going to decide on ground.
Note: Kibale Forest National Park Chimpanzee tracking is twice every day, i.e. the morning and afternoon shift. At the time of booking this tour, you may choose to do the tracking the same day we travel to Kibale or next day morning then drive back in the afternoon.
Below are the things we offer:
The Uganda Government might reintroduce this VAT as from July 1st 2014, after which we shall amend our prices so to comply with the regulation and include the tax.
Whether you are looking for additional Uganda safari information, Safari itineraries, competitive quotes, or have any other questions, feel free to contact us at or even just call +256 (0) 777201697, we are always happy to answer your questions