The 795km2 Kibale National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. This is home to a host of forest wildlife, most famously 13 species of primate including chimpanzees. Forest cover predominates in the northern and central parts of the park on the elevated Fort Portal plateau. Kibale is highest at the park’s northern tip which stands 1590m above sea level. Northern Kibale is the wettest area, receiving a mean annual rainfall of up to 1700mm, mostly during March-May and September-November. This pristine environment has pleasant with a mean annual temperature range of 14-27°c. Temperatures are highest (and rainfall lower) in the south where the terrain drops down onto the hot rift valley floor and forest gives way to open grassland.
Southern Kibale adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park and together these protected areas maintain a 180km-long migration corridor for wildlife which extends from Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth NP, to the Sebitoli forest in the north of Kibale. The Kibale-Fort Portal area is one of Uganda’s most rewarding areas to explore. The park lies close to the tranquil Ndali crater area and within a half day’s drive of the Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National Parks and the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.
Kibale Forest is home to 13 primate species, chimpanzees being the chief attraction here. Most visitors come for Chimpanzee Tracking (Trekking) and you can actually spend some days here with chimpanzee habituation experience of one, two days or three days. The perfect treat for the chimpanzee enthusiast.
The 13 kinds of primates found here include of course Chimpanzees which are closely related to human beings (find information on the Uganda Chimpanzee Page), but also such as Red Colobus Monkey, Kibale Forest is the last place in Uganda where a large concentration of the Red Colobus Monkey can be found. You can also find L'Hoest's Monkeys, Black and White Colobus, Vervet Monkeys, Olive Baboon, Grey Cheeked Mangabey Monkeys, the nocturnal primates such as bushbaby and potto, and others. You can have do a nocturnal walk here with spotlights that is fabulous.
There is about 335 species of birds here and of course there is nearby Bigodi Wetlands where you can find more monkeys, more birds and take a 4 hour birding walk, you can extend it if you are a serious birder. At Kibale Forest, you can find Turacos, Red-winged Francolin, Green-breasted Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Woodland Warbler and Orange-tufted Sunbirds, Prirogrine's ground thrush and countless other birds. Many wetland species can be seen alongside most of the same forest species living in the national park. There are also an incredible 250 species of butterfly that live here.
There are many mammals found here at Kibale forest including the hairier and a bit smaller forest elephants, bushbuck, duiker, bush pig, buffalo and others that you might encounter along the way.
Kibale National Park is located in western Uganda, 26km south-east of Fort Portal town. Kanyanchu River Camp, the primary centre for tourism activities, can be reached from Kampala either from the north, via Mubende and Fort Portal, or the south through Mbarara and Kamwenge. The northern approach is shorter and quicker, with a 300km paved roadway running to Fort Portal followed by 36km on graded road to Kanyanchu. Sebitoli Forest Camp, a secondary tourism centre, is even easier to reach. This stands directly on the Kampala road, 16km before Fort Portal. Public transport runs throughout the day between Kampala and Fort Portal (passing Sebitoli) and Fort Portal and Kamwenge (passing Kanyanchu).
Kibale Primate Lodge provides mid range accommodation at Kanyanchu including stone cottages, tree houses and tented camps. Simple cottages are found at Sebitoli. Both sites provide campsites and canteens that provide basic meals to order.
Basic and mid range accommodation is available in the nearby villages of Bigodi and Nkingo while a wider choice is to be found in the Ndali Crater Area. This ranges from the up-market Ndali Lodge and Primate Lodge Kibale to good budget options at Chimpanzee Guesthouse and Lake Nkuruba. Accommodation can also be found in Fort Portal town. Explore Kibale National Park accommodations here»
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