Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale forest sits on 795 square kilometers of tropical forest land cover. Variety of forest wildlife call this home like 13 species of primates inclusive of the famous chimpanzees. Forest cover predominates in the Northern and central parts of the Park on the elevated Fort Portal Plateau. Southern Kibale National park is neighbored by Queen Elizabeth National Park spreading about 180 km long corridor for wildlife which extends from Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park to Sebitoli forest in north of Kibale
Kibale National park is one of Uganda’s interesting areas to explore neighbored by Ndali Kasenda crater area, Rwenzori mountain s, Semuliki National Park and Toro-Semiliki Wildlife Reserve.
Wild mammals are also residents of this park though rarely seen like cape buffaloes, leopards, bush pigs, duikers, elephants to mention but a few.
Kibale forest is rich with varying vegetation cover that includes wet tropical forest on the fort Portal Plateau, dry tropical forest to woodland and savannah on the rift valley floor. This variation is a result of varying altitude.
The local People
This area is locally occupied by the Batooro and Bakiga. The indigenous occupants of this area are the Batooro who are under the kingship of Omukama. The Bakiga on the other hand are immigrants from the densely populated southwestern part of Uganda especially Kabale. They still keep hold of there traditions like dances, language and folkore. You can pay a visit to the local community on request.
Which Flora And Fauna To find in Kibale National park
The chimpanzees are the major occupants of Kibale forest national park.
What you may
expect in Kibale National Park
Other primates also call the forest home like l’hoest, blue monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus, red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, pottos, bush babies the list is endless. Kibale hosts the biggest number of primates in Africa.
Birds are common residents of this park including the rare shoe bill that may be spotted in the Bigodi swamp area. Over 325 species of birds find comfort in living in this park of which 6 species are endemic to the albertine rift region. Some of the birds include yellow spotted nicator, little greenbul, blue- breasted
kingfisher, the crowned eagle, black bee-eater, African pitta, brown chested alethe the list is endless.
What activities to do around Kibale National Park
Chimpanzee tracking is the main activity in this park. Kibale forest National Park hosts the biggest number of habituated chimpanzees in Africa. Chimpanzee trekking is done in the morning (0800hr) and Afternoon (1500hrs). Briefing is at the Kanyanchu which is the headquarters of the park. Numerous primates can also be seen like black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed colobus, the list is endless may cross your way.
Chimpanzee habituation experience
During this activity, you escort the chimpanzee researchers and habituators as they follow chimpanzees during their daily activities so that they get accustomed to the presence of humans without altering there natural behavior. This activity requires an early morning rise from about 0530 hours to about 0630 hours when de-nesting takes place, go throughout the day to about 1900hours when new nests are built. This happens during low seasons (march, April, May and November)
Bird watching is another rewarding activity that can be done in Kibale National park. Numerous birds live especially in Bigodi wetland swamp and they can be identified. You may also see some primates that you might have missed out during chimp trekking.
Cultural Heritage and Nature walks
The adventurous visitor can follow a 2-6 days trail through the forest.
The full walk starts or finishes at either Kanyanchu or Sebitoli. The route explores the forest during the day, emerging in the evening to sleep in community-run campsites near the village of Kikoni, Nyaibanda and Nyakalongo. These provide the opportunity to meet local people and gain insights into their Batooro and Bakiga culture. You may support the local community by hiring them as porters to assist you carry some of your baggage at a small fee.
Guided Walks can also be arranged from Kihingani Wetland outside Kibale National Park. A forest hike of about 12km can be arranged during the dry season of December to February or June to September. During the hike, enjoy a variety of birds and primates plus some duikers may cross your way. This walk starts 0800hrs from Kanyanchu visitor center and end at the elephant wallow at about 1400hrs
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