ACTIVITIES IN KIBALE NATIONAL PARK
Activities in Kibale National Park : Kibale national park is one of the top ranked safari destinations in Uganda and Africa as well best known for hosting the largest population of chimpanzees in Africa.
Kibale national park is located in the western part of Uganda about 345 kilometers (5 hours drive) from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, the park lies close to the serene Ndali Kasenda crater area and borders Queen Elizabeth national park with a 180 kilometers long migration corridor stretching from the Ishasha southern sector of Queen Elizabeth national park to Sebitoli in northern Kibale.
Kibale national park covers an area of 795 square kilometers dominated with varied vegetations types offering different wildlife habitats ranging from moist evergreen forest, dry tropical forest to the woodland and savannah along the rift valley floor.
Kibale national park is a private haven hosting 13 species of primates with the highest population of chimpanzees in Africa, other primates include L’Hoest’s monkeys, the endangered red colobus monkeys, the black & white colobus, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, grey cheeked mangabeys, bush babies and potto among many others. The park is also a home to buffaloes, leopards, bush pigs, elephants, duikers, amphibiams, reptiles and over 325 bird species.
Kibale national park is a great Uganda safari destination offering a number safari activities and these include
Activities in Kibale national park
Chimpanzee tracking is the highlight tourist activity in Kibale national park, this activity is intended to offer an close encounter with the chimpanzees. Chimpanzee tracking excursions embarks from the Kanyanchu Visitor Center at 08:00 am and 14:00 on a daily, this activity starts with briefing at center about the rules and regulations to follow.
Chimpanzee tracking is a very fascinating experience lasting for about 2-3 hours with one hour of being in the presence of the beautiful chimpanzees, chimpanzee encountered on this excursions are habituated meaning they are used to human presence. While on this experience expect to see primates such as grey-cheeked mangabey and red-tailed monkeys and birds in the forests such as great blue turaco, hairy-breasted barbet, black-necked weaver, and black-white casqued hornbill among others.
For a duration of one hour, visitors have an opportunity to observe the behavior of the chimpanzee which is closely similar to humans such as collecting fruits, taking care of their babies among others. You will also get to take amazing photos.
Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale national park is a thrilling safari activity dedicated to tourists who wish to spend more time with the chimpanzees and perfect for individuals aspiring to be researchers seeking to have field experience. Chimpanzee habituation is a process of making wild primates to get used to human presence in their habitat, the process takes about 3 hours to be completed.
Chimpanzee habituation experience lasts for a full day in the presence of chimpanzees, a maximum of 4 people per group inclusive of researchers and guides are permitted to participate in this experience. Chimpanzee habituation experience starts as early as 06:30 am with briefing at the park’s headquarters and return at around 7pm.
While on chimpanzee habituation you get to witness how chimpanzees build nests, learn more about their behavior, participate in feeding them and take amazing pictures.
Kibale national park is one of the best destinations for birding safaris in Uganda , the park boosts of 372 bird species with 60% of Uganda’s recorded forest birds, one of the fascinating bird species in Kibale national park is the rare Green Breasted Pitta which is only found in the park.
Birding in Kibale national park offer excellent sightings of numerous bird species such as White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Western Nicator, Grey-winged Robin-chat, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Black Bishop, White-breasted Negrofinch and Black-crowned Waxbill among others. Birding excursions start at 7 am at Kanyanchu and the best spot to do birding excursions is the Bigodi wetland sanctuary.
NATURE GUIDED WALKS
Nature guided walks is another exciting safari activity to do in Kibale national park, natures walks begin form either Kanyanchu or Sebitoli. During this experience explore the forest of Kibale and visit villages of Kikoni, Nyakalongo and Nyaibanda where you will get a deeper insight of the lifestyle of local people (Batoro and Bakinga) and their different cultures. In the local villages you will be entertained by local dances and drama, taste locally made food, visit schools and market centers.
Nature guided walks are also done on the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary where you get amazing views of various primates such as mangabeys, grey checked monkeys, olive baboons, L’hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys and many birds such as cuckoos, green breasted pitta, papyrus gonolek among others.
A total of 6 people per group are allowed to take part in the nature guided walks, the longest nature guided walks in Kibale national park is a trail of 2-6 days through the thick forests of Kibali.
Guided Night Nature Walks
Guided night nature walks in Kibale national park are perfect activity for tourists intending to experience nocturnal life in the forests of Kibale, this experience offers excellent sightings of nocturnal primates such as bush baby, Pottos and others.
Forest hikes in Kibale national park are usually done in the dry season in the periods of November – February , June and September. Forest hikes are a 12 Kilometers hike offering an opportunity to discover the park’s assorted habitats such as river line forest, swamp, grasslands and the tropical rainforest. During this excursion you will be able to see different species of birds, primates and other forest creatures such as bush buck and duiker. Forest walks in Kibale nationa park are done Sebitoli Forest, this portion of Kibale forest offer excellent bird and primate sightings. Other site to do the hikes is the Kihingani wetland.
Crater Lakes Tour
Crater lakes tour in Kibale national park takes you on a tour to Kasenda area in Fort portal, the area is a home to more than 50 different crater lakes which are surrounded by steep sided volcanoes. During the crater lakes tour, you will have an opportunity to enjoy the picturesque scenery and the unique landscape of the area.
HOW TO GET KIBALE NATIONAL PARK
Kibale national park is situated in the western region of Uganda and it can be accessed from Kampala by road or air means of transport. By road, the park is situated in drive of 26 kilometers from Fort Portal and about 348 kilometers from Kampala.
By air, domestic flights are offered from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip in Entebbe to Fort Portal Airport then connect to the park by vehicle.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KIBALE NATIONAL PARK
Kibale national park can be visited all year round, however the best time to visit is during the dry season running from December to February and from June to September. In this period various trails used to explore the park are relatively dry making the navigation through the park easy.