TOURIST ACTIVITIES TO DO IN KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Kibale is the major trekking centre for Chimpanzees in Uganda. In other words, Kibale Forest National Park is a home for the chimps and trekking them is guaranteed! The trekking is a life changing activity that every one should enjoy before death. It should be noted that Chimpanzees are only found in a few countries in Africa which include Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon and Tanzania among others.
Kibale National park is dominated by tropical forests which is characterized by tall trees, buttress roots, low under growth, ever green forests and so on.
Kibale forest is home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee. It also contains over 375 species of birds.
The park is located in Kabalore District in western part of Uganda, about 6-7 hours drive from Kampala / Entebbe International Airport.
When you visit Kibale forest, expect to participate in the following activities basing on your interest, budget and strength;
This is guaranteed in Kibale Forest! Enjoy a guided primate walk in the lush expenses of the tropical rainforest, in search of the wild chimpanzees. The ranger guide will explain you more about the animals and plants species that you encounter on your way. If you are lucky, expect to encounter other primates like the Red-Colobus Monkeys and Mangabey, birds as well as mammals like forest elephants and Buffaloes among others. We have morning shift and afternoon shift, and a maximum of 8 persons are allowed on the trek for each shift. You must book your chimpanzee permit in advance because their demand is very high throughout the year.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience:
It is the process by which chimps are made familiar to human being in order to make trekking possible. It is done by qualified ranger guides and takes like one to two years while training chimps. The project, initiated by Uganda Wildlife Authority in cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute, focuses on habituating the chimpanzees to human presence, without necessarily altering their natural behavior. With the Habituation Experience you will spend an entire day with these amazing creatures and learn about their way of life. It is wise to move with your packed lunch and water because a full day will be spent in the forest.
Day and Night Forest Walks
Be educated and entertained by experienced ranger guides. While the parents enjoy their chimpanzee experience, the young ones will go for a forest walk and learn more about the ecosystem, followed by creative activities and games.
When forest residents such as chimps and other primates as well as mammals rest up at dusk, a nighttime shift of rarely seen creatures becomes active. Night nature walks offers a great opportunity to see noctunals like the potto, Tree Hyrax, Nightjar, bush-baby and cricket as well as the occasional civet or serval cat. Night forest walks start at 7.30pm and last between 90 and 120 minutes.
Guided birding to meet over 300 bird species. Of the 325 that are recorded in this national park, 6 species of birds are endemic to the Albertine Rift region, including the Black-capped Apalis, Blue-headed Sunbird, Collared Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing, Purple-breasted Sunbird and Red-faced Woodland Warbler.
Bigodi Swamp Walk
Bigodi wetland is situated in Eastern side of the park. The wetland is dominated by primates like Black-and-White Colobus Monkey, Vervet monkey and a variety of birds. Also expect to see insects and unique tree species.
Bigodi Village Walk
Another project initiated by the community is the Village Walk. This guided walk takes you for a closer meeting with the Bigodi Trading Centre. Accompanied by a guide, who can tell you everything about the traditional customs and lifestyle of this tribe, you will follow the village path and visit a primary school, Catholic Church, traditional homesteads, learn about the crops and listen to the story telling of a Mzee (elderly man).
Exploration of the Crater Lakes
As you drive from Fort Portal to Kibale Forest you will pass the area of the Bunyaruguru Crater Lakes region. Here you can simply enjoy the beauty of the numerous small lakes, surrounded by gentle hills, and the stunning views. Take a hike at Lake Nkuruba to encounter different species of primates and birds. Or visit the hidden Mahoma Falls while you meet the local people as you walk through their villages and learn more about the customs of the Batoro tribe.
Activities outside Kibale Forest National Park
It is located 12 Km from Fort Portal in the direction of Kampala. The area offers different walking trails for excellent bird and primate viewing in moist evergreen forest.
Cultural Heritage and Nature Trail
A hike of 2 till 6 days for the adventurous guests, a sublime combination of nature and culture! You can start the walk at either Primate Lodge Kibale or Sebitoli Forest Camp and follow a trail deep into the forest. Not only you will explore the natural environment with its rich flora and fauna, but you will also get the chance to meet the local people and gain insights into the Batoro and Bakiga culture. Overnights will be arranged in community-run campsites near the villages of Kikoni, Nyaibanda and Nyakalongo.
Hike at the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains
Kibale Forest is located near mountain Rwenzori. Here you can enjoy a guided nature walk, with scenic views of the rolling hills, green valleys and large banana plantations. You will get a glimpse of the village life and visit a traditional healer at this home, participate in their cooking, digging, fetching water among others.
Visit to the tea estates
Depending on time, you can visit the green tea plantations, touch the fresh tea leaves and watch the workers tipping, plucking and weeding. Of course you are invited to participate!
This takes place in the Impenetrable forests of Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park located in south western Uganda. More gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, not far from Bwindi and Mgahinga. Great hikers combing gorilla tracking in Uganda and Rwanda as well as chimpanzee tracking and wildlife viewing on a 10 day Uganda Rwanda gorilla safari adventure offered by African Jungle Adventures.