Kibale National Park is the home of the great chimpanzees. It is the most magnificent of Uganda’s tropical rain forests and one of the most rewarding areas to explore. Established at the end of the 18th Century, Kibale boasts 13 species of primates, including the localized Red Colobus and L’Hoest monkeys.
A single group of chimpanzees has been habituated for tourism. Chimp tracking / primate spotting and bird watching are the major tourist activities here. With well-developed nature trails, tourists can enjoy exploring this impressive forest.
At least 71 species of mammals have been recorded, with leopards, bush pigs, three species of duiker and two species of otter among them. The forest is also home to 375 species of birds, including African Green-breasted and African Grey Parrots, 250 species of butterflies, 350 species of trees and shrubs, 27 different frogs and toads, and 14 types of snakes. Among the reptiles, the rock python is the largest. The park’s population of elephants travels between Kibale and the Queen Elizabeth National Park.
However, primates dominate the national park. 13 species have been recorded, of which the chimpanzee and the Red Colobus monkey have both been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered or critically endangered. The rare L’Hoest’s monkey lives in this forest too.
Size and accessibility:
Established in 1993, the park covers 795km² of rainforest, swamps, rivers and a few areas of grassland.
The park headquarters, Kanyanchu, is 36km from the nearest town of Fort Portal, while Kampala to Kanyanchu, via Fort Portal, is a distance of 358km.
Flying to Kasese and driving to the forest in a 4WD vehicle would be the best option for reducing the travelling time.