Kibale National Park – Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda
Kibale National Park is a national park in Western Uganda, protecting moist evergreen rain forest. It is 766 square kilometres in size and is located between 1,100 metres to 1,600 metres in elevation. Despite encompassing primarily moist evergreen forest, it contains a diverse array of landscapes.
Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. The park was gazetted in 1932 and formally established in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logged forest reserve. The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park and this adjoining of the parks creates a 180 kilometres wildlife corridor. It is an important eco-tourism and safari destination, popular for its population of habituated chimpanzees and twelve other species of primates
Kibale Forest National Park has one of the highest diversity and concentration of primates in Africa. It is home to a large number of endangered chimpanzees, as well as the red colobus monkey and the rare L’Hoest’s monkey. The park has 13 species of primates and protects several well-studied habituated communities of common chimpanzee, as well as several species of Central African monkey including the Uganda mangabey, the Ugandan red colobus and the L’Hoest’s monkey. Other primates that are found in the park include the black-and-white colobus and the blue monkey
The park’s population of elephants travels between the park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Other terrestrial mammals that are found within Kibale Forest National Park include red and blue duikers, bushbucks, sitatungas, bushpigs, giant forest hogs, common warthogs, and African buffalo. The carnivores that are present include leopards, African golden cats, servals, different mongooses and lions visit the park on occasion. Bird life is also prolific and the park boasts 325 sited species of birds, including the olive long-tailed cuckoo, western tinker bird, two species of pittas and the grey parrot. The ground thrush is endemic to Kibale National Park.
Activities to do in Kibale Forest National Park
Chimpanzee Tracking is the most prominent Safari Activity carried out in the Park and to enjoy it, one must have a valid Chimpanzee tracking Permit they carry to the Park headquarters for briefing on the Dos and don’ts around the Chimpanzees. After in groups of 8 with a skilled ranger guide, penetrate the forest to track the Chimpanzees for 2-4 hours with a park ranger then after meeting them, an hour is allowed to stay in their presence taking photos to keep for memories. The Chimpanzee Tracking Permit costs US $150 per person interested.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience is another popular safari activity and involves following the chimpanzees from the time they wake up to make new nest until when they make other nests to spend the night. The experience begins very early in the morning until late in the evening i.e 24/7 (whole day) as you watch the Chimpanzees communicate, patrol, forage, breastfeed, feed, play, etc. The Chimpanzee Habituation experience permit costs US $220 per person interested.
Bird watching is another safari activity travelers can do in Kibale Forest National Park for the Park inhabits over 372 different species of birds that inhabit the green forest habitat. The Birds include; Yellow-spotted Nictor, Yellow- ramped Tinker bird, Speckled Tinker bird, Little Greenbul, Superb Sunbird, the African Pitta, White-thighed hornbill, Grey-winged Robin, Blue shouldered Robin Chat, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Black-billed Turacco, White-naped Pigeon, Green-breasted Pitta, Purple-headed Starling, Red-chested Flufftail, Joyful Greenbul, Cabanis Greenbul, Grey-throated Tit Flycatcher, Scarlet-tufted, Green-throated, Purple-Breasted sunbirds,White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Masked Apalis, Tiny Sunbird, White-collared Olive-back and the Black bee-eater
Hiking and Nature Walks
Kibale Forest National Park is a very ideal safari destination for travelers looking to experience remarkable Hiking and Nature Adventures as they follow various trails watching birds, green vegetation as well as numerous primates like the Vervet Monkeys, Red Tailed Monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys. The Hiking Trails include; the Forest Hike of 12 kms, Sebitoli Forest Hike, Kihingani Wetland Hike.