Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda

Kibale forest Uganda Chimpanzee

Kibale Forest National Park is a tropical rainforest that is home to numerous wildlife species. The park is located in southwest Uganda and it has drawn many tourists to the country. Because this national park is home to several endangered species that attract tourists, it has made a significant contribution to Uganda’s tourism sector.

Primate residents of Kibale Forest National Park, chimpanzees share around 90% of their DNA with humans. There are over 4950 chimpanzees in Uganda overall, with about 1500 of them living in Kibale National Park. Travelers spend an hour with chimpanzees, much as they do with gorilla trekking. Chimpanzee habituation is the term for the opportunity that chimpanzee trekking offers visitors to spend more time with the primates.


Kabarole district is home to Kibale National Park. The Batoro tribe, who inhabit this town in large numbers, have their king’s palace situated in the center of the fort portal town. The current ruler of the Tooro kingdom, where Kabarole district is situated, is Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru, also known as the Omugabe King. In addition, he is the youngest king in both Uganda and all of Africa.

Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda.

Kibale Forest offers the best views of these endangered chimpanzees for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. Easily accessible to tourists, the forest is home to some of the best wild chimpanzee viewing spots in all of East Africa.

The Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Forest National Park are the most fascinating and well-known primate species in Uganda, but these guys are in second place. The finest place to trek with chimpanzees in Uganda is Kibale Forest, but visitors can also view chimpanzees in Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Kalinzu Forest, and Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Before tourists are allowed to hike with chimpanzees, park rangers, who oversee the primate population, track the animals to make sure they become accustomed to their presence. This process is known as chimpanzee habituation.

The process of acclimating chimpanzees to human presence in advance of a visit is known as chimpanzee habituation. The chimpanzees need up to two years to become completely accustomed to this hour-long, everyday activity. While there was a 20% possibility of encountering a chimpanzee in the wild years ago, chimpanzee trekking is now 99% assured.

In Uganda, trekking for chimpanzees entails traversing through rainforests for two to five hours, depending on the primates’ location. Once the chimps are located, guests are only allowed to spend an hour with the critically endangered primates.

What is Unique in Kibale National Park?

One of Uganda’s most fascinating and diverse tropical forest areas is Kibale Forest National Park, which is primarily composed of grasslands and marshes in its northern and center regions. There are over 351 species of trees known to exist in the park; some of them can reach heights of over 55 meters and are over 200 years old.

Kibale Forest National Park is 795 square kilometers in size and is located 1,590 meters above sea level, with its lowest point being 1,100 meters below sea level on the southern side of the Albertine Rift valley. The park’s diverse altitude supports a variety of ecosystem types, from the savannah and woodland on the floor of the rift valley to the wet tropical forest on the fort portal plateau.

About 70 different kinds of forest animals, including buffalo, elephants, and several antelope species, may be found in the Kibale Forest National area. But perhaps most notably, the area is home to 13 different species of primates, including the critically endangered chimpanzees. With about 375 different bird species found in the forest, the park is among Uganda’s best places to go birdwatching.

Kibale Forest National Park links with Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south, forming a 180-kilometer corridor for various wildlife that stretches from Kibale Forest National Park’s Sebitoli in the north to the isolated southern region of Ishasha Sector.

The Distance from Kampala to Kibale National Park.

Kibale National Park is situated 22 kilometers south of Fort Portal Town in the Kabarole area of Uganda’s Western National Park. The hub of any safari journey to Uganda’s national parks is Kampala City/Entebbe, from whence there are two routes leading to Kibale National Park.

The northern route goes through Mubende and Fort Portal, while the southern route goes through Mbarara and Kamwenge. The northern route is the fastest and easiest way to reach the park. It requires four to five hours of driving and covers a distance of roughly 290 kilometers on a tarmac road. The distance by car between Fort Portal and Kanyanchu Information Center is 32 km.

Sebitoli Forest Camp, conveniently situated on Kampala Road, is a secondary tourism hub that can be readily accessed from Fort Portal Town, just 12 km away. The Ndali-Kasenda Crater Lakes area provides a broad perspective of the Rwenzori, Lake George, tea farms, Kibale Forest in the East, and the Rift Valley Plains in the South.

You can drive or walk to these park-circumferential zones. Furthermore, Semliki National Park in the north and Queen Elizabeth National Park in the south are adjacent to Kibale Forest. All that exists near the area is an airport that lands in Kasese. To get the park, drive two to three hours farther from Kasese to Fort Portal Town.

Activities in Kibale National Park and Nearby Areas.

When visitors arrive to Kibale National Park, they participate in a variety of activities that add value to their safari experiences. When visitors to Kibale National Park, some of the things they do include:

Chimpanzee habituation;

This is more like to chimpanzee trekking, only instead of the typical one-hour experience, visitors are permitted to spend up to six hours with the primates. Furthermore, chimpanzee habituation permits are somewhat more costly than trekking permits.

Chimpanzee trekking:

As previously said, this is one of the most popular activities in Kibale National Park, drawing about 90% of visitors.

Kibale Forest Walk Trail:

This is among the most fascinating walking safari activities available to tourists. This 12-kilometer walk in Kibale National Park winds through open savannah riverine forestation, tropical jungle, and swamplands. It takes around 6 hours to complete. The trek passes through terrains like grasslands, swamplands, forests along rivers, and tropical forest.

This walk is very interesting since it enhances your chances of seeing several primate species, birds, and mammals—forest elephants being the most common—and, lastly, the gratifying beauty of the surroundings itself. You are briefed after reporting to the park headquarters, and at 8 a.m., you depart for the woodland walk trail under the supervision of park rangers and police.  Please return by 2:00 PM.

Bigodi swamp walk.

One of the main locations that visitors to this national park visit is Bigodi, which is a tropical swamp, as was previously described. A variety of wildlife may be found in Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary, such as uncommon kinds of monkeys, birds, and animals.

All visitors to Kibale National Park need to partake in this additional walking safari experience. Situated 6 km from the Kibale National Park headquarters is the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary Swamp. The term “birders’ paradise” refers to this swampy jungle area.

Following chimpanzee hiking, a stroll around Bigodi Swamp is customary. A two- to three-hour stroll across the palm- and papyrus-filled swamp is required. Numerous bird species and around five distinct kinds of monkeys can be seen during the stroll.

Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru;

These amazing rocks are located in a cave close to Nyakasura School in Fort Portal. Enticing waterfalls greet you on your journey to reach them. The Batoro tribe has a narrative about the Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru rocks, to which they have a profound cultural tie.

Situated approximately 5km from Fort Portal Town, this location is home to both natural beauties and myths. It is recommended that you wear appropriate hiking shoes because the hike to the caverns is frequently brief but slick. The site manager greets you upon your arrival and walks you through the historical legend of the caves’ connection to the Batoro kingdom and culture.

Take a hike through the bush to reach the interesting waterfalls and caves. There are hills near the caves where guests can trek and get views of the several crater lakes.

A tour of the Crater Lakes The meadow known as Fort Portal boasts visually striking and intriguing sceneries. Slumbering volcanic slopes enclose more than fifty crater lakes in an area known as the Kasende.

Travelers typically include this crater lakes tour trip on their agenda so they may trek up these volcanic slopes and see these lakes from above. The tour of the Crater Lakes is highly fascinating, and anyone planning a trip should include it.

Where to find the crater lakes in Kibale?

Kibale National Park has a large number of crater lakes all around. Trekking across the world’s summit provides breathtaking views of many crater lakes, communities, tea plantations, and moon-like mountains. The most popular crater lakes to explore on foot are the Ndali-Kasenda crater lakes. Visitors can choose from several trails that go to the Ndali Kasenda Crater.

The Kibale rainforest jungle, Lake George, and the Kichwamba escarpment of the Western Rift Valley are a few of the hike’s most breathtaking views. Adding this to your trip to Kibale National Park is ideal.

Crater lakes can also be found in Lake Kyaninga at Fort Portal Crater Field. There are many nearby hiking trails that guests can explore near Lake Kyaninga. The crater’s existence prompted the building of the opulent Kyaninga Lodge, which boasts breathtaking views of Crater Lake.

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