Kibale Forest National park is located in Western Uganda in Kabarole District having the most evergreen rain forest excellent for bird watching. Occupying 795 square km, Kibale National Park has the best forest cover interspersed with grassland and swamp vegetation. Famously known for chimpanzee tracking, Kibale Forest National park is home to 70 mammal species 13 being primate species, 375 bird species and also 351 tree species some being over 200 years old.
This park forms a continuous forest connecting to Queen Elizabeth National Park creating a 180 km corridor for wildlife. Having the highest concentration of primates in Africa, Kibale National Park harbors the endangered chimpanzees and the colobus monkey. Other primates found in this park include the Uganda Mangabey, the Uganda Red Colobus, the L’Hoest’s monkey, the Black-and-White colobus and the Blue monkey. Other mammals protected by this national park include elephants, bushbucks, sitatungas, bushpigs, warthogs, the African buffalo and the blue duikers. Leopards, African golden cats and lions can also be found in the park.
Bird species include the Western tinkerbird, the African pittas, the Green-breasted pittas, the Afep Pigeon, the Black Bee-eater, the Blue-Headed Sunbird, the Little Greenbul, the grey parrot and the Olive long-tailed cuckoo among other species.
With over 350 tree species, Kibale has some endangered species like the Cordia millenii, Entandroohragma Angolense and Lovoa swynnertonnii. The forest also serves as a research area.
Kibale being known for chimp tracking, this is the major activity to get involved with while at the park. Guided walks start at 8a.m and 2p.m taking an average of 3hrs. This gives you a chance to observe chimpanzees in their natural habitats. However, observing is only for one hour and participants must be strictly 16 years and above.
Walks in the forest take 2 to 3 hours, apart from sighting chimps, you will have a chance to see owls, civets and the Dimidoff’s dwarf galago. However, night walks also take place at around 7:30p.m which gives you an exciting opportunity to see nocturnal creatures such as the bush baby, the tree hyrax and even the serval cat.
Bird watching tours start as early as 7a.m. These tours offer chances of sighting rare species like the White-winged Warbler, the White-collared Oliveback, the Papyrus Gonolek and the Papyrus Canary.
You can join a local guide for a walk through the Magombe swamp wetlands and discover the way of life of the local Batooro community.