What to see when in Kibale National Park, Top Things to do in Kibale National Park

June 01, 2018


Enjoy views of the Mystical Rwenzori Mountains and the cool air from the Crater lakes while on your visit to Kibale National Park. The park is located in the Western Part of Uganda in the Districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge. It is best known for the number and variety of resident Primates. An Impressive list of 13 Primate species includes Uganda’s largest population of Chimpanzees with an Estimated 1450. Habituated Groups can be tracked with experienced Ranger Guides. Chimpanzee tracking guidelines, permits, booking procedures, itineraries and habituation information. Kibale Forest National Park is one of the best safari destination in Africa for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. Kibale’s 795 km2 National Park contains one of the most beautiful and with the most varying tracts of tropical forest in the whole of Uganda. This is place to a number of forest wildlife, most especially 13 species of primate coupled with chimpanzees. The Forest covering predominates in the central and northern part of the park on the raised Fort Portal plateau. At the park’s northern tip,Kibale is highest and stands 1590m above sea level Kibale Safari.

It’s a 12 km hike and usually done in the dry seasons. The months are mid November-February, June and September. Hiking helps discover the park’s assorted habitats such as river line forest, swamp, grassland and tropical rainforest.

Birding in Kibale

Visit Bigodi a top birders spot. It’s famous for wildlife such as chimpanzees, red colobus, black and white colobus, red tailed monkey, bushbuck as well as mongoose. It has about 138 bird species seen on nature walks within.

Cultural Trail

The nature walk begins from Kanyanchu or Sebitoli and it takes about 2-6 days. The enroute will help discover the forest and late rest in the community-run campsites close to the villages of Kikoni,Nyakalongo and Nyaibanda.

Additionally the wettest area is Northern Kibale , receiving an average annual rainfall of equal to 1700mm, mainly during March-May and September-November. The climate is usually pleasant with an average annual temperature range of 14 to 27oC. Temperatures are at maximum (& rainfall lower) in the south where the terrain drops onto the blistering rift valley floor and forest provides way to open grassland.

Southern Kibale borders Queen Elizabeth National Park and collectively these preserved areas maintain a 180 kilometer long migration corridor for wildlife that stretches from the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth  National Park in “Ishasha”, to the north of Kibale in “Sebitoli”. The Kibale-Fort Portal region is one of Uganda’s most pleasing places to explore. The park is located close to the calm Ndali Kasenda crater area & which takes a half day’s drive to Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains & Semuliki National Parks along with the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.

Flora and fauna in Kibale Forest

Kibale’s varied altitude holds up different varieties of habitat, ranging from moist evergreen forest (wet tropical forest) along the Fort Portal plateau,then through the dry tropical forest (moist semi deciduous), and then to the woodland & savanna along the rift valley floor.

In the central part of the park, around Kanyanchu, the high forest consist of a mixture of evergreen trees and  deciduous with the evergreen species being dominant. Vegetation rise to over 55m and establish a semi closed canopy of massive stratified tree crowns. With shade tolerant herbs, a variety of ferns, shrubs and broad leaved forest grasses, the undergrowth is sparse. 351 tree species have been registered in the park.

Chimpanzee Safari Uganda Kibale

The density and diversity of primates in Kibale National Park is the highest in the whole of Africa. The most well known of its 13 species are the chimpanzees, our closest relative. Kibale’s 1450 chimpanzee indicate Uganda’s biggest population of this threatened primate. A Uganda Safari can enable you to see all these primates. Additionally Kibale is home to the uncommon I’Hoest’s monkey as well as East Africa’s biggest population of the endangered red colobus monkey. The black & white colobus, red tailed monkey, blue monkey, olive baboon, grey cheeked mangabey, bush baby and potto are among the other primates.

Other mammals are also present, though they are hardly seen. These consist of buffalo, leopard, bush pig elephant, and duiker. A neat viewer could also see amphibians and reptiles and a colorful variety of butterflies.

The park is a home to 325 variety of bird species, including 6 that are native to the Albertine Rift destination, that is to say dusky crimsonwing, black-capped apalis, blue-headed sunbird, collared apalis,red-faced woodland warbler and purple-breasted sunbird. Other Kibale specials are the green breasted pitta,African pitta, black bee-eater,Abyssinian groundthrush, yellow spotted nicator, little greenbul, black-eared ground thrush, brownchested alethe, yellow rumped tinker bird, blue-breasted kingfisher,  along with the crowned eagle.

Local people

The people living around Kibale National Park are mostly Batoro and Bakiga. The Batoro are native to the region while the Bakiga are just immigrants from the thickly populated southwestern part of the country. The Batoro carry pride in the ethnical heritage of the Kingdom of Toro, a scion of the ancient kingdoms of the Great Lakes region un Africa. The king (Omukama) and the kingdom personify the traditional along with cultural values of the Batoro. The immigrants (Bakiga) still hold their culture and tradition as expressed in their dance,folklore, as well as language.


  • Kyambura Gorge Wildlife Reserve in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Budongo Forest Reserve in Murchison Falls National Park
  • Kalinzu Forest Reserve
  • Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve
  • Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary


To get the best value for your visit you need an overnight and there is a Choice of Accommodations around the National Park Such as Ndali Lodge, Primates Lodge, Kibale Forest Camp, and in Fort portal Town such as Kyaninga Lodge, Mountains of the Moon Hotel, Kluges Guest House, The dutches


For the Protection of the Chimpanzees and your own Safety you are required to follow a few rules along the Forest Trails.

  • Chimpanzees can catch your diseases, you must not enter the Forest if you are sick.
  • Do not leave litter in the Forest
  • If you need to Urinate or defecate, do so off the trail. Burry your waste in a hole (30cm deep) along with any toilet paper.
  • Keep as quite as possible in the Forest, you will see more.
  • Keep at least 8meters (25Feet) from the Chimpanzees at all times.
  • Do not mimic Chimpanzees’ vocalization (You do not know what you might be saying!).
  • Do not eat near the Chimpanzees
  • Do not chase the Chimpanzees
  • Do not use Flash Photography



Kibale National Park’s main tourism hub at Kanyanchu on the newly tarmacked Fort portal Ibanda road can be accessed from Uganda’s Capital Kampala by a number of routes all on surfaced roads. The most direct route 335Km via Fort portal, 35 Km to the North. The Park can also be accessed from the south vial Lyantonde and Ibanda route at 392Km, Mbarara and Ibanda at 450 km, and Mbarara Kasese and Fortportal at 525Km Distance


The Park can also be accessed through two Airstrips: Nyakisharara near Mbarara (100Km on Tarmac) and Kasese (60Km) on Surfaced and dirt roads

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