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Top 10 Reasons To Visit Kibale National Park

Top 10 Reasons To Visit Kibale National Park In Uganda, the Primate Capital Of The World

Top 10 reasons to visit Kibale National Park, the primate capital of the world. The park, a haven with the largest concentration of chimpanzees in the world. Uganda has highest number of Chimpanzee in the whole world which is about 4950 chimpanzees and Kibale National Park holds about 1500 chimpanzees. One of the four great apes and the closest relative of humans, chimpanzees share 95–98% of our DNA. 

Uganda, the pearl of Africa is a paradise for nature- and animals-lovers. It has an astonishing array of primates, mammals and birds. It also offers excellent nature trails. And it’s close to many other must-see attractions.

Location of Kibale National Park

The districts of Kibale and Kabarole are home to Kibale National Park, which is located in the western portion of Uganda. Chimpanzees have grown to be a major draw for visitors since the park’s establishment in 1995, when it was created to preserve the forest and prohibit illicit logging. The Rwenzori Mountains, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Semuliki National Park are all nearby to the park.

In Kibale National Park, you may go chimpanzee trekking and explore one of Uganda’s most popular parks.

Why Kibale National Park is referred to as the primate capital?

The most recent endorsement came when Uganda was included in the New York Times’ list of 52 places to visit, cementing its distinction as the primate capital of the world due to the enormous variety/density of primates and for being the greatest location in the world to track chimpanzees.
Since 13 of Uganda’s 20 primates are found in Kibale  National Park, it is known as the primate capital of the world.

Here are the 10 reasons why you should visit Kibale National Park

1.Chimpanzee tracking In Kibale National Park

Chimpanzees are the main attraction in Kibale National Park. Like  gorilla trekking, you can go chimpanzee tracking here. Here tourists go in  a small group on a tracking hike to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.

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Before participants travel into the forest to search for chimpanzees, they receive a briefing at the Kanyanchu visitor center early in the morning.
Visitors can spend an hour with the chimpanzees, who were once found in their natural habitat, and observe them playing, eating, grooming each other, nursing, relaxing, and other activities.
The entire process can take up to 5 hours.

Once you find a troop, you get to spend some time with them, observing their behaviours and their characteristics.

Some of the characteristics include

  • They have arms that extend beyond the knees.
  • They have aprominet mouth.
  • The body is covered with brown to black hair.
  • The usual move on the ground.

Some of the behaviors of chimpanzee

  • They are highly social animals.
  • They in communities of several dozens led an alpha male.
  • Chimps do most of their eatings in trees.


2. Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

Chimpanzee habituation, which takes around two years to complete, is the process of teaching chimpanzees to become accustomed to human presence. Visitors have the opportunity to go into the forest with a group of researchers, park rangers, and guides.

In contrast to chimpanzee trekking, where visitors are only permitted to spend an hour with chimpanzees once they are located, this chimpanzee habituation experience allows visitors to spend four hours with chimpanzees in their natural environment.
The activity begins in the early hours of the morning as the chimpanzees leave their nests. You will stay with them and observe them while they eat, groom each other, rest, play, and eventually go back to bed.
This experience is fascinating.

3. Kibale National Is Home To 13 Primate Species

Kibale National Park is one of Uganda’s most spectacular and beautiful ecosystems, including a lush tropical rainforest and a remarkable variety of wildlife.
The greatest concentration (in Uganda) of chimpanzees, our closest living relative, may be found at Kibale Forest.
There are 13 species of primates and monkeys in the forest, making it one of the most diverse and densely populated areas in Africa. These include the red Colobus, black and white Colobus, blue monkey, grey-cheeked Mangabey, red-tailed monkey, L’Hoest monkey, bush baby, and Potto.

Among the 13  primate of kibale national Park include,

  • Chimpanzee
  • Red tailed monkey
  • Black and White colobus monkeys
  • L’Hoest monkeys
  • Vervet monkey’s
  • Olive baboons
  • Blue monkeys
  • Grey checked mangabeys
  • Uganda red colobus
  • Demidoff Galago
  • The Potto
  • Patas monkeys
  • Uganda mangabeys.

Olive baboons

Baboons are among the most aggressive apes, therefore they should be handled with care and permitted room.
They are distinctive and a must-see at Kibale National Park since they are the only babbon species in Uganda.
They are omnivores with a varied, occasionally opportunistic diet and are able to adapt to a broad range of habitats, including coastal areas.
These depart in huge groups and are visible even on park pathways.

Uganda Grey-Cheeked Mangabeys

The extremely unusual mangabey with white cheeks is also known as the grey-cheeked mangabey.
The Uganda grey-cheeked mangabey only inhabits a limited portion of the nation.
Scientists are unable to determine if it is endangered or not because their numbers are unknown.

They can only be traced in Kibale and Semiliki national parks.

L’Hoest’s Monkey

The so-called mountain monkeys include LHoest’s monkeys, which can grow tails up to 80 cm long.
An eye-catching white “beard” covers the entire body.
You can tell you have a l’Hoest’s monkey on your hands by the saddle pattern on their back.
The L’Hoest monkeys are terrestrial in nature, like the red-tailed monkey.

Black-and-white colobus

Colobus means mutilated which is descriptive of the almost in the existent thumb on all primates that are referred to as colobus.

Black-and-white colobus monkeys have bushy white tail ends and pin face.

Black-and-white colobuses perform a meeting ritual when reunited with those they know, and this ritual can include embracing.

Uganda red colobus

Since 2001, the Ugandan red colobus (Piliocolobus tephrosceles), also known as the ashy red colobus, has been recognized as a separate species of red colobus monkey.
However, there is controversy about taxonomy, with many believing that the Ugandan red colobus is a subspecies (Procolobus rufomitratus tephrosceles).

An Old World monkey called the Ugandan red colobus can be found in five separate places in both Tanzania and Uganda.

The red colobus is a vegetarian and only consumes immature fruit, flowers, and leaves.

Interestingly, chimpanzees occasionally prey on these colobuses.
When under assault, the flock congregates, and the males repel the assailant while the females and young ones flee.

4. Birding / Bird watching / The Bird Spotting In Kibale National Park

Bird watching in the Kibale National Park, which was established in 1993 to safeguard the forest and is situated in western Uganda 450 kilometers south of Fort Portal region.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority is in charge of overseeing the park.

With more than 350 species of birds, including 6 endemic species, birding in Kibale National Park is the second most popular activity after chimpanzee tracking. The park contains a large number of birds because it is a forested area, and you may see the birds either on a game drive or on a nature walk with an experienced guide.


The blue-headed bee-eater, the masked Apalis, the Nahan’s francolin, and the Cassin’s spinetail are four bird species that have been recorded in Kibale Forest National Park but haven’t been seen anywhere else in Uganda’s national parks. Migratory birds are typically seen here between November and April.

With a guide’s assistance, you can identify a lot of birds at Kibale National Park while you take nature walks in the forest.
The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, where birders lead visitors on a 4-hour walking track, is the premier birding location in Kibale National Park’s extensive network of built hiking and walking trails.

In addition to being a haven for birds, Kibale National Area is also home to primates like red-tailed monkeys, L’hoest’s, and grey-cheeked mangabeys. However, the majority of people come to the park to observe chimpanzees for chimpanzee tracking or chimpanzee habituation.

There’s exciting birdlife to enjoy on a trip to Kibale National Park, especially in the marshlands.

Some of the birds you might see are:

  • Violet-backed starling
  • Green-breasted pitta
  • African pitta
  • Black bee-eater
  • Dusky crimson-wing
  • Purple-breasted sunbird
  • Blue-breasted kingfisher
  • Eastern nicator
  • Yellow-rumped tinkerbird
Best Time For Birding In Kibale National Park

The months of March through May and September through November are the finest for birdwatching.
The major fruiting season lasts from June to September, and when food is plentiful throughout this time, birds can develop breeding plumage. From November through April, migratory birds can be seen.

The finest months for birdwatching in Kibale National Park are March, April, and May as well as September, October, and November. These are the wet months when fruits and food are abundant in the forest and hence many birds can be sighted.
Due to the fact that Kibale National Park is a rain forest, it’s important to have the proper attire, a field guide book, a field bag, and field apparel, as well as other items like binoculars, sunglasses, a mineral water bottle, and insect repellent lotions.

You are provided with a birding guide and are certain to see a range of bird species because guides are familiar of the best trails to travel. Birding in Kibale National Park begins at 7am.


5. The Nature Walks And Hiking

Nature walks are carried out in the moist jungles of the tropical. These can be both day and night guided nature walks by armed rangers. Day nature walk is interesting for viewing of the chimps and the other resident primates of the park and clear view of the sceneries.

Night nature walk begin after dusk at around 7:30 to approximately to 3 hours. The night walk is amazing that one can easily spot the illusive nocturnal creatures like the night jar and the bush babby. All this can be clear with help of strong and clear flash lights.

At the Kanyanchu visitor center, where visitors are taken by park rangers through the forest to get closer to nature, nature walks in Kibale National Park begin.
More information about the forest and its inhabitants is provided to visitors.
Forest elephants, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, various bird species, and flora are just a few of the wildlife that may be viewed throughout the nature trails.
Everyone should feel the joy of breathing in the fresh air and listening to the sounds of the forest.

Visitors have the option of taking a nature walk beyond the park to the nearby Bigodi wetland Sanctuary in addition to the Kibale Forest.
As you travel the 8 km circular circuit in the Bigodi Wetland, also known as the Great Blue Turaco’s habitat, you will discover a treasure of biodiversity.

Bigodi nature walks encourage the preservation of the region’s natural and cultural heritage while directly assisting the local population by providing financing for initiatives that improve sanitation, education, and other aspects of community life.
Two to three hours are spent on guided nature excursions in the Bigodi Wetlands, where visitors can see a variety of birds, including turacos, kingfishers, hornbills, warblers, crakes, parrots, and swamp endemics.

Visitors also get the possibility to witness 8 different primates during the walk, including vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, olive baboons, red colobus monkeys, and more.
Look out for this chance to observe them feeding throughout the nature walk because the swamp is home to creatures including sitatunga and bushbucks.


6. Kibale National Park is Close To Other Epic Destinations

Southwest Uganda has so much to offer nature and adventure lovers. So when you visit Kibale Forest, you’re also close to many other exciting destinations.

Some of the closest include:

  • Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
  • Malachite Kingfisher in Bigodi Swamp near Kibale Uganda

Right next door to Kibale Forest National Park is Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Here you can see many of the same primates as inhabit Kibale Forest, but also marshbucks or sitatungas, bushbucks, mongooses, bush pigs and otters. And of course the birds are phenomenal too, with around 200 species to be spotted, including the great blue turaco.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is a world safari destination where you can see greats like lions, leopards and giraffes on safari drives, and other greats like crocs, elephants and hippos on boat safaris.

Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

You’re also not far north of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where you can go gorilla trekking! Gorilla trekking is the showpiece of our Uganda trips, and we’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t rave about this adventure.


7. Mingling With The Local People

Visit a nearby community while you are at Kibale National Park to gain insight into the customs of the area.
Visitors can visit some of the Batooro homes to learn about their daily lives since they reside near to the park.
Visitors follow tour guides as they make their way to the local primary school, church, and traditional healer on foot.

Discover the past of the region by studying the history of the Bigodi as described in the tale of the Village of Two Tribes. 

Tourism is supporting the local communities living around the national park, many cultural groups living close to kibale national Park with the most notables like the Batoro.

It is fascinating to visit these cheerful and kind individuals.

8. Crater Lake Tours In Kibale

The Ndali Kasenda crater lakes are a group of several crater lakes found in the hamlet surrounding Kibale Forest National Park.
Visitors can take a tour of these lakes, which are near to the park, before or after going on a chimpanzee walk in Kibale National Park.
Lake Nyabikere, lake Nkuruba, lake Nyinambuga, lake Kifuraka, lake Nyinabulitwa, lake Nyamasangari, and lake Lyantonde are only a few of these lakes.
On some of these crater lakes, visitors can go swimming, canoeing, and sport fishing.


9. Wildlife viewing / What animals will visitors see at Kibale National Park?

In addition to monkeys and birds, Kibale National Park is home to 14 different species of snakes, 200 different kinds of butterflies, 27 different kinds of frogs, and more than 20 different kinds of reptiles.
Nearly 70 different species of mammals can be found in Kibale National Park, including bats, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, hippopotamuses, red-and-blue duikers, semi-aquatic sitatunga antelopes, bushbuck antelopes, warthogs, African golden cats, mongooses, and occasionally spotted hyenas.

Although the park is best known for its primates, it also has a large variety of mammals. It’s also important to remember that because Kibale Forest is close to Queen Elizabeth National Park, many animals from that park frequently visit Kibale Forest, including lions. On a nature walk, it’s also possible to see forest hogs, buffaloes, leopards, elephants, and other animals.


10. Children’s Activities

Children are not allowed to take part in chimpanzee trekking but they are many other activities which can be arranged for them. They are allowed to take part in nature walks to see smaller primates and birds and they are also taken to visit the farmlands and village communities living close to the park.


Where To Sleep In Kibale | Accommodation

Visiting Kibale National Park, you can spend your night at kibale camp one of the accommodation in kibale park.

It is located close to Kanyanchu tourism center and thus presenting ground for chimpazee habituation and trekking, bird and nocturnal walks. Kibale camp caters for both mid-market and budget travelers because of its accommodation

The suit safari tent feature private bathroom flash toilets, hot shower and dressing room. And veranda allows good view of the surroundings including the black and white Columbus monkeys.

The Best Time To visit The Kibale National Park

The best time to visit Kibale national park is from March, May, September and November the wet season where wild life viewing is amazing with good time for bird watching. And the chances of spotting the chimpanzees are very high throughout the year.

Dry season, from June, September, December to February, these are the driest months and are best for chimpanzee trekking.

How To Get To Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park is located in the western part of Uganda and covers an area of about 26km south-east of Fort Port. Kanyanchu river camp is well known to be the heart of tourism activities and this is easily accessible from Kampala from the North through Mubenda as well as Fort Portal. In the southern part, you can use Mbarara or Kamwenge road to get to the park.

Things To Do In Kibale National Park

There are number of things which can be done in Kibale National Park such as; chimpanzee tracking, nature walks, birding, crater lake tours around Kibale, community tours and so many others.

Kibale National Park Weather

Kibale National Park has a humid and mild climate.
The temperature is nearly constant throughout the year.
The average daily high is 27°C (81°F), and the average low is 15°C (59°F) at night.

There is no true dry season in Kibale National Park; rain can fall at any time.
However, June and July tend to be drier than December through February.
There are two wet seasons: August through November and March to May.
Bringing waterproof clothing is advised.

December to February and June to July are the dry seasons.

  • Even though these are the driest months, rain is probable in December, January, and February.
    The time is ideal for chimpanzee hiking.
    Average daytime highs are 28°C (82°F), and overnight lows are around 14°C (57°F).
  • June and July – Although it is often dry throughout this period, there is still a chance of rain, maybe lasting several days.
    The typical temperature ranges from 15°C/59°F in the early morning to 27°C/81°F in the afternoon.

March through May and August to November are the wet seasons.

  • Wet weather is typical in March, April, and May, with April seeing the most rainfall.
    Chimpanzee trekking can be difficult since the woodland trails can get slick.
  • These four months—August, September, October, and November—are the wettest of the year.
    For use on the access roads, a 4WD vehicle is required.
    The maximum temperature is around 27°C/81°F, and the lowest temperature on average is 15°C/59°F.


Frequently asked questions about Kibale National Park

  1. How many bird species are in Kibale National Park? Kibale National Park is a haven for birdwatchers.
    More than 370 species have been identified, many of which are unique to the forest, such the prized African pitta.
    The Cassin’s spinetail, blue-headed bee-eater, Nahan’s francolin, and Masked apalis are four bird species that have never been observed in another national park in Uganda. 
  2. What animals are in Kibale National Park? African buffalo, red and blue duikers, bushbucks, sitatungas, bushpigs, giant forest hogs, common warthogs, and other terrestrial mammals can all be found in Kibale National Park.
    Leopards, African golden cats, servals, several mongooses, and two species of otter are among the carnivores that live there.