Kibale National Park is located in western Uganda. The park was created in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logged Forest Reserve (gazetted in 1932). The park adjoins with Queen Elizabeth National Park and is an important eco-tourism and safari destination, popular for its population of habituated chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates.
Kibale National Park is approximately 320 kilometres (200 miles), by road, west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. Fort Portal in Kabarole District is the nearest large town to the national the most accessible of Uganda’s major rainforests, Kibale is home to a remarkable 13 primate species, including the very localised red colobus and L’Hoest’s monkey.
Kibale’s major attraction, however, is the opportunity to track habituated chimps – these delightful apes, more closely related to humans than to any other living creature, are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees. A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight botanists and butterfly lovers, while birders are in for a treat with 335 species recorded including the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush.
The elusive forest elephant, smaller and hairier than its savannah counterpart, moves seasonally into the developed part of the park, while other terrestrial mammals include buffalo, giant forest hog and a half dozen antelope species.
SIZE:776 sq km
LOCATION: Southwest. The closes large town is Kabale.
GETTING THERE: Fort Portal lies 320km from Kampala along a mostly surfaced direct road, or an hour’s drive from Kasese (near QENP). Kanyanchu Visitors Centre, 35km from Fort Portal, is reached via a dirt road and is accessible on public transport..
WHAT TO DO:
Chimp tracking and other guided forest walks, even night walks. Birders shouldn’t miss Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a superb community development fringing the park. A field of beautiful crater lakes lies between Fort Portal and Kibale Forest.
WHEN TO VISIT:
Any time of year