Kibale national park

Kibale national park is a rainforest that was gazetted in 1932 and officially established in 1993. It is located in the western part of Uganda in the kabarole district covering an area of 766 sq km on the Albertine rift valley. It is home to 375 bird species, mammals like warthogs, bushbucks antelopes, buffaloes, bush pigs, and elephants among others and 13 primates such as black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, over 1500 chimpanzees creatures the share almost 98% DNA with human beings some of which are habituated a 2 to 3 years process training them to stay fine the presence of human beings. the major activities done in Kibale national park are;

Chimpanzee habituation.

This is an activity where chimpanzees have introduced to human beings a process that is done for 2 to 3 years. Visitors meet at the park headquarters for briefing, are given a guide, and park ranger and start the trek to the forest where they may come across other wild creatures such as monkeys, and birds among others. On finding the chimpanzees, they spend four hours observing their behaviours and see them feed, play, and rest among their other routine activities. Taking pictures is also allowed but without using the flash camera. A chimpanzee habituation permit is needed to take part in this activity which can be booked 3 months before the safari directly through the Uganda wildlife authority or a trusted tour company. The chimpanzee habituation permits cost $USD 250

Chimpanzee trekking

This is an activity where tourists move to the forest in search of the chimpanzees and on finding them, visitors spend one hour with them studying their different behaviours, watching them feeding, playing, resting and as well taking pictures. This activity starts with a briefing at the kanyachu park headquarters, assigned guides, and park rangers and grouped with other trackers this activity requires a chimpanzee tracking permit that can be got through the Uganda wildlife authority or a trusted tour company. The cost of permits varies depending on citizenship that is $ USD 200 for foreign nonresidents, $ USD 150 for foreign residents and 150000 UGX for east African citizens

Other activities are done in Kibale national park

Birding .the chances of watching different birds are high in Kibale national park since there are over 375 bird species such as yellow-spotted barbet, papyrus canary, white-winged warbler, tiny sunbirds, and white naked pigeons among others. This is carried out in the morning or late evening with a bird guide

Nature walks.  This starts with a briefing at the park headquarters, then a trek to the forest with a park guide where you can view different forest creatures such as primates like the black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys, different bird species, butterflies, elephants, warthogs and the view the park exciting vegetation that is the swamplands and grasslands

Bigodi swamp walk. A bigodi wetland sanctuary is a must-visit place while Kibale national park is managed by the Kibale Association for Rural and environment development a community association. During the walk, you will be able to spot different bird species such as superb sunbirds, white-winged warblers, small primates like a red-tailed monkey, blue monkeys among others, different butterfly species, and retiles among others

Community walks. Visitors interact will the people around Kibale national park who demonstrate their traditional dances, how they make local dishes, and weaving which is mainly done by women as they make hats, bags, and sandals among other things. Visitors can see the vanilla plantations, Rwenzori mountains and tea plantations in the community

How to get to Kibale national park

The park can be accessed through various routes which all have different attractions, the route to take mainly depends on the visitor’s budget and tour company. The park can be accessed by road or air transport

By Road transport, two routes can be used to Kibale national park from Kampala but all give you a great experience

Kampala- Mubende  Kyengegwa Kyenjojo fort-portal route

This is the shortest route to Kibale national park which is 300km to fort portal and then 38km to the kanyachu information centre. With this route you will have stopovers at Mubende town council for snacks, watch people roasting meet, see the tea plantations in fort portal, and also view the Rwenzori mountains

Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Bushenyi – Kasese-Kibale Park (630km)

This is the longest route to the Kibale forest but with a lot of attractions such as the tutor line in Masaka and Kasese, lake Katanga in Masaka, and lake Mburo national park for giraffes, zebras among others

By air transport, a charter flight can be arranged from Entebbe airport or kajjansi airfield to Kasese airstrip, then drive  a 76 km distance to fort portal and then to the park

Best time to visit Kibale national park

The park can be visited at any time of the year. a year has two wet seasons and two dry seasons but each has an advantage over the other. During the rainy season that is (March, April, May, October and November), chimpanzees concentrate in a place for a long due to the presence of plenty of food and fruits, therefore can be located easily during the trekking. also, the lodge prices are low, and privacy and no abstractions while taking pictures since there is less competition and few tourists come to the country

Accommodation in Kibale national park

There are several accommodation facilities where a visitor can stay when in Kibale national park namely;

Primate Lodge Kibale, chimp  nest, Kibale forest camp, kinyanchu river camp, kyanika lodge, papaya lake lodge, chimpanzee forest guest house, and mountains of the moon hotel among others