kibale forest national park

Kibale Forest National Park

(Uganda)
Kibale Forest National Park

Background

The Kibale Forest National Park is carpeted with gnarled vines, lush greenery and wild jungle terrain. The moist evergreen forest is a varied tract of tropical land, comprising over 351 tree species, 70 species of mammal, 375 species of bird and – most famously - is home to 1 species of primate! Needless to say, there’s plenty to see during your walk through the park. The habitat is ideal for gangs of chimpanzee, which are located by listening carefully for vocalisations and the loud swaying of trees. The chimps are very vocal and notoriously cheeky. A sure highlight of Kibale Forest National Park is its tropical forest region near Fort Portal, which supports a large population of chimpanzees - man’s closest living relative. Chimpanzee trekking is the primary attraction of the national park, inviting guests to embark on guided walks between the trees and vines to meet and watch the population of wild chimpanzees in their natural environment. The chimps live in large groups and can be extremely active and vocal, while they are habituated to the controlled presence of humans. This experience is one of the best wildlife experiences in Uganda and should not be missed!

Kibale Forest National Park

Wildlife Experience

Other than the famed and celebrated chimpanzee trekking in the rainforest of Kibale (which is not to be missed!), there are numerous areas to visit and activities to partake in. There are dry grasslands, swamps, and woodland areas of Kibale Forest National Park, each hosting a fantastic variety of wildlife. In total, there are over 70 mammal species and 375 bird species, which makes it one impressive game viewing destination. Among these are the forest elephant and buffalo, hippo, bushbuck, giant forest hog, golden cat, leopard, sitatunga, and many more. Nearby attractions include the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, crater lake trails, Top of the World hike and Amabere Caves. Children under 15 years old are not permitted on the chimpanzee trek, but there are special nature trails and specially designed experiences for kids to engage in. Nocturnal hikes are also on the list of things to do, as is are multi-day hikes and bike rides.

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Kibale Forest National Park | Birdlife

Kibale Forest National Park is a bird-watcher's paradise. More than 370 species have been recorded and many are forest specials, including the sought-after African pitta. Four bird species have not been recorded in any other national park of Uganda: Cassin’s spinetail, blue-headed bee-eater, Nahan’s francolin and Masked apalis. The best bird-watching spot is the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary – a community project where experienced guides take you on a four-hour trail. Migratory birds are present from November to April. The birdlife in Kibale is good year-round, but at its best from March to May and from September to November. June to September is the main fruiting season, so food is abundant, and many birds are in breeding plumage. Migratory birds, though not a major factor in the forests, can be found here from November to April. December to February and June to July have the least rain while March to May and September to November have the most rain. Rainstorms might limit your bird-watching time.

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