Kibale National Park is a national park in western Uganda, protecting moist evergreen rainforest. It is 766 square kilometres (296 sq mi) in size and ranges between 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) and 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) in elevation. Despite encompassing primarily moist evergreen forest, it contains a diverse array of landscapes. Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. In eastern Africa, it sustains the last significant expanse of pre-montane forest.

The park was gazetted in 1932 and formally established in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logged forest reserve. The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park. This adjoining of the parks creates a 180 kilometres (110 mi) wildlife corridor. It is an important ecotourism and safari destination, well-known for its population of habituated chimpanzees and twelve other species of primates. It is also the location of the Makerere University Biological Field Station.

Kibale Forest National Park, located in southwestern Uganda, is a renowned destination known for its diverse wildlife and exceptional primate experiences. Here’s some information about Kibale Forest and its attractions:

Chimpanzee Tracking:

Kibale Forest is famous for its population of chimpanzees, and it offers one of the best opportunities for chimpanzee tracking in East Africa. Guided treks take you deep into the forest, where you can observe these intelligent primates up close in their natural habitat. The experience of watching chimpanzees play, groom, and interact is truly captivating.

Primate Diversity:

In addition to chimpanzees, Kibale Forest is home to 12 other primate species, making it one of the most biodiverse forests in Africa for primates. You may encounter red colobus monkeys, Uganda mangabeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys, among others. The forest is also home to a variety of bird species and other wildlife.

Bird watching:

Kibale Forest is a paradise for birdwatchers, with over 375 bird species recorded. The forest is home to various colorful and endemic birds, including the African green broadbill, yellow-spotted barbet, great blue turaco, and many more. Guided birdwatching walks allow you to spot and learn about the rich avian diversity in the area.

Nature Walks and Hiking:

Kibale Forest offers guided nature walks and hikes that allow you to explore the diverse ecosystems within the park. You can explore different trails, ranging from easy walks to longer hikes, and discover the forest’s flora, fauna, and hidden gems. Nature walks provide opportunities to learn about the forest’s ecology and its importance for conservation.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary:

Adjacent to Kibale Forest, the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a community-based conservation initiative worth visiting. Guided walks through the wetland offer opportunities to spot various primates, birds, and other wildlife. The sanctuary is known for its rich birdlife, including the rare shoebill stork.

Cultural Encounters:

Kibale Forest is surrounded by communities with vibrant cultures. Visitors can engage in cultural experiences, such as village visits and community walks, to learn about the traditions, lifestyles, and crafts of the local people. It’s an opportunity to interact with the communities, gain insights into their way of life, and support sustainable tourism initiatives.

Accommodation and Facilities:

Kibale Forest offers a range of accommodation options, including lodges and campsites, that cater to different budgets and preferences. These accommodations provide comfortable amenities and serve as a base for exploring the forest and its surroundings.

Kibale Forest National Park is a must-visit destination for primate enthusiasts, nature lovers, and birdwatchers. With its incredible chimpanzee tracking experiences, diverse primate species, stunning birdlife, and cultural encounters, it offers a unique and immersive experience in the heart of Uganda’s wilderness.