Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park; Kibale is a rainforest in western Uganda touching districts of Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, Kasese, and Bunyangabu. Kibale National Park is 795 km2 wide and it became a forest reserve in 1940s. It is generally an oasis of amazing beauty in serene and ambient natural setting. Kibale national park receives average 1700mm of rainfall annually with mean temperatures 240 Celsius.
Much of Kibale national park is enclosed rainforest boasting of more than 350 tree species, some trees are centurions and reach a height beyond 50m. The rainforest is a habitat to more than 300 bird species, of which 60% are forest bird species rare to see in other places like the Green-breasted pitta, African pitta, Blue-headed sunbird, Purple-breasted sunbird, Black capped apalis, Black bee-eater, Little green bull amongst others. Kibale national park is home to more than 40 mammal species and it is easier to spot signs of ground mammals than sighting them with naked eye. Travelers often spot foot trails and waste of forest elephants, forest buffalos, bush pigs, warthogs, bushbucks, duikers, waterbucks, hippos, crocodiles and other mammals. Nevertheless, chimpanzees and other dozen of primate species are what pull travelers on tour of Uganda into Kibale National Park.
Tracking chimpanzees in Kibale rainforest puts to test many travelers’ adventure senses. To the first time traveler, Kibale National park may seem to be a quiet and dull Uganda travel destination on sight. It is only when they get into the rainforest, rub shoulders with nature, wander into and explore the wilderness that they find the greenery of Kibale is magnificently inviting. Many cannot resist the temptation to traverse the thick rainforest and discover the beauty of wilderness hidden from the audience. Chimpanzee tracking is full of fun and adventure from the word go and offers everlasting memories of tour into Uganda.
The rainforest setting is a habitat for unique bird species that are rare to spot in other areas. Kibale National park is an important Birding Area in Uganda and a popular destination for Uganda bird watching safaris. 60% of more than 300 bird species recorded in Kibale national park are forest birds, 6 bird species collared apalis, dusky crimsonwing, purple-breasted sunbird, blue-headed sunbird and blue-capped apalis are Albertine rift endemics. Kibale national park is a popular travel destination for travelers on bird watching tour into Uganda.
Travelers seeking thrill and extreme excitement in Kibale rainforest have opportunities of taking part in chimpanzee habituation experience. Chimpanzees live in social units or groups of blood related family members under a central command. There is unity in actions undertaken at a time, direction of movement, assignments, type of food, time to rest, speed of movement and others. Adventurers on chimpanzee habituation exercise must catch chimps in their sleeping nests early morning, wander with them in the wilderness and keep with them entire day until they make new nests in the evening. The exercise gives the visitors extended time to explore and discover the beauty of African wilderness.
There are possibilities of hiking safaris into the wilderness taking a few days for travelers seeking to experience the nocturnal wilderness experiences. Special arrangements for ranger escorts and camping gear are necessary for this activity. It is very possible to arrange short forest walks taking a few hours on short notice for the visitors with body disabilities, very limited time and low on travel budget. Bigodi wildlife sanctuary on the edges of Kibale national park arranges walks through a swamp that traverses community crop gardens and homesteads. The visitors get live experiences of coffee growing, harvesting and processing into coffee beverage, handicrafts making, weaving and basketry, pottery and may visit a traditional herbalist.
Though a rainforest with high amounts of rainfall, Uganda safaris into Kibale go on through the year. Note that Dec-March, June-August are dry months around Kibale. Kibale national park is in the middle of Uganda tourism zone along the way to most tourist attractions. Fort Portal town is the main call center to Kibale National park. There is an airfield in Fort Portal town 25km close on a smooth tarmac road.
Murchison falls-Hoima-Kyenjojo-Fort Portal-Kibale=350km
Kampala-Mbarara-Kasese-Fort Portal-Kibale=450km. Journey traverses Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth national parks with clear views of Ruwenzori Mountains
Bwindi-Kabale-Ishaka-Kasese-Fort Portal-Kibale=270km. Journey traverses Queen Elizabeth national park with clear views of Ruwenzori Mountains
Bwindi-Ishasha-Kasese-Fort Portal-Kibale=210km. Journey traverses through Queen Elizabeth national park with clear views of Ruwenzori Mountains
Mountains of the Moon
Chimp guest house
Rweteera Safari camp
Fort Portal town