Kibale Forest National Park

This is positioned in the west of Uganda in the districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge which 358km from Kampala the country’s capital. Kibale National Park covers 795km2 of land surface and is among the few remaining mature tropical forests in Uganda. The park shelters 351 tree species with tree species that are 200 years old and 50m in height. Besides trees, Kibale National Park also contain 70 species of mammals, 13 species of primate including the common chimpanzees and 375 bird species all of which can be explored while on Uganda safaris. Kibale National Park was first gazette in 1932 as a forest reserve but in 1993, the area was up graded to park status and the management was transferred from National Forestry Authority to Uganda Wildlife Authority. The park has a forest neck that continues south wards to adjoin Queen Elizabeth National Park forming a wildlife corridor that stretches for 180 km. Kibale National Park is a famous ecological environ ideal for educational research and leisure encounters no wonder it is where the Makerere University Biological Field Station (MUBFS) is located. Its environs are occupied by the Batooro natives and the Bakiga who migrated into the area following heavy population in their traditional Kigezi region.

Kibale National Forest contains the great primate concentration on the African continent which includes the common chimpanzees, red colobus monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, Mangabey (Lophocebus ugandae), black colobus (Colobus satanas) and the blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) among others. Kibale National Park also has forest elephants that sometimes connect to Queen Elizabeth through the 180km wildlife corridor, buffaloes, bush pigs, red and blue duikers. Carnivores like bush pigs, leopards, two species of otter and three species of duiker also thrive in the park. The Lions also are known for paying occasional visits to the park. Kibale National Park also has 375 bird species including the olive long-tailed cuckoo, Western Green tinker bird, African Grey Parrot and two pitta species (African and Green-breasted). The ground thrush (Turdus kibalensis) is restricted in range to Kibale National Park. This can be explored on Uganda safari.

KIBALE-NATIONAL-PARK

Birds

The 375species of birds offer ideal opportunity for attracting birders to Kibale National Park while on safari in Uganda. More 138 bird species thrive in the adjacent Bigodi wetland sanctuary. Kibale National Park has a range of birds among which include the following; Nahans francolin, blue-headed blue eater, masked apalis, Cassin spine tail, White-naped Pigeon, Crested fly catcher, Red Winged Francolin, Green- brested Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Red- chested fluff tail, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey winged Robbin, Yellow-billed Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, White-spotted Flufftail, Western Nicator, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Grey-winged Robin-chat, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Superb Sunbird, White-breasted Negrofinch, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Black Bishop, and Black-crowned Waxbill.
Primates
The park has the great counts of primates on the continent of Africa and it is known worldwide as the primate capital of the world. Kibale National Park has great numbers of habituated chimpanzees which form the ground for Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda. Besides chimps, the park has other 12 primate species among which include; black-and-white Colobus monkeys, l’Hoestes monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, vervet and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, red Colobus monkeys and four nocturnal primate species (pottos and bush babies).

Other Wildlife

Besides primates, Kibale National park also contain a range of other fauna among which include; Bush Pig, Elephant, Buffalo, Blue, Harvey’s and Peter’s Duickers and Bushbuck. The park also contains 60 species of mammals among which include; Ichneumon, Banded and Marsh Mongooses, Swamp Otter, Alexander’s Cusimanse, Ratel (Honey Badger) and African Palm Civet. Other species that have been recorded in the park but rarely seen include; Serval cat, Leopard, Golden Cat, Lion, Hippopotamus, Warthog and Giant Hog. The Bigodi swamp contains the elusive Sitatunga.

Flora

Kibale National Park has abundant lush flora and contain a complete mature forest with few patches of regenerating forest that is recovering from effects of human encroachment. 351 species of trees exist in Kibale National Park some of which are 200 years old and close to 50m in height. The setting of this prehistoric forest forms the ground for educational tours and leisure Uganda safaris. The park of Kibale is a shelter to over 351 species of trees providing a strong forest ecological study base suitable for educational and research travelers.

Ndali – Kasenda crater lakes

The Ndali – Kasenda crater are series of volcanic hollows that have been filled by water to form splendid crater lakes. The local traditions attach the formation of these lakes to the Chwezi King Ndahura who stayed in the area after abdicating his throne to Wamala his son. From the geographical point of view, the craters are living testimonies of the extensive volcanic forces that occurred in East Africa about 10,000 years ago. The lakes Nkuruba, Nyabikere among others are amazing to encounter on Uganda safari.

How to get there

Kibale National Park can be connected to from the following originating points;

• Kibale National Park id 26km south of Fort portal town.
• The tourism center Kanyanchu can be accessed from the following points form Kampala; From North passing through Mubende and Fort portal towns or from the south passing through Mbarara and Kamwengye. The northern connection is shorter 358km 7 hours’ drive with only 26km on loose surface road.
• Kibale can also be accessed by public means as buses transfer from Kampala to Fort Portal while minibuses connect Fort Portal and Bigodi on daily basis.

Kibale National Park can be connected to from the following originating points;

kibale points of direction uganda
• Kibale National Park id 26km south of Fort portal town.
• The tourism center Kanyanchu can be accessed from the following points form Kampala; From North passing through Mubende and Fort portal towns or from the south passing through Mbarara and Kamwengye. The northern connection is shorter 358km 7 hours’ drive with only 26km on loose surface road.
• Kibale can also be accessed by public means as buses transfer from Kampala to Fort Portal while minibuses connect Fort Portal and Bigodi on daily basis

Tourist activities

Chimpanzee tracking/ trekking and Habituation
The Kanyanchu Primate Walk is one of the famous Uganda safari activities and the prime activity in Kibale National Park. The chimpanzees have been habituated and from 1993, the chimp trekking activity has been in existence which put the percentage of encountering chimps in Kibale higher than any other chimp trekking destination in Uganda. The Chimpanzee trekking activity starts at 8am and 2pm daily lasting for 2 – 5 hours including 1 hour of direct encounter with them. The trek for chimpanzees goes beyond chimpanzees as you traverse the amazing forest landscapes full of unique flora, birds and animals. The chimp trekking activity takes 6 chimp trekkers per group and a limit of 18 trekkers is considered daily in both morning and afternoon sessions.
While the Chimpanzee habituation encounter is far beyond the chimpanzee trekking encounter. This activity takes full day commencing at 6:00 am with short briefing at the Kanyanchu tourism center. It allows you to explore the chimpanzees – man’s closest relative in detail as they set out to copulate, feed, breastfeed, hunt, patrol, rest and display until they build new nests at 7pm.

Birding
The birding encounter in Kibale National Park commences at7am at Kanyanchu before heading to the jungle of Kibale National Park where you will encounter a range of birds alongside other offerings like fauna and flora. The adjacent Bigodi wetland is a home to 138 species of birds among which include the Rwenzori Turaco. The Kibale forest National Park offers sights of Crested fly catcher, Red- chested fluff tail, Red Winged Francolin, Red Winged Francolin, Green- brested Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Grey winged Robbin, Red Winged Francolin and Abyssinian Ground Thrush among others. Birding in Kibale National Park is conducted throughout the year and is ideal between March and May and between September and November. In November to April, the migratory tend to be around.

Cultural encounters
The neighboring Batooro and Bakiga surround the park with their unique traditions that can be explored while on Uganda safari. The community encounter is normally done in Bigodi area where they have positioned then selves inform community tourism initiative where you encounter the traditional healer, handicrafts and local school.

Nature walks
Kibale National Park offers an opportunity of nature walks to allow Uganda safari undertakers to explore it on foot. The forest walks allows you to get the intense knowledge behind this fauna and their traditional significance including their use as traditional medicine. The night walks are also arranged to enable you explore the nocturnal animals including the tree hyrax, bush babies, cricket, nightjar, and civet and seval cat. The night walks start at 7:30 pm local time and tend to last 1 ½ – 2 hours.

Accommodation in Kibale Forest National Park

Within the park

Primate Lodge
Primate Lodge in Kibale is an exclusive eco-lodge situated in the heart of Kibale Forest National Park. Serenely isolated in the rainforest, this Uganda safari lodge offers you a truly authentic jungle experience and is the perfect gateway for tracking Uganda’s primates. Accommodation in luxury, midrange cottage or own tent makes this Lodge ideal for you coupled with free internet in public areas.

The Rooms
Luxury Safari Tents
Luxury Safari Tent. The eight luxury safari tents are raised on a wooden platform with thatch cover that suits in the adjacent environs. All tents have private terrace while the interior appears in traditional African adornment, with nice beds, wide windows and en suite bathrooms.
Forest Cottages. The rooms feature their own veranda and are equipped with large twin beds and living area. They have en suite facilities.
Sky Tree House. This Tree House comprises of a simple bedroom and basic washing facilities at the tree base. Situated over 10 minutes’ walk from the central lodge, the sky tree oversees the impressive elephant wallow. No wonder, forest elephants always roam around at night.
Campsite. A well-maintained campsite with shared washing facilities is available for guests who wish to bring their own tent.

Kanyanchu river camp
It has four bandas each with two beds and beddings. Also it has one elevated banda providing self-catering services to travelers on Uganda safari-tour. Kanyanchu also contains two common camping sites. There is a canteen at which serves food on order operating from 7:30 am up to the middle of the night though one hour advance booking would be of help. The camp also has a sky tree house accommodating two people and it takes 10 minutes to approach it from the camp.

Sebitoli Camping Ground
This is located in the northern part of the park. It offers accommodation with the maximum capacity of eleven beds. It has no electricity yet but comfortable twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The shower has cold water but hot water would be available on request. The campsite has fair range of foods.
Bigodi region (south of the park).

Kibale Safari Lodge
The lodge is located in Kanyanchu on the way to village of Bigodi, it is positioned on a vantage point with sights of the forest and Ruwenzori Mountains, the portal peaks. The Lodge presently offers 2 rooms on the main building and 5 luxury cottages with en suite washrooms. It offers excellent varieties of cuisine. It has a dining and modern bar.
Lodge Amenities

• Restaurant and bar
• Travel desk
• Gift Shop
• Laundry Service

Chimps’ Nest
The lodge is positioned close to a small village of Nyabubale, in the middle of Bigodi and Nkingo. The lodge takes over 15-minutes to connect to Kanyanchu, the starting point of UWA chimp-tracking and other activities in Kibale Forest. The lodge is also adjacent to the swamps of Bigodi.
Self-contained tree houses inside the forest. The tree houses contain a terrace, en suite toilet, bedroom on lower decker and have an outside shower. The single tree house has the capacity to contain 3 occupants at a time in one bedroom. They are two in number and can take a 15 minute walk from the restaurant. The minimum age to sleep there is 15 years.
Self-contained cottages. The cottages are self-contained with a deluxe and properly set shower.
Family Cottage inside the forest. This is next to river Dura closer to the restaurant. This setting is better for visitors with children or for people who want to be near the restaurant. It also has provision for privacy and is surrounded by nature. The cottage holds two bedrooms with flexible beds which can be either twins or doubles. The provisional bed space is in existence in every bedroom. In between the rooms, there is a lockable door. This cottage also has a large balcony in the front and two complete bathrooms with hot showers and flushing toilets. Therefore the family cottage can also be used as 2 separate cottages. For example for friends who want to have their privacy, but also want to be near each other. It takes about 2 minutes to walk from the restaurant and the parking to the cottage. A maximum of six guests can be accommodated in two bed rooms.

Kibale Forest Camp
Kibale Forest Camp is located off Fort portal – Kamwenge, adjacent to the park’s edge. Kibale Forest Camp has 10 tents well-furnished occupied by double beds. Every tent contain individual en-suite bathroom with an eco-friendly toilet and a dressing room. The camp also provides budget option in the form of non-self-contained tents. This consists of a basic camping tent furnished with 2 single beds and a solar lighting. Linen is provided.
Camping. The well maintained campsite of Kibale Forest Camp is a little green gem. Bordering the swamp and set in lush surroundings. The sanitary facilities consist of 2 hot showers and 2 flushing toilets.

Mantana Tented Camp
Mantana Tented Camp is 2kms past the Kanyanchu National Park office before Bigodi Village.
It has seven fully furnished tents with enough space, verandah twin bedroom, dressing area, En-suite shower and toilet.
Facilities.
• Well stocked bars
• Dining.

Safari Hotel Bigodi
This is a haven for Campers and Backpackers. Situated in lush green countryside on the Bigodi – Kamwenge Road, the lodge has single, double rooms, a large camping area and 4 bandas. Meals are prepared.
Facilities at Safari Hotel
• Laundry service at reasonable rates
• Hot showers and pit latrine toilets
• Camp fire

Northern region (crater lakes):

Nyinabulitwa Resort and Safari Camp
The resort is situated approximately 20 km’s outside Fort Portal in the western part of Uganda. In addition to luxury cottage accommodation, camping is also an option for guests on Uganda safari. The resort has trendy facilities, solar energy and dining facilities with spectacular views over the Crater Lake, the ‘Top of the World’ and the forest. The kitchen serves a variety of delicious African dishes based on fresh own grown raw materials. Self-prepared meat can be made by guests to optimize their Uganda safari memories if they so wish.

Crater Valley Kibale (CVK) Lakeside Resort
Located 21 km from Fort Portal town and 10 km from the Kanyanchu visitors center in the Kibale Forest National Park and provide overnight stay to travelers on Uganda safari. The lodge is set on the shores of Crater Lake Nyabikere (meaning lake of frogs); facing Ruwenzori Mountains whose snows are visible on pure sky days. The entire rooms including double, single plus the guest house have in built facilities. The campsite and cottages have outside facilities. The stay is based on bed and breakfast unless camping.
Facilities at CVK

• Conference Hall
• Running tap water
• Food & drinks.
• Electricity
• Modern flush toilets.
• Modern standing showers.
• Visitors only kitchen
• Fire places
• Secure parking
• All weather accessibility to lodge
• Swimming in bilharzia-free lake water

Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve

It is located 18 km from Fort Portal town on the Rwaihamba Road. It has areas for to pitch your own tent or, if you prefer a little more luxury, can opt to stay in one of the purpose built thatched roofed bandas. Every banda has solar powered lighting and contains a range of two to five guests. The safety and security is guaranteed with 24 hour surveillance. There is a hut with typical pit toilet facilities. It also has a dining area.