As soon as one talks about Kibale Forest National Park, what should come into your minds is the ‘paradise’ for primates and birds. Kibale Forest National Park is one of the best safari destination in Africa and major tropical rainforest in East Africa. This forest has one of the highest concentrations of primates in Africa, with 13 recorded species. The highlight is outstanding chimpanzee trekking and habituation experiences that provide spectacular sightings. There are almost 1,500 chimpanzees in the forest including the habituated Kanyantale group. The forest is home to around 335 bird species including four species not recorded in any other National parks. The National park has two types of vegetation that is the Grass land and Forest ranging from 1110m-1590m from south to north.
It is located in southern Uganda, a major tropical and protecting evergreen rain forest with a size of 795 kilometers. By 1991, it was called Kibale Tourism forest game reserve not until it was established in 1993 to protect a large area of forest. Kibale forest is an eco- tourism and safari destination for habituated chimpanzees and other primates. The Park has a lot of habitats ranging from moist evergreen forest along the Fort portal plateau, through the dry Tropical forest to the woodland and savanna along the Rift valley floor. In the central part of the park, around Kanyachu, ever green species are dominant in the high forest. Vegetation rise to over 55m and establish a semi closed canopy of massive stratified tree crowns. With shade tolerant herbs, a variety of ferns, shrubs and broad leaved forest grasses.
There are 13 primates in this forest, Chimpanzees being the unique attraction that one cannot miss out to see. A group of chimpanzees is called a party and under each party, there are 100 chimpanzees. The chimps are omnivorous animals meaning they feed on both plants and meat. On top of all there are other attractions in this forest that is to say; the Olive Baboons, Black and White monkeys, Grey checked, Red colobus (these dont have thumbs but have hucks), Blue monkeys, vervate monkeys, L’hoest’s monkey, bush Baby and many more.
Chimpanzee tracking is the major activity and it requires one hour viewing the chimps while 3 hours are required when walking in the forest however a chimpanzee permit has to be paid in time before the actual date of tracking. In addition to this, there is also Chimpanzee habituation. In this activity, tourists follow Chimps from morning to night. You will witness them feeding, playing while getting first-hand information from guides. This means you will be able to see other primates, birds, butterflies, and mammals.
Bird watching cannot be left out since the park is a habitat to a variety of bird species for example the Green Breasted Pitta, dusky crimsonwing, black-capped apalis, blue- headed sunbird and collared warbler, African pitta, the crowned eagle, yellow rumped tinker bird and 6 species of birds are endemic to the Albertine Rift region.
Community walks by visiting Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary a top birders spot, its famous for wildlife such as chimpanzees, red colobus, black and white, bush buck as well as mongoose. In other wards it is rich in biodiversity and beautiful scenery. It has about 138 bird species on nature walks within. It is located outside the park.
Other mammals found in the forest are buffalos, leopards, bush pig elephants. There are also Amphibians and Reptiles including a variety of colorful butterflies thus butterfly watching. Village walks are also carried out the daily life of Batooro can be discovered during village walks including stop over’s at the villages’ primary schools, church and traditional healers.
Night Nature walks are done to watch the bush babies since for them are always active during the night. One should put this in mind that, in order to participate in any mentioned activity; there are charges or fees one has to pay depending on which type of activity to engage in therefore payment in advance is highly recommended.
Local people demonstrate the best of their local cultures through a lively long hour performance in dancing. Among the Bakiga, men and women dance by stamping the ground barefooted. The harder one stamps the sign of growth to that person.
Different people have different tastes and preferences; they have choices of lodging that is from luxury to budget while in Kibale Forest. Under budget range there is Chimpanzee guest house, Mid-range Kibale Forest Camp, and Primate Lodge then Luxury Kyaninga lodge and Ndali lodge.