Kibale Forest National Park - Uganda Wildlife Safaris
If you are after exploring and seeing variety of Uganda’s chimpanzee primates, Kibale Forest National Park should be your first stop over while on primate safaris in the pearl of Africa. It’s hidden far in the western part of Uganda and covers a total area that is approximated to 560 square kilometers. It was declared among Uganda’s protected parks in 1993. Most of the park area is occupied by semi deciduous and moist evergreen forests in addition to Savannah grasslands, woodlands and swamps.
The central part of the park around Kanyanchu consists of forests with a blend of deciduous trees and evergreen vegetation that rise up 55m thus creating a closed canopy of massive tree crowns. Kibale Forest National Park provides habitat to the greatest concentration of primates that are not found anywhere in East Africa. Over 13 numerous primates enjoy the lush habitats of the park including the red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus, blue monkeys, and the famed chimpanzees. From the 1990s up to now, the chimpanzee population is approximated to 1000 individuals; part is habituated for tourism purposes. From the Kanyanchu tourism center, tourists visit these habituated chimpanzees for close encounters.
Other than that, Kibale is home to 325 bird species including forest and water bird species. Common species you can easily sight include green breasted pitta, white bellied crested fly catchers, orange tufted sunbird and woodland warbler. Not mentioned are a number of mammals that include duikers, bush pigs, buffaloes, bush-bucks and forest elephants although there are rarely seen.
How to get there
Just in the western part of Uganda near Fort portal town, you can easily get to Kibale Forest National Park by these options listed below. From Kampala, it’s about 358 km and it takes about 5-7 hours to drive from Kampala to Kibale Forest National Park. The usual route used is Kampala – Mityana – Mubende – Fort portal highway. From Kampala up to Fort portal town, it’s a direct route, from Fort town you will take the road which starts near the bridge over Mpanga River to Kamwenge. This murrum road stretches for 36 km up to Kanyanchu tourism Centre, the starting point for most of tourism activities in Kibale Forest National Park.