Kibale Forest National Park




Kibale Forest National Park is one of the best forest park in Uganda. It’s found in western part of Uganda bordered by Kabarole district and Kamwenge district. The park was gazette in 1932 and formally established in 1993. The park harbours 13 species of primates including chimpanzees, monkeys among others. Its located 309km from Kampala the capital city. Kibale National Park is also known as the capital of primates due to its largest number of chimpanzees in the world.

When to visit

The park is more enjoyable during the dry season when the trails are dry and passable starting from December to February and then from June to September. The Northern part of Kibale National Park is the wettest receiving a lot of rainfall specially during March to May and September to November


What sets Kibale National Park apart is its remarkable diversity. The park is renowned for its expansive tropical rainforest, which serves as a vital habitat for an astonishing 13 species of primates, making it one of the highest primate densities in Africa. Among these primates, the most famous and sought-after is the chimpanzee. Kibale National Park is home to a large population of these charismatic creatures, offering visitors a unique opportunity to observe and learn about their behaviour in their natural habitat.


Kibale National Park has a storied past that stretches back to the early 20th century. Originally gazetted as a forest reserve in 1932, it gained national park status in 1993, ensuring its long-term preservation and protection. The park’s establishment was a response to the growing recognition of its ecological significance and the need to safeguard its diverse ecosystems and wildlife. Today, it stands as a vital sanctuary for countless species, serving as a crucial link in the larger chain of protected areas in Uganda.


Primates: Kibale National Park harbours the largest number of chimpanzees in Uganda thus the capital of primates. Kibale National Park has a variety of trees where these primates live, feed and build needs to sleep. The park is also a habitant of 13 primate species including blue monkeys, chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, central African monkey and red-tailed monkeys but chimpanzees having the largest population of over 1440 chimpanzee individuals thus making the park attract more visitors as chimpanzee habituation and chimpanzee trekking mostly done in Kanyanchu.

Other mammals: Kibale National Park also harbours a large number of wildlife species with at least 70 species in the park.  Mammals here include about 500 elephants, golden cats, leopards, lions, buffaloes, marsh mongoose, and warthogs among others. Sitatunga and swamp otter saw near Bigodi wetland sanctuary.


Bird species: Kibale National Park harbours over 370 bird species.  Kibale National Park bird species  include  black-eared ground thrush, little green bull, yellow spotted nicator, blue-headed sunbird, collared Apalis, purple breasted sunbird, yellow-ramped tinker bird, green breasted pitta, African pitta, olive long-tailed cuckoo, African grey parrot,  among others. Some of these birds migrate from different area around Kibale like queen Elizabeth national park.

Cultural attractions of Kibale Forest National Park: The groups of people around Kibale National Park are the Bakiga the immigrants from Kigezi and Batooro The occupying the largest population here. These two groups of people have unique African activities such as local dances and songs, local handmade crafts


Ndali-Kasenda craters tours in Kibale Forest National park: Also known as Kibale Ndali Kasenda crater lakes, they offer a spectacular view and are located near the park and can be visited on your safari to Kibale National Park. These lakes were formed many years back and include 60 stable and seasonal fresh water and the lakes here include Lake Ntambi, Lake Mburo, Lake Nyamasingiri, lake Nyanswinga, Lake Nyabikere, Lake Nkuruba for swimming, and Lake Kifuruka. When you visit these lakes you get to see the green



Kibale Forest Hikes | Walking Trail: The Kibale Forest walk trail is 12km long and the hike is usually done in the dry season from the month of June to September are mid-November to February, taking between 5 and 6 hours. During the hike you will be able to encounter the park habitats such as monkeys, baboons and different tree species.


Birding in Kibale: The park is a habitant to 370 different bird species, including black-capped Apalis, blue-headed sunbird, collared Apalis and purple-breasted sunbird among others making it a destination for bird lovers.


Cultural Tours around Kibale: Led by a local guide, you will get a chance to meet the native Batooro people as well as the Bakiga immigrants who stay around this park. During the Kibale Cultural Tours you will visit a traditional village to see the traditional lifestyle of the Batoro, visit the local church, traditional healer and get a closer encounter with these natives. To encounter some energetic traditional dances and songs plus hand- made crafts.


Crater Lakes Tour: These crater lakes are found in the Ndali-Kasenda area which is surrounded by steep sided volcanoes. These lakes include, Lake Nkuruba where you can take a break to swim, Lake Kifuruka, Lake Nyinambuga among others. Ndali Kasenda area is situated on a raised ground known as top of the world due to its spectacular views.

In conclusion, Kibale National Park stands as a testament to the remarkable biodiversity found in Uganda. With its rich history, unique array of attractions, and a range of thrilling activities, the park offers an immersive and unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.



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