Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. Forest cover, interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, dominates the northern and central parts of the park on an elevated plateau.
The park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee.
It also contains over 375 species of birds. Kibale adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south to create a 180km-long corridor for wildlife between Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Sebitoli in the north of Kibale National Park.
The Kibale-Fort Portal area is one of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to explore. The park lies close to the tranquil Ndali-Kasenda crater area and within half a day’s drive of the Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National Parks, as well as the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Rese
PARK AT A GLANCE
Kibale is highest at the park’s northern tip, which stands 1,590m above sea level. The lowest point is 1,100m on the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley to the south.
351 tree species have been recorded in the park, some rise to over 55m and are over 200 years old.
Kibale’s varied altitude supports different types of habitat, ranging from wet tropical forest on the Fort Portal plateau to woodland and savanna on the rift valley floor.
Kibale is one of Africa’s foremost research sites. While many researchers focus on the chimpanzees and other primates found in the park, others are investigating Kibale’s ecosystems, wild pigs and fish species, among other topics.
Kibale Forest national park is the third largest forested national park in Uganda and supports at least 60 different mammal species including the highest concentration of primates in the world. Of the 20 largest forests in Africa inhabited by chimpanzees, ten of these are in Uganda. Kibale Forest National Park is one of the five parks that currently have chimpanzee habituation projects operating. The chimpanzee community in Kibale is comprised of over 1,400 individuals, which is the largest population in the world.
Jane Goodall Foundation began habituation projects in Kibale about ten years ago. Guided forest walks are available daily and visitors may be able to participate in the habituation of chimpanzees during overnight de-nesting activities or as part of a week-long chimp habituation experience.
Chimp tracking is popular because you get the opportunity to observe the human-like behavior of our close cousins, animals that share 98% of human genetic make-up. Chimpanzee tracking is less strenuous than gorilla trekking.
Kibale Forest’s gentle terrain with rolling hills and paths cut through the forest at regular intervals enabling walking through the forest relatively easy. 4 groups of 8 people each are allowed to go chimpanzee tracking each morning and afternoon. Chimpanzees are more active than gorillas and have larger families (30+ members). Like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee sightings run at more than 90%. Permits cost approximately $150 per day and we recommend that you book 4-12 months in advance.
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