Kibale Forest National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. This is home to a host of forest wildlife but most famous for the large number of primate species, 13 species in total of primate. The Forest cover predominates in the northern and central parts of the Park on the elevated Fort Portal plateau. Kibale is highest at the park’s northern tip which stands 1590 m above sea level. Northern Kibale is also the wettest area, receiving a mean annual rainfall of up to 1700 mm, mostly during March-May and September-November.
The climate is generally pleasant with a mean annual temperature range of 14-270 C. Temperatures are highest (and rainfall lower) in the south where the terrain drops down onto the hot rift valley floor, giving way to open grassland. The park covers an area of 795 km2 and forms a contiguous block with Queen Elizabeth National Park, on an altitude of 1.100-1.590 m above sea level. The vegetation is dominated by the tropical rainforest.
PARK AT A GLANCE
✓ Size: 795 km2
Kibale is highest at the Park’s northern tip, which stands 1,590 m above sea level. The lowest point is 1,100 m on the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley to the south. 351 tree species have been recorded in the Park, some rise to over 55 m and are over 200 years old.
Species found in Kibale Forest National Park
The park is home to 60 mammal species and 335 bird species, 4 of which can only be found here. Particularly, it hosts the largest population of Primate species in Uganda including some of the rare monkey species like the red-tailed monkeys, L’hoest’s and blue monkeys, grey – cheeked mangabey monkeys and so much more. Furthermore, a number of 250 tree species have been recorded here.
Activities in Kibale Forest National Park
The main attraction of the Park is “chimpanzee trekking, habituation and filming” from Kanyankyu gate. The second main activity is bird watching at “Bigodi Wetland” a trading center just outside the Park’s boundary; the activity consists of a guided walk through the Magombe swamp, with the possibility of seeing the great blue Turacco and the papyrus gynolek. Nature walks are open in the Park, to see Primates, birds, reptiles, medicinal plants.
Accessibility to Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale National Park is located in western Uganda, 26 km south-east of Fort Portal town. Kanyankyu River Camp, the primary tourism center which can be reached from Kampala either from the north via Mubende-Fort Portal, or the south through Mbarara and Kamwenge. The northern approach is shorter and quicker, with a 300 km tarmac road running to Fort Portal followed by 36 km on murram to Kanyankyu.
Sebitoli Forest Camp, a secondary tourism center, is even easier to reach. This stands directly on the Kampala road, 16 km before Fort Portal. Public transport runs throughout the day between Kampala and Fort Portal (passing Sebitoli) and Fort Portal and Kamwenge (passing Kanyankyu).
Accommodation facilities in Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park provides a variety of lodges i.e., Budget, midrange and luxury which include Ndali lodge, Kibale primate lodge, Kibale safari lodge, Kyaninga lodge, Mountain of the moon hotel (Luxury), Chimp nest, Chimpanzee Guest House, Kibale Forest Camp, (Mid-range) Nyinabulitwa resort, Crater valley resort (Budget).