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Kibale forest national park,Uganda

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Kibale Forest National Park harbours the greatest variety and concentration of primates found anywhere in East Africa. Not less than 13 different species are living in this small area of 560 km², including the black-and-white colobus, blue monkey, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey and bushbaby.

More important, the dense forest hosts a population of more than 1,000 chimpanzees. Since 1991 one 80-strong community has been habituated in Kanyanchu, allowing visitors the unique opportunity to view these great apes in their natural environment.

Kibale Forest is also an excellent forest for bird watching. About 325 species are recorded in this area, including the Red-winged Francolin, Green-breasted Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Woodland Warbler and Orange-tufted Sunbird. Moreover, a big number of mammals are living in the forest: forest elephant, bushbuck, duiker, bush pig and buffalo.

Superb birds and primates combined with easy access, a good infrastructure and a variety of interesting activities make this forest a worthwhile destination.


District : Kabarole
Elevation :1110 - 1590 metres
Size :560 sq km
Habitat :The forested section (77%) of the park is covered by moist evergreen forest and semi-
deciduous forest. The remaining part consist of grassland, swamps and some plantations with exotic conifers.
Status : National Park since 1993
Best time to visit : any time of the year


Take the road from Fort Portal to Kamwenge, which commences near the bridge over the Mpanga River in Fort Portal and is well signposted. Turn left at the junction 12 km from Fort Portal and follow signpost for a further 24 km to Kanyanchu Tourist Centre.


* Chimp tracking :
Enjoy a guided primate walk in the lush expenses of the tropical rainforest, in search of the wild chimpanzees. The guide will explain you more about the animals and plants species that you encounter on your way. Also look out for other primates like the red-colobus monkey and mangabey, birds, tracks of mammals and much more!

* Chimp habituation experience :
Watch the chimps waking up, searching for food, resting, playing and going to sleep again. With the Habituation Experience you will spend an entire day with our 'cousins' and learn about their way of life. The project, initiated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute, focuses on habituating the chimpanzees to human presence, without necessarily altering their natural behaviour.

* Educational walk :
Be educated and entertained by experienced ranger guides. This walk especially caters for children who are too young to participate in the chimp tracking. While the parents enjoy their chimpanzee experience, the younger ones will have a forest walk and learn about the ecosystem, followed by creative activities and games.

* Birding :
Accompanied by a guide you will follow the trails and look out for different type of birds. Of the 325 that are recorded in the national park, 6 species of birds are endemic to the Albertine Rift region, including the Black-capped Apalis, Blue-headed Sunbird, Collared Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing, Purple-breasted Sunbird and Red-faced Woodland Warbler.

* Nocturnal walk :
An exciting hike in the heart of the forest at night! A guide will take you into the forest to look for nocturnal animals, like the bushbaby and potto.


* Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary :
At the eastern edge of the national park you will find Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a protected area situated in Magombe Swamp. Different trails are available to encounter a variety of birds (137 species), primates and butterflies. The revenue entirely supports the local community of Bigodi Village.

* Bigodi Village Walk :
Another project initiated by the community is the Village Walk. This guided walk takes you for a closer meeting with the Bigodi Trading Centre, where you will visit several homesteads, local schools, Catholic churches, have a meeting with a traditional healer and listen to the storytelling of mzees (elderly).

* Exploration of the Crater Lakes :
As you drive from Fort Portal to Kibale Forest you will pass the area of the Crater Lakes. Here you can simply enjoy the beauty of the numerous small lakes, surrounded by gentle hills. Take a hike at Lake Nkuruba to encounter different species fo primates and birds. Or visit the hidden Mahoma Falls while you meet the local people as you walk through their villages and learn more about the customs of the Batoro tribe.

* Sebitoli Forest Camp :
This part of Kibale Forest is located 12 km from Fort Portal in the direction of Kampala. The area offers different walking trails for excellent bird and primate viewing in moist evergreen forest.

* Cultural Heritage and Nature Trail :
This hike of 2-6 days is a sublime combination of nature and culture and ideal for the adventurous guests. You can start the walk at either Primate Lodge Kibale or Sebitoli Forest Camp and follow a trail deep into the forest. Not only you will explore the natural environment with its rich flora and fauna, but you will also get the chance to meet the local people and gain insights into the Batoro and Bakiga culture. Overnights will be arranged in community-run campsites near the villages of Kikoni, Nyaibanda and Nyakalongo.

* Hike at the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains :
Kibale Forest is located almost at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains. Here you can enjoy a guided nature walk with scenic views of the rolling hills, green valley and large banana plantations. You will get a glimpse of the village life and visit a traditional witchdoctor at this home.

* Visit to the tea estates :
Kibale Forest is surrounded by large green tea plantations and therefore your stay at Primate Lodge Kibale can't go without a visit to one of the tea estates. Touch the fresh tea leaves and watch the workers tipping, plucking and weeding. Of course you are invited to participate! At the tea factory you will witness the progress of transforming the leaves to black (made) tea and will you be able to get a taste of the final product! recommends:
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+256.392.897.704, +44.790.863.9450
Primate lodge kibale
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