Kibale forest is located in western Uganda in the district of fort portal and Kasese, the park covers an ever-green forest measuring about 766 km2. In distance, from Kampala city the drive time takes about 6 hours and approximately 2 hours from Kasese to Kibale forest National park.
Activities in Kibale forest national park, offers visitors a lot of things to do and engage in during any of their visits in Kibale forest national park, with all the exciting and interesting activities offered in the park, visitors are assured of the best and memorable safari in Kibale forest national park. Kibale forest national park has the highest diversity of animal’s species ranging from primate species which include, the chimpanzees which involves chimp trekking and chimp habituation experience as well as red and black colobus monkeys, L-hoest monkeys, white monkeys and red-tailed monkeys and many others.
When you visit Kibale forest national park, there are lot of activities to do and things to see to your safari memorable during your safari visit to Kibale forest national park. these activities include chimp trekking, chimp habituation, nocturnal forest walk, Bigodi wetlands sanctuary, bush craft for children, bird watching, cultural encounters, nature walks and hikes, Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru, crater lakes among others these activities offer you the best and the memorable safari to Kibale forest national park.
Activities in Kibale national park
Chimpanzee trekking; chimp trekking is one of the popular activities in Kibale forest national park, it involves walking through the forest in search for the chimpanzees, this activity is mainly done on habituated chimpanzee families and only travellers with chimpanzee permits are allowed to access the forest to view the chimpanzee. The permit allows you one with the gorillas from the time you meet them. Kibale harbours a large number of chimpanzees and visitors taking part in this activity, have higher opportunity of about 99% of seeing the chimpanzee every day.
Kibale forest national park, is the top tourist destination in east Africa for chimpanzee trekking, the forest is a home to over 1500 chimpanzees which has enabled chimpanzee trekking activities to take place. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest operates in two sessions every day the first shift starts in the morning at kanyanchu information centre situated in the middle of the park. the morning shift starts in the morning at 8:ooam with briefing at the park headquarters by 7:00 am in the morning and the afternoon shift kicks off at 2:00pm and takes about 2-3hours, the normal activity can last for 30 min to half hours of time searching for the chimpanzee families and when you encounter the chimps, you will be given one hour with them observing the, studying their behaviour and for early rises, you will have an opportunity to view chimpanzees taking part in their daily activities like making nests, resting, feeding young ones, patrolling and many others. The chimpanzee in the wild, can live up to 40 years and 60 years for chimpanzee living under captivity, the males are bigger than the female chimpanzee and weigh up to 150 lbs. During chimpanzee trekking, you will also be able to spot other primate species like red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, hoest monkeys, bush babies, baboons among others.
Chimpanzee habituation is a process of making chimpanzee get used to the sight of humans, during chimp habitation, researchers, scientists, rangers and travellers taking part in the activity visit a particular chimpanzee family on a daily basis until when they used to the sight of humans then they can be opened for trekking. Chimp trekking is carried out in Kanyanchu information centre as well as chimp trekking and nature walks. Chimpanzee trekking is best during the month of March, April, November and December with little or no rainfall.
During chimpanzee trekking, visitors taking part in this activity, are given an opportunity to visit the chimps in their natural habitat, this is a whole day experience as you get to study the behaviours of the chimps, feeding and other activities. Not only that, the unique part of chimp habituation is that its not only viewing the chimps, but you become an active participant in the habituation process.
Bird watching; Kibale forest national park, is a home to over 370 bird species including white-winged warbler, papyrus Gonolek, African pitta, African pied wagtail, common fiscal, slender, billed weaver. Tropical boubou, pin tailed whydah, blue breasted kingfisher, blue heads bee-eater, crowned eagle among others. During bird watching, visitors spot variety of different bird species in their natural habitat. The activity starts early morning at kanyanchu information centre by 7:00am therefore, it requires an early morning rise for the start of the activity. The best time for bird watching is from March -April to May and from September to November, by this time, there are a lot of migratory birds sighted in this place.
Bigodi wetland sanctuary; Bigodi wetland sanctuary is situated just outside Kibale forest national park along Magombe swamp situated 6km from kanyachu information centre in Kibale forest national park. the Bigodi wetland sanctuary is operated by the local community surrounding the park. the local people are trained as tour guides for the wetland activities. During the Bigodi walk, you will be able to spot a lot of animals and species like the butterflies, bird species with over 138 recorded bird. the notable bird sighted here include; African pied wagtail. Common. Great blue turaco. Common. Pin-tailed whydah. Common. Slender-billed weaver. Common. Tropical boubou. Common and 8 primate species which include; red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, Vervet monkeys, among others and mammals which include; mongoose, bushbucks, warthogs and others. The Bigodi wetland walk lasts for 2-4hours along the trails in the swamp and the visitors will have an opportunity to spot many animals, primates and bird species among others.
Cultural encounters; This activity enables tourists to interact with the local people who live around the Kibale forest national park, cultures like Bakiga and the Batooro .during this visit, the locals will show case different activities like; traditional dances, Art and craft, weaving this activity is mostly done by the women living around Kibale national park. your participation in this activity, the fee paid is from of charity which helps in the development of the communities around Kibale forest national park.
Bush craft Children Activities; the minimum age required for chimp trekking is 15 years and any person below the age is a child and will not be allowed to trek chimpanzees but there are plenty of Things for the children to do and see while the parents are on chimpanzee trekking. The rangers will guide the children through the wonders of the forest showing them wildlife, plants, trees, birds, and monkeys.
Kibale Forest is among the few places where children can take Bush craft classes and activities where the children will explore the Forest and have the time while in Kibale forest national time, the activities are full of fun and memories of life time. We also make sure that your children have a good and kid friendly driver with them to make sure that they feel comfortable and have the best time during their activities in the forest. For travellers who would like to visit Uganda together with their children, will be advised to book this activity in advance so early preparations.
Nocturnal forest walks; Nocturnal forest walks in Kibale forest is an activity that takes place at night after dinner in your lodge, you will be guided by arranger who carries a spotlight for easy viewing of the animals like; push babies, Pottos, forest cats and some forest birds among others. During these hours, the forest is so quiet and the animals have retired to their sleeping nests, it’s so easy to spot the animals. Visitors who go for this activity, are required to carry equipment like boots, long trousers, long sleeved shirt/ blouse, hat, water proof jacket, water and energy giving snacks. You will be led by the ranger guide who will walk through the trails with spotlight to enable you view animals in the dark.
Kibale forest has a number of lodges from which visitors in Kibale forest national park, can stay during their activities in Kibale forest national park, lodges cottages are usually designed with African traditional craft and bandas thatched with grass to offer conducive atmosphere and peaceful environment while at Kibale forest national park the lodges include; chimpanzee forest guest house, Kibale forest camp, primate lodge, crater safari lodge among others these lodges range from mid-range, luxury, budget they offer a good accommodation facilities to the clients taking part in different activities in Kibale forest national park.