A Uganda Safari to Kibale forest national park : Kibale National Park in Uganda lies at an altitude of 1,590m and 1,100m above sea level and is located in the Western part of the country along the East African Rift Valley near the Ndali Kasenda crater. Kibale National Park was first identified as a forest reserve in 1932 because of its great bio-diversity before finally being made a game park in the 1990’s. The park has become the primates’ capital of Uganda and to a great extent East Africa. The numerous tree species (over 350) that spread along the vast plains and plateaus include pre-montane forest that are found nowhere in East Africa.

Cost of Chimpanzee Trekking

The park also has montane and lowland forests that include endangered species like lovoa swynnertonnii, cordia millenii and entandrophragma. The tall trees that stand at an average of 55m bring over 1700mm of rainfall annually facilitating the group of dense ferns, herbs and grasses.

Attractions in Kibale Forest National Park

Chimpanzee Trekking and other primates

Kibale national park is arguably the best place to go for a primate’s tour. The park might not have the gorillas but has more of the other primate species than any park in East Africa. Chimpanzees are an endangered species and are special because they share over 95% of their DNA with humans. Kibale has the largest chimpanzee clans in East Africa and about 5,000 individuals have been recorded. Chimpanzees can be spotted in other parks in East Africa but the chances of seeing them are slim compared to Kibale forest.

What makes a primates’ safari in Kibale forest even more special is its amazing collection of monkeys. While in Kibale Forest expect to see L’Hoest Monkeys, the endangered Red Colobus, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, the Red tailed Monkeys, Bush Baby, Blue Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Black and White Colobus. Since the park is near to Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Queen Elizabeth national park, primate, travelers can expect a complete African Safari without travelling for long a distance.

Birding

Kibale forest is one of the best place to go birding in Africa. The 180km rain forest in Kibale is a birders paradise with over 374 bird species. While on tour of Kibale Forest, birders can spot the Abyssinian Ground thrust, African Grey Parrot, Black Bee eater, Black capped Apalis, Black eared Ground Thrust, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Blue headed sunbird, Brown Chested Alethe, Brown Illadopis, Collared Apalis, Crowned Eagle, Dusky Crimsonwing, Little Green Bul, Purple breasted Sunbird, Red Chested Owlet, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Scaly breasted Illadopsis, the African Pitta, Western Nicator, White naped Pigeon, Yellow Rumped Tinkerbird and yellow spotted Nicator.

Other wildlife

Apart from the primates and birds, Kibale forest national park is home to 14 snake species, over 200 butterfly species, 27 frog species and over 20 types of reptile. Kibale National Park has nearly 70 species of mammal among which include bats, bush pig, giant forest hogs, elephants, forest buffaloes, leopards, hippopotamus, bushbuck antelopes, red/blue duikers, sitatungas semi aquatic antelopes, warthogs, African golden cats, mongooses and the occasionally spotted hyenas, A Uganda Safari to Kibale forest national park

Bigodi wetlands and bird sanctuary

A special nature walk can be arranged to visit the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary within the park. This is one of the best places for bird watching and primates viewing in East Africa and attracting thousands of visitors annually. A three hours walk through the Bigodi swamp allows you to spot over 310 bird species. As you walk through the palm trees and different plants expect to see at least 5 species of primates.

A Uganda Safari to Kibale forest national park
Bigodi swamp

Cultural tours

For those interested in observing how the local people go about their daily lives and work in the gardens a walk through Nyaibanda, Nyakalongo and Kikoni villages would be perfect.

The Batoro are the dominant tribe living near the park and visiting them should be top on the list for anyone interested in a cultural experience. The Batoro are a proud people with a rich heritage, culture, history and a King called the Omukama. Another tribe you might want to visit are the Bakiga. The Bakiga are known as hardworking people who rely on subsistence farming of various local foods and particularly the famous Matoke (bananas). They were welcomed to the area by the Batoro as migrants and their population has since increased. One of the best ways to experience an African culture is to visit a local family or an organized cultural center where you get to learn about the local dances, language, food and ancient stories. The Bakiga and Batoro have benefited a lot from tourism activities in the region. Before tourism activities became prominent in the area, they relied solely on the forest and their farmland for food, A Uganda Safari to Kibale forest national park

Nature walks and Hikes:

Talking a walk through the vast forest is a great way to discover and marvel at the great biodiversity in the park and surrounding landscapes that include visiting the Crater lakes thus the top of the world hike and other Ndali crater lakes.

The best time to visit Kibale National Park

The tropical climate and location around the equator ensures that tourism activities take place throughout the year in the park. However, there are two seasons in most countries of the Equator – the rainy (low) and dry (peak) season with each season occurring twice a year. These seasons affect the quality of a safari in Kibale National Park. The peak season of the year occurs during the dry months of December to February and June to September. These dry months are characterized by little or no rainfall. There is less mud making it easy to drive or take walks within the park. During the dry season, there is less vegetation cover and thick bushes, which allows for easy sighting of animals making for an enjoyable holiday. The months of March to May and late September to November are the low seasons with relatively more rain. This may not be favorable to some clients but birders will find this season appealing as it is the breeding season for birds and several migratory species appear filling the forest with beautiful sounds in perfect green. Most tourists prefer visiting the park during the dry seasons as they are considered the best time to go for a Uganda safari. Our recommendation is that visitors come two to three weeks after the rainy season is over for the best experience. During this time, the mud has disappeared and the country as a whole is still very green offering amazing scenery.

Packing list for Kibale National Park

Kibale forest National Park has relatively easy forest trails and walkways that require a rather simple packing list. The following items should be included while on your safari to Kibale National Park.

Travel documents

Ensure your travel documents are with you while on a Uganda safari. Important travel documents include a VISA, Passport and the yellow fever vaccination card. Without these documents expect to have a hard time at the border crossing or airport that may lead to unnecessary costs.  The passport must have at least 6 months remaining to the expiry date.  It’s advisable to make several copies of each of these documents to avoid any inconveniences later on. While preparing for your tour of Kibale National Park, you could also plan to pack your travel insurance card, medical insurance card, an updated travel itinerary and relevant local maps, A Uganda Safari to Kibale forest national park .

Clothes

Like any African safari, you need to come with long sleeve shirts and long trousers. The color should be dull considering that you might be traveling in dusty environments with strong winds. To keep warm during the cold nights or rainy/wet seasons, you need to pack a sweater and rain jacket. Most lodges and hotels have a swimming pool and you should have a swimming costume.

Hiking shoes

A simple, strong, comfortable and waterproof shoes is recommended during your Kibale National Park tour. You will also need comfortable stockings that are easy to dry and light sandals for evening relaxation at your lodge after your activities.

Insect repellents

Countries in the tropics like Uganda have many insect species and a good repellent will be very handful.

A camera and binoculars and other gadgets

You will regret later on if you don’t come with a good camera to capture all the memorable moments during your Kibale Forest safari. Other items to pack that might help make your safari comfortable and memorable include your ipad, phone and a waterproof simple backpack.

Pocket change

A safari in Kibale National Park may require you to have some pocket money, which you would need for small transactions like paying, porters and buying art crafts. You might wish to reward your guides for making your Uganda safari so amazing but do not have money to give because of a lack of lose change. Although dollars are accepted by locals, some transactions may require local currencies.

Other essentials: If you have extra space, acquire a flash light, hand sanitizers/wipes, electric adapter, Vaseline, antibiotics, allergy medicines, toothbrush, lip balm, vitamins, pain killers, sanitary necessities and hair shampoo.

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