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One of the most popular places to go on a primate safari in Uganda is Kibale Forest National Park, which was established in 1993 and spans 795 square kilometres along the Albertine Rift Valley’s floor. The park’s altitude supports a variety of distinct habitat types, from wet tropical forest on the fort portal plateau to savannah woodlands, grasses along the forest floor, and swamps that predominate in the park’s central and northern regions. It has 13 species and is located at a height of 1590 metres above sea level. It is most renowned for having the largest number of chimpanzees in all of Africa.

Although they are seldom seen since they are typically so cautious and used to human presences, creatures like elephants, buffaloes, gigantic forest pigs, antelopes, and forest duikers may be found in the park, which has 351 kinds of trees that have been recorded to date and rise up to 55 metres high, creating a very attractive upper canopy. More than 350 species of beautiful birds, such as the African green breasted pita, African grey parrots, pin-tailed whydah, slender weaver, and great blue turaco, are also species of primates. These include the l’hoest monkey, black and white colobus monkey, grey checked mangabey, red tailed monkey, and more. One of Uganda’s few surviving tropical rain forests, Kibale Forest National Park is located around 320 km by road between the districts of Kawenge and Kabarole.

The forest is well known for chimpanzee tracking. Chimpanzees are only found in tropical rain forests and live in groups of 2 to 100 people. They are the closest living relatives of humans and can weigh between 40 and 50 kilogrammes. They walk on their hind legs and knuckles of their forelimbs. They are clever and gregarious, frequently seen employing tools to remove food from holes. They sleep in nests, and because of their loud chatter, they can frequently be heard from a distance before being seen. Tracking chimpanzees is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that one shouldn’t pass up when on a safari in Africa. At the Kanyanchu Visitor Centre in the national park, it’s a fantastic trip that starts at 8 am for the morning shift and 2 pm for the afternoon shift.

Kibale Forest National Park

Three sizable chimpanzee groups, each with up to 100 people, make up the national park. These societies forbid various behaviours and have complex social structures. Visitors have the opportunity to participate in the chimpanzee habituation process in the national park; it can take a half-day or a full day depending on the amount paid and interest of time, and the tracking takes 2-3 hours in search of the chimpanzees but along the way one can look out for more primates and bird species. The big adult males of up to 1.7m in height defend their communal territories from other primates and the female ones keep shifting from one group to another. The guides that lead the tracking will provide you with further information about the forest.

In addition to chimpanzee tracking, visitors can engage in other activities like birding in Kibale, the Bigodi community walk, and nature walks through the forest, among others. Kibale Forest National Park is a part of the Kibale Conservation Area, which also includes the Semuliki and Toro game reserves managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The woodland joins the section of Queen Elizabeth National Park‘s southern Ishasha Corridor noted for its tree-climbing lions.

It can be visited all year round, but the best time to tour the national park and go chimpanzee tracking is from early June to early September when it is dry and the trails are less slick. The park receives an annual rainfall of up to 1700m, with the northern sector experiencing the most rain, primarily in the months of March through April and September through November. Carrying warm clothing, long sleeved clothing, boots for safety, bug repellents, and any other personal items needed while on safari is advised. It should be remembered that the park is a tropical rainforest, thus rain can fall at any time, both in the off-season and rainy season.

The park is 36 kilometres south of Fort Portal Town and is located around 6 hours’ drive from Entebbe. There are hotels nearby and inside the national park that range from opulent to best value.


With the largest forest cover straddling in Kamwenge and Kabarole district, Kibale Forest National Park is located in western Uganda about 5 hours’ drive from Entebbe. The 795 kilometres are home to 13 primate species, as well as other mammals like elephants, forest duikers, giant forest hogs, buffaloes, which are present but rarely seen, and over 300 species of birds. At an elevation of 1590 metres above sea level, Kibale is home to a variety of plants, from the forest on the Fort Portal plateau to the savannah woods, marshes, and lakes in the park’s middle and northern regions.

The main draw of Kibale is its primate population, which is the highest in all of Africa. It is home to about 1500 chimpanzees, which are the closest living relative of humans and share up to 98% of our DNA. They have well-developed shoulders and arms, a small face with deep eyes, and are a socially intelligent species that have been observed using tools at various times. The black and white colobus monkeys are nocturnal and can be tracked at night, like the pottos and bush babies. Other nocturnal primates that can be tracked at night include the blue monkey, red-tailed monkey, olive baboons, patas monkeys, and black faced vervet monkeys. Although some of them may be discovered in the Sebitoli forest and the Bigodi swamp region, primate tours begin at the Kanyanchu Visitor Centre. Tracking takes place in the mornings starting at 8am.

With over 250 different tree species recorded to date in the national park, the forest’s trees are a major draw. They grow to heights of 55 metres, creating a stunning canopy that the park’s birds nest in. The forest also contains some of Uganda’s most beautiful stretches of tropical rain forest, which are surrounded by angel grasses. The evergreen forest draws researchers from all over the world, but it has recently been subjected to extensive logging.
The primates and forest birds that live in these forests include, for instance, chimpanzees, who actually build their nests in the trees.

As a result of its diverse bird population, Kibale Forest National Park draws birders to the area. Researchers have identified up to 375 bird species there, including the great blue turaco, African pied wagtail, slender billed weaver, and pin-tailed whydah. In addition to its colourful bird population, the park also has stunning butterflies that brighten the entire area.

Around the Kibale Forest Conservation Area, the Ndali-Kassienda crater lakes are a major draw. They are stunning and alluring to look at, with ideal views of the nearby primates, birds, and butterflies. The craters are thought to have formed ten million years ago, and they contain sixty permanent and seasonal freshwater lakes. This is in contrast to other wetlands, such the Bigodi Swamp, where visitors may go on a group stroll.

Around the Kibale Forest Conservation Area, the Ndali-Kassienda crater lakes are a major draw. They are stunning and alluring to look at, with ideal views of the nearby primates, birds, and butterflies. The craters are thought to have formed ten million years ago, and they contain sixty permanent and seasonal freshwater lakes. This is in contrast to other wetlands, such the Bigodi Swamp, where visitors may go on a group stroll.

chimpanzees in kibale forest

Due to the park’s proximity to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, trips to both can be combined. Kibale Forest National Park is located around 320 kilometres from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and 36 kilometres south of Fort Portal Town. Accommodation options near and inside the national park range from opulent to best value, including Crater Lodge, Kyaninga Lodge, Kibale Forest Camp, and Kibale Guest House, among others.


One of Uganda’s many parks, Kibale Forest National Park is famous for its chimpanzee tracking and is located in the western part of the country, about six hours’ drive from Entebbe. It has the highest population of primate species, totaling 13 species, and the largest forest cover in the districts of Kamwenge and Kabarole, with 250 different tree species so far identified. These trees can grow up to 55 metres high, forming a very attractive upper canopy. The park is a popular tourist attraction in the nation and offers a variety of activities, such as chimpanzee tracking, treks and nature walks, night time tours through the Bigodi Swamp and crater lakes, chimpanzee habituation, and community walks.

The main draw of Kibale Forests is chimpanzee tracking. Starting at 8 am, it departs from the Kanyanchu visitor centre. The chimpanzee tracking is done twice, in the morning and in the afternoon. Chimpanzees are so noisy that you can hear them before you ever get close to them. They are highly sociable monkeys that have adapted to live with humans. They make their homes in the trees and are intelligent enough to use tools. Chimpanzees and humans have a 98% DNA similarity. While searching for chimpanzees, other primates are discovered, including l’hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and red checked monkeys.

There are many hikes and walks both inside and outside the national park. The walks start from the Kanyanchu visitor centre and are led by an experienced ranger of the Uganda wildlife authority. They are typically done in the dry seasons, and while hiking you will have the opportunity to see a variety of primate species, birds, and colourful budding trees. One or two hours are spent on night excursions in search of nocturnal animals like pottos and bush babies.

Chimpanzee habituation is a similar activity to chimpanzee tracking, but one has the opportunity to participate. It is a full-day experience with your guide, researchers, and trackers in the presence of the chimpanzees undergoing the training, which is done to get them used to human process. On a lucky day, you will not only see chimpanzee but other primate and mammal species.

The Magombe swamp, which is home to more than 200 species of birds and is a very important bird area, was protected by the Bigodi Swamp Walk. Located 6 kilometres south of Kibale Forest National Park, it is a good place to see butterflies and primates, such as the black and white colobus monkeys and easily spotted vervet monkeys. The three-hour guided swamp trek is best enjoyed with binoculars, boots, long sleeve shirts and pants, bug repellents as precautions and water-resistant coverings for phones and cameras.

They tell you about their local and traditional methods, norms and customs, arts and crafts, through community walks to the neighbours, village walks, basket weaving demonstrations and participation, entertainment from cultural dances, performances, and entertainment. These excursions may be planned to meet the residents of Kibale Forest National Park.

Crater lakes hikes in Kibale Forest National Park are breath-taking because you can take in the magnificent views of the collection of lakes that were formed more than a billion years ago. They draw lots of tourists who want to hike to the top of the world for the best views of the lakes, and beneath them are beautiful tea and coffee plantations. Here, a variety of opulent lodging options have been built, including the Papaya Safari Lodge and the Craters Safari Lodge.

The 795 square kilometre park is found in western Uganda, 320 kilometres from Kampala and 36 kilometres from Fort Portal Town. It connects to the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is famous for its tree climbing lions. It is open all year round, but is best experienced between December and January and June and the middle of September. Booking chimpanzee permits before the time of tracking is advised because this time of year is a busy travel season.


The most primates in Africa may be found at Kibale Forest National Park, a popular stop on primate safaris in Uganda. The national park, which has a size of 795 square kilometres and is located at an elevation of 1590 metres above sea level, is home to 13 different species. Kibale boots, which climb up to 55 metres high and form a closed Heavenly canopy, are home to 1500 chimpanzees and are the main draw of the national park. Over 300 kinds of birds and 250 types of trees have been identified there. The park’s vegetation includes grasslands, wetlands, lakes, rivers, and tropical woods that are surrounded by it.

The question of where to stay when visiting the national park is one that every traveller has. The park is full with lodging options, from luxury to the most affordable, so there is always a place where someone may stay that is most appropriate for their budgets. Here are a some of the lodging options in and near Kibale Forest National Park.

The luxurious Kyaninga Lodge is situated against the stunning backdrop of Lake Kyaninga. The lodge’s eight spacious rooms offer guests a comfortable stay, and the main lodge is ideally situated to provide outstanding views of the surrounding area. It also includes a swimming pool, spa, wellness area, and fitness centre. Each cottage offers a choice of a double or twin bed. They offer meals based on traditional European fare, using local products obtained from nearby locals’ markets.

With striking views of the magnificent crater lakes, which are thought to have formed around ten million years ago, Ndali Kasienda Lodge is a high-end establishment situated in the crater region, a very beautiful area of the national park. It offers a luxurious stay north of the national park, and is about 11 kilometres from Kibale Forest National Park.

The best and most affordable lodging options are available at Kibale Forest Camp, which is situated on the southern border of the national park. It is a short drive from the Kanyanchu Visitor Centre, where chimpanzee tracking begins, and it is close to the Magombe Swamp, home to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.

A Ugandan family runs the Chimpanzee Guest House, which is situated amidst lovely Isunga tea plantations and along the Kawenge Road. The guest house has spacious rooms, gardens, and tea plantations; they also serve incredibly delicious meals from both local and international cuisines.

They go above and beyond to ensure guest satisfaction. While at the lodge, guests can enjoy magnificent views of the tea and coffee plantations of the surrounding communities. Seven cottages of the wonderful Isunga are scattered uphill, enabling views of the crater lakes as well. It takes 20 minutes to drive from Isunga to the chimpanzee tracking point Kanyanchu.

Primate Lodge is a luxurious establishment in the Kibale Forest National Park. Its distinctive setting is tucked away inside the forest close to the beginning of the chimpanzee tracking and habituation process. Its nine roomy spaces are well-equipped with en-suite bathrooms, and the main lodge is lovely with a top restaurant serving delectable foods for visitors to the national park.

There are several other lodging options available in Kibale Forest National Park. The 795 square kilometre national park is located 320 kilometres, or about five hours’ drive, from Kampala, the capital of Uganda. This implies that there is a place to stay in the forest outside of home to the highest standards. The park can be visited all year round, and it is possible to participate in tourism activities in Fort Portal, which is 36 kilometres from the park.
As a tropical rain forest, it can rain at any time, therefore it is recommended to visit during the dry months of December to February, June, and mid-September.


A number of chimpanzees live in the national park, making them a main draw along with other species like the l’hoest monkey, red-tailed monkey, patas monkey, black and white colobus monkey, olive baboons, nocturnal like pottos, and bush babies. Kibale Forest National Park is home to 13 species of primates, making it the top destination for primates in Uganda and all of Africa. The park’s diverse height supports a variety of ecosystems, including craters, grasslands, savannah woods, seasonal and permanent marshes, and forests. Even though they are cautious and rarely seen, mammals including elephants, buffaloes, forest pigs, and antelopes do live in the national park.

The national park is accessible throughout the year for wildlife viewing, but it is best during the dry months of December through January and June through mid-September. These are the driest months of the year, and activities like chimpanzee tracking are best done then because the tracks are less slick and easier to climb. Hikes and nature walks are also excellent during these months. They are a busy period for visitors to the park, so if you want to visit during that season, it’s best to get chimpanzee permits before your scheduled arrival. One of the few remaining swaths of the tropical rain forest is the Kibale Forest National Park.
The dry season may not be dry all throughout it could rain on some days.

The park’s best times to go birding are during these months, but chimpanzee tracking is challenging because of the wet and slippery ground. The wet seasons are a little tricky but best times when the park is in bloom, it’s a season of many birds and butterflies, and the park depicts its perfect name, the tropical rain forest, and the ever-green colour. These months are March-May and October-November. The national park is located at a height of 1590 metres above sea level, with its lowest point to the south along the Albertine plain at 1100 metres.

In the wet season, many of the roads in Kibale Forest National Park are slick and difficult to drive on. It is advised to use a 4×4-wheel car, pack warm clothing, boots for hikes, insect repellents, sunscreen, long sleeve shirts and trousers for safety measures, and any other personal items needed for travel. The park receives an average of 1700mm of rain, with the majority of that falling in the northern part. It should be mentioned that one must have a yellow fever vaccination card in order to enter Uganda. This will help prevent unneeded disruptions.

There are many things to do in Kibale, such as crater hikes, hiking and nature walks, nocturnal walks, chimpanzee tracking, chimpanzee habituation, Bigodi swamp walk in Magombe, bird watching, and many other things. The forest sector connects with the southern animal corridor of Queen Elizabeth National Park, which includes the Ishasha sector, which is famous for the tree climbing lions.

It is approximately 5 hours’ drive from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The park is one of the oldest remaining patches of tropical rain forest interspersed with grasses, forming a high forest canopy with trees rising up to 55m high. It is located on 795 square kilometres and is located in the districts of Kabarole and Kawenge with the largest forest cover. There are lodging options both inside and outside the park, ranging from luxurious to best value.

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