KIBALE NATIONAL PARK
Take the road from Fort Portal to Kamwenge, which commences near the bridge over the Mpanga River in Fort Portal and is well sign posted. Turn left at the junction 12-km from Fort Portal and follow signpost for a further 24 km to Kanyanchu Tourist Centre.
Kibale National Park harbours the greatest variety and concentration of primates found anywhere in East Africa. It is an extensive National Park, protecting a large block of rainforest that offers some excellent forest for bird watching. Birds and primates combined with easy access, a good infrastructure and a variety of interesting Activities make this forest ideal for primate watching safaris to Uganda . Many of the facilities are community based, thus providing the local community with the necessary revenue to keep their interest focused on the long-term protection of the area.
The area is mainly occupied by two tribes i.e. Batooro and Bakiga traditionally both tribes utilise the forest for food, fuel, building materials and medicines.
MATTERS CONCERNING KIBAALE NATIONAL PARK.
Elevation : 1110 metres to 1590 metres
Timing: March - May, September - November
Time required: 2 days
Status: National Park since 1993
Size: 560 km 2
The forested section (77%) of the park is covered by medium altitude moist evergreen forest in the north and medium altitude moist semi-deciduous forest at lower altitudes in the south. The remaining 23% consist of grassland, swamps and some plantations with exotic conifers.
Birds Recorded: 335 species.
Key Species of Birds
Grey-winged Robin, Red-winged Francolin, White-naped Pigeon, Green-brested Pitta, Red-chested Flufftail, African Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey-throated Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycather, Masked and Black-capped Apalises, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Chestnut-winged Starling, Orange-tufted and Tiny Sunbirds, Grey-headed Olive-back.
Kibale has a customary Chimpanzee-tracking program with a high success rate. Other primates that may be found on these guided walks include Grey-cheeked Mangabey, Guereza Colobus, L'Hoest's Gentle (Blue) Olive Baboon, and Red-tailed Monkeys is more likely to be found in open areas adjacent to the forest. You may find evidence of Elephant, Bush Pig and Bufallo along the trails, whilst Bushbuck, Blue, Harvey's and Peter's Duickers are other shy inhabitants of the forest interior. The guided night walks are also rewarding: Potto, Spectacled Demidoff's and Thomas's Galagos, Lord Derby's Anomalure, African Civet and Common Genet are all possible.
Other interesting mammals from the list of over 60 species include Banded and Marsh Mongooses, Ichneumon, , Swamp Otter, Alexander's Cusimanse,Ratel (Honey Badger) and African Palm Civet. Although Golden Cat, Serval, Lion, Leopard, Warthog, Giant Hog and Hippopotamus are recorded from the park, they are unlikely to be encountered in the Kanyanchu area. Sitatungas are known from Bigodi Swamp but are infrequently seen. The spectacular and beautiful Rhinoceros Viper is fairly common here but is, unfortunately, less often found alive than as a road-kill.
Mantana Luxury Tented Camp located in the middle of the forest. Bush type accommodation extremely comfortable.
The Kanyanchu Tourist Centre has five 2-bed bandas. The beautiful campground costs $3 per person. There is a cooking shelter and pit latrines; water and firewood is provided. The community-based canteen offers cheap basic food (the best beans in Uganda!) and drinks. Alternatively, try the Safari Hotel 3 km further along the road towards Kamwenge. Basic rooms cost $ 4 per person inclusive of all the tea you can drink and free laundry!
Ndali Lodge a luxury accomodation owned by a white man thatched cottage overlooking a Crater Lake.
The Rwenzori View GuestHouse located at FortPortal approximately 30 kms from the forest.
The park offers very affordable chimp tracking. Groups (limited to 6 people) leave daily at 8:00 am and 3:00pm; the walks last about 3 hours. The highly recommended night walks depart from Kanyanchu Visitor Centre at 7:30 pm ( book in advance) . Bring your torch!
Facilities at Bigodi include; an observation tower and a boardwalk that traverses the papyrus beds. The path and boardwalk may be flooded and muddy after heavy rain and gumboots are recommended. They can be hired at the visitor centre. The walk is about 4 km in length, taking 3-4 hours at birding pace. With all proceeds from eco-tourism going back into the community, this is a conservation project well worth supporting.
1. Please note that his is not a Zoo so it is a tropical rainforest and sightings depend on factors such as time of the day fruit availability, weather and how quite the primate group is.
2. The maximum number of people in a group is 4 visitors per guided walk
3. The maximum time allowed with the chimps is one hour, however, the time might be shortened under the guides discretion to eliminate stressful situations for the chimps
4. When trekking you are advised to remain in a tight group and follow the guides directions at all times.
5. Please remain at a distance of 8 meters from the chimps or the distance that your guide recommends
6. Under no circumstance shall you chase while they descend or to or walk on higher ground.
7. You are advised not to enter the forest if you are sick as this can put the animals at serious risk
8. Please refrain from eating near the chimps and other primates
9. Please do not shout in the forest
10. Its advisable to wear long boots that cover your toes and long trousers as there are red ants and slippery trails, also carry along water proof clothing in the rainy season.
11. Children under 12 years are not allowed to view the chimps for safety reasons
12. If you need to urinate please do so off the trail system.
13. If you need to defecate, please do so off the trail system and bury all in a hole all waste.