Kibale National Park
The Kibale National Park is carpeted with gnarled vines, lush greenery and wild jungle terrain. The moist evergreen forest is a varied tract of tropical land, comprising over 351 tree species, 70 species of mammal, 375 species of bird and – most famously - is home to 1 species of primate! Needless to say, there’s plenty to see during your walk through the park. The habitat is ideal for gangs of chimpanzee, which are located by listening carefully for vocalisations and the loud swaying of trees. The chimps are very vocal and notoriously cheeky.
Kibale National Park Highlights
A sure highlight of Kibale National Park is its tropical forest region near Fort Portal, which supports a large population of chimpanzees - man’s closest living relative. Chimpanzee trekking is the primary attraction of the national park, inviting guests to embark on guided walks between the trees and vines to meet and watch the population of wild chimpanzees in their natural environment. The chimps live in large groups and can be extremely active and vocal, while they are habituated to the controlled presence of humans. This experience is one of the best wildlife experiences in Uganda and should not be missed!
- The north of Kibale National Park joins the southern tip of Queen Elizabeth National Park, creating a 180km-long wildlife corridor.
- There are 14 primates residing in Kibale, including the chimpanzee, making it one of the best destinations for primate safaris in Africa.
- Chimpanzee trekking takes place in the tropical forest near Fort Portal where hundreds of bird species create colourful movement and song throughout the area.
- The guided walks are led by a wildlife authority expert who will conduct a tour which includes about an hour spent with the active chimpanzees as they move around freely
- Many beautiful crater lakes dot the area
Crater Safari Lodge : A luxury lodge located on the rim of the Nyinabulitwa Crater Lake just minutes outside the lush rainforest of Kibale National Park. It is an award winning lodge in the category of best Eco Lodge/Resort and offers an incomparable experience for guests looking to experience the crater lake region and chimp trekking activities in their entirety.
Primate Lodge: Located inside the Kibale rainforest itself, Primate Lodge enjoys the lush presence of trees and all the primates, birds, and butterflies that call the forest home. Only minutes from the starting point of the chimp trekking excursions.
Kibale Forest Camp: This nature-inspired lodge is located bordering the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary just outside the southern part of Kibale National Park. It is a 10-minute drive from the tourism centre where chimp trekking begins and accommodates guests in 10 African-inspired safari tents.
How to Get There
Sun Safaris can arrange all scheduled flights for visitors to one of the many airports in Uganda, but primarily international guests enter the country at Entebbe Airport, about 50km outside of the capital city, Kampala. Once guests arrive at Entebbe, they will connect with their pre-arranged road or light air transfers that will take them directly to their safari destinations. Most of the major game parks are remote and have private airstrips for scheduled fly-in safaris or have regular road transfers running to and from major tourism centers in and near the national parks close to Kampala, the capital.
Kibale National Park is located about 20km from Fort Portal, and the closest airstrip is currently Kasese, a 2 hour transfer away. Alternatively, reaching Kibale by road from Kampala is about a 5-hour drive. Roads and traffic in Uganda can slow road journeys down, but transport is reliable and can be booked by your Sun Safaris agent.
Kibale National Park Game Viewing and Activities
Other than the famed and celebrated chimpanzee trekking in the rainforest of Kibale (which is not to be missed!), there are numerous areas to visit and activities to partake in. There are dry grasslands, swamps, and woodland areas of Kibale National Park, each hosting a fantastic variety of wildlife. In total, there are over 70 mammal species and 375 bird species, which makes it one impressive game viewing destination. Among these are the forest elephant and buffalo, hippo, bushbuck, giant forest hog, golden cat, leopard, sitatunga, and many more.
Nearby attractions include the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, crater lake trails, Top of the World hike and Amabere Caves.
Children under 15 years old are not permitted on the chimpanzee trek, but there are special nature trails and specially designed experiences for kids to engage in. Nocturnal hikes are also on the list of things to do, as is are multi-day hikes and bike rides.
Papaya Lake Lodge
Papaya Lake Lodge is a bright and beautiful guest lodge blending modern and traditional features located in the great crater lakes region of southwestern Uganda, within short driving distance of Kibale, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Bwindi Forest.