Kibale is the lush tropical rainforest believed to have the highest density of primates in Africa; this 795-sq-km national park is home to 13 primate species, including the rare Red Colobus and L’hoest’s Monkey. The stars of the show are the chimpanzees, three communities of which have been habituated to human contact. Larger but rarely seen residents include Bushbuck, Bush pigs, sitatunga, Buffalos Leopard, Forest Duikers and forest elephants. While on the smaller side, kibale also has a greatest bird list of about 375 species and there are also an incredible 250 species of butterfly that live here.
Chimpanzee tracking is done twice in a day at 8:00am and 2:00pm with around a 80% chance of finding them on any particular day; kibale forest national park is undoubtedly the most popular place to track chimpanzees in Uganda and also other primates you will encounter in the trails or along the main road include Red Colobus, Grey cheecked Mangabey, L’hoest, Red tailed, Black and white colobus, Vervet, Olive Baboon and Blue Monkey. Children aged 12 and under aren’t permitted.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
Regular trackers just get one hour with the playful primates, but those on the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience can spend the whole day with them. If you want to join the experience, you must spend a night before near the park since you head out to the nests around 5:30am before they come out since you have to follow them.
Kibale Forest National Park offers excellent birding; the forest 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%consists of grassland, swamps and some plantations with exotic conifers. Keys here include Red-winged Francolin, Red-chested Fluff tail, white naped Pigeon, Green Breasted Pitta, African Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Grey winged Robin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey throated Flycatcher, White-Bellied –Crested Flycatcher, Masked and Black Capped Apalises, Uganda woodland Warbler, Chestnut winged –Starling, Orange-tufted and Tiny sunbird, Grey headed Olive-back, Hairy breasted and Yellow billed Barbets, Thick billed, Willcocks’s and Cassin’s Honey guides.
Bigodi Swamp Walk
Bigodi wetland Sanctuary; It is located 6km south of the kibale forest national park visitor centre at Kanyancu. Bigodi was established by the local development organization. Kibale Association for Rural and Environment Development. (KAFRED) to protect the 4-sq-km Magombe Swamp. It’s a home of around 200 species of birds, as well as butterflies and 8 different species of primates.