KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

Kibale National Park covers an area of about 795km2 and its acknowledged to have one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forest. It’s a habitat to many forest wildlife and among these includes the 13primate species mainly the chimpanzees alongside the Black and White colobus, Blue monkey, Olive baboon and Potto among others. The southern part of Kibale connects to Queen Elizabeth National park. The Forest covering predominates the central and northern part of the park on the raised Fort Portal plateau. At the park’s northern tip, Kibale is highest and stands 1590m above sea level.

Additionally, the wettest area is Northern Kibale, receiving an average annual rainfall of about 1700mm, mainly during March-May and September-November. The climate is usually pleasant with an average annual temperature range of 14 to 270C. Temperatures are at maximum (& rainfall lower) in the south where the terrain drops onto the blistering rift valley floor and forest provides way to open grassland and Kibale-Fort Portal region is one of Uganda’s most pleasing places to explore as you may continue to Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains & Semuliki National Parks and Southern Kibale joins Queen Elizabeth National Park and together these protected areas maintain a 180km-long migration corridor for wildlife which extends from Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth NP, to the Sebitoli forest in the north of Kibale.

FORAL AND FAUNA

Other mammals are present, though rarely seen. These include forest elephant, buffalo, leopard, bush pig and duiker. A keen observer may also spot reptiles and amphibians as well as a colourful variety of butterflies.

The park boasts 325 species of birds, including 6 that are endemic to the Albertine Rift region, namely black-capped apalis, blue-headed sunbird, collared apalis, dusky crimson-wing, purple-breasted sunbird and red-faced woodland warbler. Other Kibale specials include the African pitta, green breasted pitta, black bee-eater, yellow spotted nicator, yellow rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, black-eared ground thrush, brown-chested alethe, blue-breasted kingfisher, Abyssinian ground-thrush, and the crowned eagle.

Primates:

This park harbors the greatest variety of concentration of primates found anywhere in East Africa. There are 13 primate species to search for, but the most sought for‘s the Chimpanzee our closest cousin that shares about 94% of its DNA with us humans. They live in communities of about 10-100 members.

Wildlife:

Over 70 mammal species are habitats of this park among these mammals are Buffalos, duikers, Leopards, bush pigs Golden cat and approximately 400 to 500 elephants. The park’s also home to over 250 butterfly species, in the depth of the forest,  the forest also harbors different reptiles

Birds:

This park’s home to a variety of tropical rainforest bird species, with over 370 bird species that have been recorded. Superb birds can be viewed the famous ones being, Great blue Turaco, Marsh Tchagara,Tropical Boubou, Green backed Twin spot, African Pied wagtail.

Cultural interactions:

This area’s dominated by a tribe known as the Batoro who are the indigenous people of this area. It’s believed by legends that the batooro originated from the Batembuzi and Bagabu who are said to have been the first rulers of the earth. Other historians believe that the Batooro are related to the Babito and Bachwezi. This tribe has a rich culture with a lot of diversity.

Crater lakes:

Crater lakes are found in the rift valley on the Ndali-Kasenda area, these were formed by volcanicity which occurred a million years ago, eruptions occurred in this area thus forming depressions that turned into craters. The lakes around include, lake Nkuruba, Lake Nyabikere, Lake Nyinamugu, Lake Lyantonde and Lake Kifuruka.

                                                                                 ACTIVITIES

Chimpanzee tracking:

The tracking activity embarks from the Kanyanchu visitor center at 8:00a.m & 1500hrs and lasts 2 to 3 hours. Apart from tracking the chimpanzee. You should expect to see the Red-tailed Monkey, Black& white Colobus Monkey and the Grey cheeked Mangabey. Besides the primates, it may also be possible to look at different species of birds.

Bird watching:

This starts very early at a place known as Kanyanchu along the main road to the bridge. Besides the main road there‘s a beautiful rain forest which can give good views in to the canopy and outside the park’s a wetland known as Bigodi wetland sanctuary which’s home to 138 bird species, these can be spotted when having a guided swamp walk.

Chimpanzee Habituating:

This is close to Chimpanzee tracking the only difference’s that during habituation visitors can spend time around these creatures the whole day. And a visitor has to pay for it in that it gives visitors more time to spend with Chimpanzees between 5-8 hours during the day.

Nature Walking & Hiking:

This begins at Kanyanchu or Sebitoli and normally only 6 people are allowed for this activity. You will proceed through the forest and along the three villages of the forests which are known as Kikoni, Nyaibanda and Nyakalongo, where you can also have a stopover at these villages and interact with the local people.

 

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