Kibale Forest National Park

Chimp in Kibale

Travel to Kibale Forest National Park – Primates & Chimps

Located just 20 km east of Fort Portal town in western Uganda, Kibale Forest National Park is home to a variety of primates and families of habituated chimpanzees, providing one of the highest primate densities in the world. Here on a daytime or evening guided forest walk, you may find chimps and red colobus monkeys chattering and swinging through the ancient forest trees.

Also adjacent to the northern end of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the park covers some 795 sq. km and is the third largest forested national park in Uganda, supporting at least 60 different mammal species. Kibale Forest National Park is home to the largest hardwood forest in sub-Saharan Africa. The north and southeast parts of the park are primarily tropical forest with more than 350 tree species recorded (28% of the country’s total), while the southwest section of the park is a mix of grassland and wetland with interesting fern and other plant life

Of the twenty or so forests in Africa inhabited by chimpanzees, ten of these are in Uganda and Kibale Forest National Park is one of the five parks that currently have chimpanzee habituation projects operating.

The Jane Goodall Foundation originally began habituation projects in Kibale. Today guided forest walks are available daily and visitors may be able to participate in the habituation of chimpanzees during overnight de-nesting activities or as part of a week-long chimp habituation experience.

As well as chimpanzees there are 12 other primate species, including red and black-and-white colobus monkeys, I’Hoest’s monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, vervet and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, olive baboons, and four species of nocturnal primates (pottos and bush babies).

Kibale Forest National Park is also home to the largest concentration of forest elephants in Uganda, although they live deep in the forest along with buffaloes and giant forest hogs and are seldom seen. More commonly encountered mammals include bushbucks, duikers and montane sun squirrels and giant forest squirrels.

The birdlife is prolific, with approximately 400 different species recorded in the area, four of which are endemic to this park. Highlights include the crested guinea fowl, great blue turraco, grey parrot, green-breasted and African pitas, African crowned eagles and black bee-eaters. Butterflies are also in abundance with some 45 species recorded.

Chimp tracking is the reason most travellers head for Kibale Forest. At night sit and listen to the remarkable sounds of the African jungle

Kibale is approx. 360 km from Kampala (4-5 hrs driving time). Access in the Park is by foot.

  • The chimpanzee community in Kibale is over 1,400 – the largest of its type in the world
  • Home to the largest concentration of forest elephants in Uganda
  • Prolific birdlife with approximately 400 different species recorded in the area

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