Kibale Forest National Park – home of Primates

Access
Take the road from Fort Portal to Kamwenge, which commences near the bridge over the Mpanga River in Fort Portal and is well signposted. Turn left at the junction 12 km from Fort Portal and follow signpost for a further 24 km to Kanyanchu Tourist Centre.

Kibale forest act is the home of chimpanzees plus other primate species in Uganda. The park offers very affordable chimpanzee tracking. Groups (limited to 6 people) leave daily at 8:00 am and 3:00pm; the walks last about 3 hours. The park also protects a large block of rainforest that offers some excellent forest for bird watching. 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.

Kibale district is mainly dominated by the Batooro and Bakiga tribes who traditionally depend on the forest for food, fuel, building materials and medicines.

Some of the special Bird species found in the forest include:
Red-winged Francolin, Red-chested Flufftail, White-naped Pigeon, Green-brested Pitta, African Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Grey-winged Robin, 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 among others. Akeen observer may spot reptiles and amphibians as well as a colurful variety of 250 spcies of butterflies.

Other wildlife
Kibale Forest has guaranteed chimpanzee along side other primates like Guereza Colobus, Olive Baboon, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, L’Hoest’s Gentle ( Blue) and Red-tailed Monkeys. Luck visitors can also see forest Elephants, Bush Pig and Bufallos along the trails, whilst Bushbuck, Blue, Harvey’s and Peter’s Duickers are other shy inhabitants of the forest interior.
Other interesting mammals from the list of over 60 species include Ichneumon, Banded and Marsh Mongooses, Alexander’s Cusimanse, Swamp Otter, Ratel ( Honey Badger ) and African Palm Civet. Although Golden Cat, Serval, Lion, Leopard, Warthog, Giant Hog and Hippopotamus.

What to see in Bigodi swamp
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.

Accommodation
Visitors stay comfortable in Primate Lodge Kibale, Kanyanchu River Camp, Sebitoli Camping ground located in northern part of the park, Bigodi region in southern region of the park, Chimps’ Nest, kibale forest Camp, safari Forest Bigodi, Mantana tented camp, Nyinabulitwa Resort and safari Camp, Crater Valley Kibale- lake side Resort, Lake Nkuruba nature reserve among others.