Kibale Forest National Park is nestled in western Uganda, Fort Portal City. The Park is most popular for inhabiting the common chimpanzees. Kibale covers a total area of 795 square kilometers of mostly moist evergreen tropical forests. The Park is a home to a number of forest wildlife, most especially 13 primate species including chimpanzees. Meanwhile, below are some of the major reasons as to why you should go chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park:
The major draw-card of Kibale is the common chimpanzee that the Park protects in large quantity. Kibale constitutes of over 1,500 chimpanzees, more than any other destination in Africa. This makes Kibale the most appropriate destination for chimpanzee safaris. Due to the large quantity of chimpanzees in Kibale, tourists in this Park are guaranteed a memorable opportunity of watching chimpanzees performing their daily natural activities and behaviors.
Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitats (chimpanzee tracking) is a very enjoyable and memorable experience especially in the rain tropical forests of Kibale in western Uganda. Chimpanzee tracking expeditions are always led by professional park rangers who help you to allocate the chimpanzees easier and quicker.
Chimpanzee tracking is conducted in groups of 6 members per tracking group. All individuals preparing to go for the chimpanzee treks must be at least 12 years of age. This is because the activity is arduous and will require strenuous effort which young kids can’t afford. The activity is basically for courageous and determined individuals. If you are ill or very old, you are not emphasized to take part in this activity because it won’t at any time be fun for you besides the activity being filled with fun. Chimp trekking activity begins very early in the morning after reporting to the park ranger guide to receive short briefing about the dos and don’ts while with the chimps. After you will head deep into the forest to begin the search of our closest relatives the chimps. The search can go from 1-6 hours depending on where they last spent their night from and ounce they are met, you are strictly allowed only one hour with them taking photos and videos with them. You are not allowed to use flash cameras as they may scare away these animals.
Kibale Forest National Park is a primate enthusiast’s paradise! The Park comprises of a great number of 13 primate species – it inhabits many primate species more than any other destination in Africa. Besides the chimpanzees, the Park’s other 12 primates include the Olive baboons, blue monkeys, Uganda Mangabeys, red tailed monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, red Colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and black and white Colobus monkeys. The remaining four primate species are nocturnal and these are; Potos, Thomas’s Galagos, Demidoff’s Galagos, and Eastern/Elegant needle clawed galagos.
If you’re a primate lover then tracking chimpanzees in Kibale will grant you a great chance to spot so many other primate species, mentioned above.
Doing your chimpanzee tracking safari in Kibale grants you a golden opportunity to wallow in the extraordinary activity of chimpanzee habituation. Chimpanzee habituation is the process of training wild chimpanzees get used (accustomed) to human presence. In this memorable experience, you accompany researchers, who habituate the wild chimpanzees, in the jungle where you will get great knowledge about chimpanzees. In this activity you spend an entire day with the wild chimpanzees watching the procedures they go through in making the wild chimpanzees used to human presence and ready for the chimpanzee tracking activity.
The Bigodi Wetland near Kibale Forest National Park is one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. With over 372 bird species, the Park is evidently a perfect destination for birders. That aside, the Park also harbors so many other wildlife species like hippos, buffaloes, elephants, and duikers – though most of them are elusive. Some bird species include the Yellow-billed Barbet, Black -Crowned Waxbill, Black bishop, brown throated wattle-eye, white-spotted Flufftail, Bocage’s Bush -Shrike, Brown -backed Srub -robin, Western Nicator, Yellow -Spotted Barbet, Superb sunbird, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Grey-winged Robin-chat, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, White-breasted Negrofinch and so many others.
Any trip to Kibale forest national park can be extended to other national parks in Uganda like Queen Elizabeth national park for wildlife viewing, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park for gorilla trekking safari and gorilla habituation experience