Kibale forest National Park


Kibale forest national park

10 May , 2018  

Kibale forest national park

Kibale national park, an equatorial rain-forest best known for its healthy population of 500 chimpanzees in Kibale forest.

There are 12 other primate species, including baboon and red, black and white colobus monkey.

Other mammals in Kibale forest national park include buffalo, duiker, civet cat and the third largest population of elephant in Uganda. These are forest elephants, smaller and hairier than their Savannah counterparts. Kibale forest national park is an enchanting park full of lakes, grasslands, marshes and forests. It is 30kms south of Fort Portal at the northeastern end of the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda. Fort Portal itself is nothing more than an overgrown village, but is a pleasant enough place surrounded by tea plantations.

Roughly 335 bird species have been recorded in Kibale forest national park, including Prigogine’s ground thrush, the only bird that is endemic to Uganda, and four other species not recorded in any other national park: Nahan’s francolin, Cassin’s spinetail, blue-headed bee-eater and masked apalis. Otherwise, the checklist for Kibale includes a similar range of forest birds to Semuliki national park, with the exclusion of the 40-odd Semuliki ‘specials’ and the inclusion of a greater variety of water and grassland species.

Kibale forest national park covers 766 sq km of pristine tropical forest with tall trees – some over 50 meters – broad buttress roots, and dense undergrowth. The highlight in Kibale forest national park is to go chimpanzee tracking. There are five groups of chimpanzees that have been partially habituated to humans. Unlike the gorillas, they are less likely to be spotted. They are often high up in the trees or moving quickly away. On any such track, you have around a 60% chance of seeing them. Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest national park starts at the Kanyanchu Tourist Centre at the entrance to the park where you will meet the experienced guides and rangers – all with expert knowledge of Kibale’s flora and fauna.

Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest national park lasts 2-4 hours and is restricted to four groups of four people twice a day. If you are fortunate enough to find them keeping up with them can be quite a challenge once they decide to move on at high speed through the branches.


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