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There contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. This is home to a host of forest wildlife, most famously 13 species of primate including chimpanzee. Forest cover predominates in the northern and central parts of the park on the elevated Fort Portal plateau.

Kibale is highest at the park’s northern tip which stands 1590m above sea level. Northern Kibale is also the wettest area, receiving a mean annual rainfall of up to 1700mm, mostly during March-May and September-November. The climate is generally pleasant with a mean annual temperature range of 14-27oC. Temperatures are highest (and rainfall lower) in the south where the terrain drops down onto the hot rift valley floor and forest gives way to open grassland. The park covers 795km2, forms a contiguous block with Queen Elizabeth National Park, on an altitude of 1.100-1.590m above sea level. The vegetation is dominated by the tropical rain forest.

Are you a primate lover seeking to visit a destination that will satisfy your eyes and attain an unforgettable experience? Then visit Uganda’s Kibale National Park. This National Park is known as the “primate capital of the world” and is located in the South-western side of Uganda covering an area of 795 square kilometers. Kibale National Park is surrounded by four districts that is Kabarole, Kibale, Kasese and Kamwenge and was gazzeted as a forest reserve in 1932 and eventually into a National Park in 1993. This magnificent national Park contains one of the most beautiful and varied tracts of Tropical rain forests in Uganda. The Northern and central sections of this protected area are dominated by forest cover and patches of swamp and grasslands.

Kibale is a tourist’s place to be because it offers shelter to over 70 species of mammals with at least 13 species of Primates. There are also over 375 species of birds, 140 butterfly species and approximately 351 tree species that call this Park home.


The park habits 60 mammal species are present, including elephants, buffaloes, hippos, warthog, bush pigs, duikers. Kibale is well known for sighting primates, counting 13 species. Particularly, it hosts a large population of chimpanzees; also there are vervet, red-tailed, Hoest’s and blue monkeys, red Columbus, black and white Columbus, grey – cheeked mangabey, olive baboons. The bird list records 335 species, of which four are only found here (Nathan’s francolin, Cassin’s spine tail, blue-headed bee-eater and masked apalis). Furthermore, more than 250 species of tree have been recorded.

What to see and do in Kibale National Park

As earlier mentioned, there are 70 species of mammals including 13 species of primates. Kibale National Park is popular of the Chimpanzees because there are over 1500 individuals (representing over 30% of Uganda’s Chimpanzee population).other primate species tourists are likely to encounter include Olive Baboons, diurnal primates like Blue monkeys, Black and white Colobus monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, vervet monkeys, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, Red Colobus monkeys and Red-tailed monkeys among others. The nocturnal primates include Demidov’s dwarf and pottos among others. Also other mammals exist though are hardly seen in Kibale and they include Duikers, Bush pigs, Elephants, Leopards Bushbucks, Buffaloes, and Mongoose among others.

Also 351 species of birds including 6 species that are Albertine Rift Endemics. The species of birds found in Kibale National Park include Purple-breasted sunbird, Blue-headed sunbird, Green breasted pitta, Red-winged francolin, Blue-breasted kingfisher, Black-bee eater, Yellow rumped tinker bird, Chestnut-winged starling, Yellow spotted nicator, Grey-headed Olive back, little greenbul, White-bellied Crested Flycather, Red-chested flufftail, Masked and black-capped Apalis, Abyssinian ground thrush and Red-Faced woodland warbler among others.

With the existence of the mentioned attractions, several tourist activities exist for tourists to engage in and they include chimpanzee tracking (is the key activity that this Park is known for), the chimpanzee habituation experience dubbed at CHEX, visit to Bigodi wetland sanctuary where several Sitatungas, bird and primate species exist, birding and nature walks among others.

Accommodation in Kibale National Park

There are several accommodation facilities in and around Kibale National Park that satisfy the taste of preferences of tourists and they include Kibale Primate Lodge, Crater Safari Lodge (luxury), Papaya Lake Lodge (luxury), Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse, Kibale Forest camp (midrange), Kyaninga Lodge,  Kanyanchu River Camp, Chimp Nest (midrange), Mantana Luxury Tented Camp,  and Ndali Lodge (luxury) among others. Other accommodation facilities also exist as far as Bigodi, Sebitoli and Nkingo villages  or in Fortportal Town like Rwenzori View guesthouse (30kms from the Park, in Fortportal town), Mountains of the Moon Hotel, Nyinabulitwa Country Resort and Safari Camp (budget accommodation, 20kms from Fortportal town) and Rujuna Hilltop Guesthouse (18 kms from Kibale National Park).

How to Reach Kibale National Park

Kibale National park is about 360 kms/224 miles west of Kampala City and it is a 5-6 hours drive from Kampala to this Park. The road trip involves using two routes i.e. the north or the South route. However the northern route is preferred because it is shorter and involves driving on a tarmac for 328 kms from Kampala to Fortportal then followed by 32 km of a rough road to Kanyanchu. The Southern route cannot be neglected and involves going though Mbarara and Kamwenge. Tourists interested in using air transport can also access this park though scheduled domestic flights by Aerolink from Entebbe to Fortportal town.

In conclusion, due to the fact that Kibale National Park homes about 13 different species of primates including 1500 chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, Olive baboons and Black and White Colobus monkeys others, it is often referred as the primate capital of the world and the perfect place for primate lovers.