Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale forest National park is part of the 12 national parks found in Uganda and its known as the primate capital of the world. It hosts over 13 species of primates which makes it so famous because of its primate tourism activities including chimp tracking and chimp habituation experience. It covers a total surface area of 795 km2 and is found on the floor of the Albertine rift valley to the south. Kibale national park also hosts over 70 mammals and over 375 bird species which also makes it a good place for birding.

The vegetation cover in Kibale Forest national park is composed of rain forests on the plateau and savanna woodland on the rift valley floor. There are over 352 recorded tree species some of which some rise to over 55m and over 200 years old. The park is easily accessed from Kampala through Kampala-Fort portal road with estimated distance of 320km.It’s also a connecting park from Murchison falls national park to Queen Elizabeth national park, and then to Bwindi impenetrable national park.

Kibale national park is located between Kabalore and Kamwengye, gazatted as forest reserve in 1932 and finally established in 1993 as a national park.

The eco system of Kibale National Park is composed of ever green forest species which stretch to Queen Elizabeth national park to the south, to create 180km long stretch between Ishasha and Sebitoli in North, woodlands, tropical forest, savannah grassland that are easily found in the rift valley floor.

Kibale forest National Park is surrounded by a very beautiful scenery especially with the many crater lakes that give an opportunity to tourists to hike to the top of the world, do a crater drive or hike and view the beautiful 3 craters in one area, and the famous Amabere ga Nyinamwire and Kyeganywa hill.

Kibale national park also provides an opportunity to cross to Toro-Semuliki wildlife reserve and Semuliki national park which is about than 50km distance for other tourism products. The Toro Kingdom palace and the tea plantations on your way to kibale national park also provides more opportunities for community-based tourism.

Tourism Activities in Kibale national park include;

Chimpanzee trekking: chimpanzee tracking makes Kibale national park very famous. Chimp trekking is always on every tourist’s itinerary that comes to Uganda. Kibale national park is a home to over 13 species of primates with Chimpanzees being the dominant.

Chimp tracking is done twice a day both in the morning starting at 8:00 AM and in the afternoon starting at 2:00PM. It’s done in groups with regulated numbers for conservation benefits. It starts from Kanyanchu Visitor Information Office with briefing by the Ranger guides to prepare you on the experience on the dos and don’ts before and during tracking.

Chimp trekking is a half day activity lasting between 3 to 5 hours depending on the movement of the chimpanzees. On finding the chimpanzees, the clients have to spend only1 hour with them while studying their behavior and taking pictures in close range.

During this activity, clients will also have an opportunity to see other primates including baboons, velvet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, among others.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience; Chimp habituation is a whole day activity that starts at 6:00AM with briefing from Kanyanchu Visitor Information Centre.

The researchers will guide you into the forest to explore the behaviors and ways of living of chimpanzees, including nesting, mating, feeding among others. During chimp habituation experience, the client will have an opportunity to see other primate species including baboons, velvet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, among others.

The client is likely to also sight other animals like forest elephants, buffaloes, bush pigs, warthogs, reptiles as well as a colorful butterfly. The chimp habituation group is always still under research, and thus not yet used to people.

As such, the group members are a bit shy, not very friendly, and are used of over moving every time which implies that the experience will involve a lot of movements in a way of following the chimpanzees. when the group gets fully used, then its declared ready for tracking.

Birding; Kibale national park is a good place for birders because it hosts over 375 species. Some of the different bird species including; African pitta, green breasted pitta, afep pigeon, white –naked pigeon, crowned Eagle, Red chested Owlet, Black Bee-eater, Blue headed sunbird, yellow spotted Nicator, black-eared ground thrush and the Abyssinian ground-thrush.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary Walk; This is a community activity around Kibale national park. The wetland is rich in biodiversity and beautiful scenery; the sanctuary is a birder’s paradise with over 138 species.

Located outside the park in Magombe Swamp, it also hosts other species of primates including the black-and-white colobus, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed, l’Hoest’s and blue monkeys, and olive baboons.

Bushbucks and mongooses can also be found here. Managed by local community, the sanctuary was set up to preserve the exclusive environmental features along with the wetland.

Cultural Experience; Kibale national park is found near Toro kingdom palace, which is a few meters from Fort portal. you can visit the palace and learn the rich beautiful cultural history of the Batoro.You can also visit the famous (Amabere Ga nyinamwiru) with a rich cultural history.

The father to Nyinamwiru never wanted his daughter to get married and more especially to that man. When the daughter did it, he cut her breasts in anger and as a punishment. since then the breasts are ever mourning by leaking breast milk. Community guides will lead you to this visit ad will equip you with their rich history,

Distances to Kibale National park.

  • Kampala-Fort Portal-Kibale=320km
  • Murchison Falls-Hoima-Fort Portal-Kibale=350km
  • Kampala-Mbarara-Kasese-Fort Portal-Kibale=450km.
  • Kampala-Lake Mburo-Ibanda-Kamwenge-Kibale=420km

Some of the Accommodation around Kibale National park include;

  • Primate Lodge
  • Crater safari lodge
  • Kyaninga lodge
  • Endali lodge
  • Chimp nest
  • Chimpanzee Forest Camp
  • Kibale Safari lodge
  • Kanyanchu River Camp

These provide budget, mid-range and luxury options to suit the interests of all travelers.



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