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Kibale National Park

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About Kibale National Park
The Primate Capital Of The World

Kibale forest national park is the most accessible of Uganda’s rainforests. It covers an area of 766 km2 of which the dominant vegetation is lush and shady rainforest, interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp. This enchanting and exotic environment is home to at least 60 mammal species, remarkably 13 of which are primates. It has a rich diversity of birds with 335 species identified.

Kibale forest national park is home to 13 primate species and a guided forest walk can be taken in search of one of the most popular primate species in the world – the chimpanzee. There are 9 diurnal primates, these include vervet, red-tailed, L’Hoest’s, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red colobus, black and white colobus, olive baboon, and of course the chimps. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds are good with the chance of encountering them at about 90%.

Attractions

BIGODI SWAMP WALK

The Bigodi wetland sanctuary is a small but impressive wetland project that protects the Magombe swamp and is an important contribution to Ugandan conservation. It is run by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED) and all the funds received are used to support the local community projects in the Bigodi area. The trail offers one of the best-guided bird trails in Uganda and gives walkers the attractive prospect of seeing various primate species in just a few hours. The swamps are a haven for a huge number of bird and butterfly species and visitors can also expect to see at least 2 or 3 primate species.

CHIMPANZEE TRACKING

Whilst touring in the depths of the green forest you will be girdled by the chattering of the birds which anticipates seeing at least 5 or 6 other types of primates. The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain.

For the chimp trackers and researchers, this is the best experience which involves staying with the chimps from sun up to sun down and provides the occasion to connect with the group and learn about the diurnal behaviors and different characteristics of the chimpanzees.

Drive to National Park Headquarters to meet your ranger guides for the day and begin your chimpanzee experience. Follow your ranger guides together with other trackers on an early morning trek into the forest to view wild chimpanzees as well as several other species of primates in their natural niche.

You’ll witness the chimpanzees within a few meters of these entertaining and veritably social hams, participating in their daily lives and passing through their day-to-day conditioning. Chimpanzees, our closest relatives are extremely risked with only an estimated 5000 remaining in Uganda.

CULTURAL WALK AND TINKA'S LUNCH

There is a cultural walk that includes visiting Tinka’s homestead. Tinka, is the community leader in Bigodi distract and he welcomes you into his home to enjoy a traditional Ugandan meal. Not only will you be able to try the Ugandan diet but Tinka will also describe each dish and give you background information on the farming, harvesting, cooking methods, and eating of their traditional foods.

CHIMPANZEE HABITUATION

After early morning breakfast, depart with a picnic lunch to the Uganda wildlife authority headquarters for your briefing before you proceed for your day’s excursion. You will be joining your team for a great chimpanzee habituation experience in the accompaniment of the ranger guide.

Chimpanzee habituation grants you an opportunity to participate in the daily lives of man’s close cousins alongside the ranger guides as they research and collect data based on the diurnal activities like chimpanzee mating, nursing their babies, playing as they swing from one tree to the other, observe their defense mechanisms, the sound language used definitely the rangers can interpret the sounds and also how they feed and what they feed on –it is a fact that chimpanzees love chewing leaves and also like feeding on young antelopes and goats as compared to the gorillas who are completely vegans.

Towards the end of the day observe the chimpanzees stroll back to their nests and some constructing new ones for the night.

Kibale is home to other mammals, insects, and bird species like the black and white colobus monkeys, and baboons that you will be able to sight during your trek in the lush vegetation of the forest.

Chimps are wild animals that move from one place to the other, so it is hard to predict their location this calls for a walk that lasts for about 1 – 5 hours which makes the trek a bit strenuous and a little bit of fitness is an added advantage, don’t forget to wear long-sleeved clothes and hiking boots, a walking stick is also important. Porters are always available in case you need their assistance but you will need to request for one at the park headquarters.

BIRDING

Kibale National Park is home to over 335 bird species which makes it one of the best birding places in Uganda. The birding adventure in Kibale National Park can be enjoyed on foot since it’s through a thick forest canopy with no car trails. Kibale Forest has a large lush of green vegetation and a tree canopy that habitat the bird population, the birds are easily sighted, and the commonest to see are the African Pitta, Yellow-spotted Nicator, the Green Breasted Pitta, and Great blue Turaco among others.

Please carry along binoculars, a field guidebook to tick whatever bird you have seen, water, insect repellant among others.

NATURE WALKS

Embark on a short guided walk through the shrubs and tree species in Kibale national park, a perfect way to experience and explore the ecosystem on foot. Kibale forest is one of the best birding sites in Uganda with so many nests visible in the trees. The 3- 4 hours walk offers sightings and sounds of the forest and encounters the native wildlife like the animal and plant species in the park.

You could need a walking stick to spread the shrub to create a clear path as you hike.

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