​Overview – Kibale NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Uganda.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Uganda.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Uganda.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Uganda.

Kibale National Park (formerly Kibale Forest NP) is the best place for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. Thirteen species of primates have been recorded, which is the highest number for any Ugandan park, and several monkey species can usually be seen on forest walks. Birds and butterflies are abundant.

Best Time To Go December to February and June to July
High Season June to September (Peak time for Uganda)
Size 795km² / 307mi²
Altitude 928-1,568m / 3,045-5,144ft

Pros & Cons

  • Very reliable chimpanzee trekking
  • Chimp habituation experience and night walks also available
  • Relatively pristine forest
  • Excellent birding in the forest and wetland
  • Nature walks and village visits offered in the neighboring Bigodi Community
  • Chimp trekking is busy during peak seasons

Kibale NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Kibale is one of the best places in Africa to view many primate species. Visitors can expect to see five or six species in addition to chimpanzee. Species active during the day include vervet, red-tailed, L'Hoest's and blue monkey, black-and-white colobus, olive baboon, Ugandan red colobus and Uganda mangabey. Other mammals including lion, elephant and buffalo are present, but rarely seen.

Scenery

Kibale supports a range of habitats over different altitude zones. The tropical forest on the Fort Portal plateau changes to savannah in the Albertine Valley floor in the south. The forest has suffered less from logging in the past compared to some other forests in the country and is therefore still relatively pristine and home to some very big mahoganies, figs and other hardwoods.

Weather & Climate

Kibale’s proximity to the equator gives it a temperate climate year-round, with a daily maximum of nearly 27°C/81°F. Temperatures are generally higher in the south of the park, where the altitude drops and the vegetation thins out. There’s no real Dry season to speak of, but the park does have two Wet seasons (March to May and August to November).

Best Time To Visit

The drier months of December to February and June to July are best for chimpanzee trekking. However, you can still go looking for the primates in the wetter months (March to May and August to November), which have the added attraction of low-season prices and lower tourist volumes. The East African sky is also less hazy outside the drier periods.

Want To Visit Kibale NP?

586 Kibale Chimp Tours

Kibale NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Stuart Butler  –  
United Kingdom UK

Stuart is a travel writer and author of numerous Lonely Planet guidebooks, including 'Kenya', 'Rwanda' and 'Tanzania'.

The World's Best Chimpanzee Encounter?
4/5

Although chimpanzees can be found in quite a number of parks and reserves in eastern Africa the four big ‘chimp parks’ are Tanzania’s Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains, Rwanda’s Nyungwe and Uganda’s Kibale. I have been lucky...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Malena  –  
Spain ES
Reviewed: Mar 8, 2024
Disrespectful persecution of the chimpanzee to get a picture
1/5

I was in the Park a few days ago and surprisingly, it was one of the worst experiences I have ever had. More than 50 people (usually there are about 80), chasing and harassing an animal to get a photo with it. The security policy, the...

Full Review