​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?

509 Kibale Chimp Tours

Kibale NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award-winning wildlife writer, former editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

Primate Central
4/5

Kibale National Park has made its name from one species: the chimpanzee. The long-term habituation of several troops in the park allows excellent close encounters with this fascinating and sometimes volatile primate – our closest...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Rui Silva  –  
Portugal PT
Reviewed: Jun 30, 2024
4/5

The chimps are really great. The forest is not at the same level of Bwindi, but it’s really good. I would like to see snakes in there, but it was not possible.

Full Review