Overview – Kibale NP
Kibale National Park (formerly Kibale Forest NP) is the best place for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. There are 13 species of primates that have been recorded in the park, which is the highest number in Uganda. Aside from chimpanzee, several species can usually be found on the primate walks. Birds and butterflies are abundant.
Pros and Cons
- Very reliable chimpanzee trekking
- Chimp habituation experience and night walks also available
- Relatively pristine forest
- Excellent birding in the forest and wetland with knowledgeable guides
- Guided nature walks and village activities offered in the neighboring Bigodi Community
- Relatively high fees
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 and blue monkey, black-and-white colobus, olive baboon, red colobus and grey-cheeked mangabey. Other mammals including lion, elephant and buffalo are present but rarely seen.
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 pritine 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 dual 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. The East African sky is also less hazy outside the drier periods.
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Stuart is a travel writer and author of numerous Lonely Planet guidebooks, including Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
The Worlds Best Chimpanzee Encounter?
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 Forest and Uganda’s Kibale Forest. I have...
Latest User Review
Fantastic chimp trek, very well organized