Kibale Forest National Park

The 766 km2 Kibale National Forest Park sits in the south of Uganda and comprises a range of diverse ecosystems. The biggest of these is a tropical rain forest incorporating 229 different tree species. Others include grasslands and large swamps, found in the centre and northern sections of the park.

With such varied biodiversity, Kibale is home to an incredible range of around 70 mammal species of which 13 are primates. This includes the prime attraction in the area, the mischievous chimpanzee. Other endangered primates found in Kibale are the red colobus and the extremely rare L’Hoests’ monkey while the more common olive baboon and bush babies thrive here.

Of course, primates are not the only animal attraction here. Expect to see elephants – over 500 live in the park – various buck species, warthogs, buffalo, reptiles, frogs as well as over 250 different butterfly species. The park is also home to a formidable predator – the leopard. For birders, Kibale is a real treat. Close to 375 birds species call it home with the crowned eagle, blue-breasted kingfisher, purple breasted sunbird and the African grey parrot amongst its most popular attractions.

Activity-wise, there is much to do. One of the first things to consider is chimp tracking on the Kanyanchu Primate Walk. Here you will not only see chimpanzees but a large variety of the other primates the park has to offer. Chimp tracking trails last for around three hours and are guided tours with experienced rangers. To learn about the Batooro, the indigenous people of the area, take a village walk to discover their culture and traditions. Finally, consider a night hike through the pitch black forest for a truly eerie experience. Many animals are nocturnal, and this presents you with the chance to see them with the help of some powerful torches.

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