Welcome to Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda – Uganda Chimpanzee Trekking Tours, Nature Walks, Visit Crater Lakes in Kabarole, Agro – Tourism in Uganda.
Kibale Forest National Park is a national park in southern Uganda, protecting moist evergreen rain forest. It is 766 square kilometres in size and is located between 1,100 metres to 1,600 metres in elevation.
Despite encompassing primarily moist evergreen forest, it contains a diverse array of landscapes. Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. In eastern Africa, it sustains the last significant expanse of pre – montane forest.
Kibale Forest National Park (KFNP) is one of the most visited ten national parks in Uganda under the under the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority.
The park was gazetted in 1932 and formally established in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logged forest reserve.
Kibale Forest National Park commonly known as “The home of chimps and primate capital of the world” and the park headquarter lies in Western Uganda, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo and Kasese districts 26km Southeast of Fort Portal Town, among gently undulating lush green hills of cultivation.
To the west the legendary Mountains of the moon erupt in snow-capped splendor, whilst the grasslands and the Lakes of Queen Elizabeth National Park stretch to the south.
This adjoining of the parks creates 180 kilometres (110 mi) wildlife corridor. It is an important eco – tourism and safari destination, popular for its population of habituated chimpanzees and twelve other species of primates. It is also the location of the Makerere University Biological Field Station.
The park covers 795km2, forms a contiguous block with Queen Elizabeth National Park, on an altitude of 1.100-1.590m above sea level. The vegetation is dominated by the tropical rain forest.
Northern Kibale is also the wettest area, receiving a mean annual rain fall of up to 1700mm, mostly during March – May and September – November.
The climate is generally pleasant with a mean annual temperature range of 14-27oC. Temperatures are highest (and rainfall lower) in the south where the terrain drops down onto the hot rift valley floor and forest gives way to open grassland.
Kibale Forest National Park harbours over 350 plant species, 71 mammal species, 13 primates and 372 bird species of the 1042 total birds in Uganda.
Kibale Forest National Park has one of the highest diversities and concentration of primates in Africa. It is home to a large number of endangered chimpanzees, as well as the red colobus monkey (status: Endangered) and the rare L’Hoest’s monkey (Vulnerable).
Forest cover predominates in the northern and central parts of the park on the elevated Fort Portal plateau. Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. In eastern Africa, it sustains the last significant expanse of pre – montane forest.
Kibale is highest at the park’s northern tip which stands 1590m above sea level. The park is a rich tapestry: mature forest towering with giant trees; younger forest exploding in a profusion of new growth; and grasslands affording bird’s eye views over the forest and Rift Valley.
Graceful palms sway along meandering streams to swamps which invite wallowing by the elephants who silently weave their way between giant strangler figs and broad buttresses. In the deep darkness of the forest floor, beetles roll their balls of dung and golden mushrooms push their way through the carpet of soft decay.
High in the forest canopy, chattering monkeys spring from branch to branch in search of insects and far above a crowned eagle circles his territory of forest, grassland and lake, waiting for a meal. Wherever you look, a rich diversity of plant and animals are busy playing their role in maintaining the delicate balance of this tropical park.
Due to its location between the wet rains forest of Congo basin and the drier West African forest, Kibale supporters an unusually rich array of tropical plants and animals from both areas, most famously 13 species of primate.
One of the greatest concentrations of monkeys and apes in the world and the highest in the Uganda is found here, including the endangered chimpanzee and a rare subspecies of the Red Colobus monkey.
The park habits 71 mammal species are present, Uganda’s largest population of forest elephants find refuge here, along with buffaloes, other large mammals and over one third of Uganda s bird species.
By comparison to the open savannah environment of the south, the dense forest makes it a challenge to spot these shy creatures, but the resulting close encounters can be magical.