Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park is set suitably in western Uganda about 5-6 hours’ drive from Kampala. It covers an area of about 795 square kilometer comprising of rainforest, savanna grassland and swamps. Kibale National Park was gazetted in 1993 and its establishment was mainly to inhabit its unique and diverse natural wonders.

13 distinct primate species thrive within the lush rainforest of Kibale National Park including chimpanzees that make up a total of about 1500, pottos, bush babies, olive baboons, grey cheeked mangabeys, L’Hoest monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys a mention but a few.

Other mammal species that are inhabited in Kibale Forest include buffaloes, forest elephants, bush pigs and about 350 bird species including the African green breasted pitta the most sought after bird in Kibale National Park, bee-eaters, black eared ground thrush, little greenbuls, yellow romped tinker bird, red faced woodland warbler and many others. About 14 snake species, 27 frog species, 20 reptiles, 200 butterfly species are also inhabited within the stunning rainforest of Kibale Forest National Park.

Activities to do Kibale Forest National Park

Chimpanzee tracking

Kibale Forest National Park is popular for chimpanzee tracking given its huge concentration of habituated chimpanzees. About 1500 chimpanzees are confined within Kibale Forest making it the best destination for chimpanzee tracking. Visitors start chimpanzee treks in Kibale National Park at Kanyanchu visitor center with briefing on the set safety measures for chimpanzee tracking.

On actual trek, you will be put in a group of 6 visitors and allocated to 1 park ranger guide. This primate adventure may last you about 2-4 hours and this also covers 1 hour of magical encounter, photography, and opportunity to explore their behaviors, body gestures and others. You also have a chance to see other primates including the grey cheeked mangabeys, L’Hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys as well as varied birds.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

Chimpanzee habituation experience (CHEX) is amazingly that one thrilling primate experience that is worth taking part while on holiday in Kibale National Park. With chimpanzee habituation experience, you have the entire day with chimpanzees, observing their daily behaviors, identifying them. Habituation exercise is one way to make chimpanzees get used human presence before they are opened for visitors to trek.

Nature walks

Get the best of what Kibale Forest National Park has to offer only by embarking on a nature walk.  With nature walks, you have a chance to explore different habitats in this park including its pristine forest, grassland and other sites with variety of primate species, bird species, tree species and plants.


Over 350 birds are inhabited within the rainforest of Kibale National Park making it one of a few significant birding sites Uganda has to offer. A birding tour in Kibale Forest allows you to spot out bird species such as the western green ticker bird, African grey parrot and endemic ground thrush, black bee-eater, white winged warbler, white collared Olive back, papyrus canary, papyrus Gonolek, yellow spotted nicator, yellow romped tinker bird, Abyssinian ground thrush, crowned eagle, brown chested alethe, purple breasted sunbird, red faced woodland warbler, black capped apalis, blue headed sunbird.

Accommodation options in Kibale Forest National Park

There are many accommodation options for visitor overnight stay while on safari in Kibale Forest National Park. They include primate lodge, Kyaninga lodge, Ndali lodge, Kibale Guest Cottages, Chimps Nest, Kibale Safari Lodge and others.

Best time to visit Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park is an all year round safari destination. Depending on what your travel needs are, Kibale National Park is best visited during the dry season which occurs in the months of June-September and December-February.

This period comes with low rainfall and the habitat remains relatively drier thus making it a bit easier for visitors to trek to see chimpanzees. The wet/rainy season is ideal for you to visit Kibale National Park and this normally starts from the months of March, April, May and October, November. But the wet season is characterized by heavy rainfall and the ground tends to be muddy.

Getting to Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park is accessible either road or air. By road, you spend about 5-6 hours to drive to Kibale National Park and your journey begins from Kampala via Mubende-Fort Portal route. Or from Kampala-Mbarara-Kamwenge route to Kibale National Park. By air, flights start from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield and you land into Nyakisharara airstrip in Mbarara or Kasese airstrip then you drive to Kibale Forest National Park.