Kibale forest National park covers an area of about 795km and it’s acknowledged to have one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical rain forest with a multiplicity of animals located in western Uganda slightly off the equator. Kibale national park is commonly known as the primates’ capital of east Africa with thirteen different primates and more than 1,450 chimpanzee protected within this tropical rain forest of Kibale national park. The chimpanzees have been habituated for over 26 years giving you a chance to see the great apes in their natural environment while on a Uganda primates & wildlife safari. Children below 15 years are prohibited from trekking the chimpanzees in Kibale national park but they can rather trek chimpanzee at Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary while on our one day Ngamba island chimpanzee trekking safari tour off Lake Victoria in Entebbe; there is a raised platform at the sanctuary where visitors can view the chimps as they come from the forest for their midday snacks.

Kibale forest national park’ varied altitude supports different habitats; woodland, Savannah, wet tropical forest and semi-deciduous dry tropical forest which gives the park opportunity to host different wildlife that reside in the different habitats.

The forest occupies the northern as well as the central part of the park. Kibale in the northern part has a peak of about 1590m above sea level. The northern part is also well known as the wettest area with an annual rainfall of about 1700mm.The rainy months include March-May as well as September-November. It has an average temperature of about 14-27oc and temperatures are high in the south because of the landscape falls into the scorching rift valley floor; there you can book your best of Uganda ultimate chimpanzee trekking safaris tour and Uganda wildlife safari throughout the year

The southern part of Kibale national park connects to the heart of Queen Elizabeth National park. These two national parks are acknowledged to have an area of about 180km relocation corridor for wildlife to watch out while on the Uganda wildlife safaris. This tends to extend from Ishasha to the distant southern part of Queen Elizabeth National park along with the Sebitoli forest located in the northern part of Kibale national park one of Uganda’s most gratifying national parks to discover a lot of attraction is Kibale national park. Kibale national park is located near to the peaceful Ndali-Kasenda crater and it’s a 30 minutes’ drive to Queen Elizabeth national park, Semuliki National park, Toro Semuliki wildlife Reserve along with Rwenzori mountains national park.


Kibale’s varied altitude holds up different varieties of habitat, ranging from moist evergreen forest (wet tropical forest) along the Fort Portal plateau, then through the dry tropical forest (moist semi deciduous), and then to the woodland & savanna along the rift valley floor.

In the central part of Kibale national park around Kanyanchu, the high forest consists of a mixture of evergreen trees and deciduous with the evergreen species being dominant. Vegetation rise to over 55m and establish a semi closed canopy of massive stratified tree crowns. With shade tolerant herbs, a variety of ferns, shrubs and broad leaved forest grasses, the undergrowth is sparse. 351 tree species have been registered in the national park which favors the existence of lots of wildlife that you will enjoy while on the Uganda primates and Uganda wildlife safari tour

Animals in Kibale national park

There are 60 estimated animal species to look out for when you visit Kibale forest national park and these are; leopards, Duikers, Forest Elephants, Forest Buffaloes, Golden cats, Warthogs, and Bush Pigs. These animals found in Kibale national park are generally shy and more aggressive because of the living conditions and not being used to seeing a lot of people so we caution you to be careful when you encounter these animals while on the chimpanzee trekking safari tour in Kibale national park while on your Uganda wildlife safaris. However, it not a guarantee that you will see these animals like elephants, buffalos, or bush pigs when you visit Kibale national park but you will be able to see only their footprints because they tend to move away when they detect activity of people in the forest

Kibale forest national park hosts 13 primate species that include bush babies, L’Hoest’s monkey, red colobus monkey, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, blue monkey, Vervet monkeys and Potto. But the major tourist attraction in Kibale national park is searching for the chimpanzees and the main activities why people visit Kibale national park are the breathtaking Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari tour and chimpanzee habituation in the national park  

Birds in Kibale National Park

Kibale forest national park is a prime birding spot for Uganda and is home to over 375 bird species including six endemic birds to the Albertine Rift area. Kibale national park is an excellent Uganda birding spot because of its varied habitat and dense vegetation that give birds a safe haven and plenty of food for Uganda birds to feed on. Uganda Birding safari tours usually happens early in the morning and late evenings for the nocturnal birds.

Among the birds to look out for when you visit Kibale national park for the Uganda birding safari tour are the green breasted Pitta. Other bird species to look out for when on the Uganda birding safari tour include; Red-chested owlet, Purple breasted sunbird, African Grey Parrot, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Crowned Eagle, little Greenbul, Black Bee eater, White-naped pigeon, and Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Western bronze-napped Pigeon, Nahan’s Francolin, Yellow-throated Nicator, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Red Headed malimbe, Yellow-spotted barbet, Dusky-blue Flycatcher etc.

Amphibians and Butterflies in Kibale National Park

Are you a fun of butterflies? Kibale national park is the answer because it is home to over 250 species of butterflies, several reptiles, and amphibians. You will spot these different colourful species butterflies and different amphibians if you are keen enough while on your exclusive Uganda primates and chimpanzee trekking safari tour in Kibale national park.


1. Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale forest National Park

About Chimpanzees in Kibale forest national park

The average weight of an adult well grown male chimpanzee is between 35 and 70 kilograms, with a height of approximately 3 meters whereas an adult female chimpanzee weighs between 26 and 50 kilograms and a height between 2 and 4 feet. A chimpanzee’s life expectancy is at 40 years whereas that for those living in captivity can extend up to 60 years. In Uganda today, Efforts to actually conserve the chimpanzees are extensively acknowledged and well supported.  Actually The Jane Good all Foundation has played a major role in the overall conservation of not only these Chimpanzees but the Gorillas as well found in Uganda.

Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans sharing about 98% of their DNA composition with humans.  They are Sociable, intelligent as well as communicative and among their very fascinating traits are the ability to utilize tools like rocks for crushing nuts, empty pods for hollowing out water plus sticks for capturing termites from their holes. These skills are for long been passed on from generation to another and researchers say that different troops have specialist tasks, basing on their habitat as well as diet. Chimps stay in groups of 10 – 100 members. They can babysit each other’s young, kiss, groom one another and even hold hands. The young chimps become independent at the age of 4 years. Nonetheless, chimps can be aggressive and unsociable, mainly if disturbed. Although they spend some time on ground, they normally feed and do make their sleeping nests up in the trees.

Chimpanzees are the prime attraction for many visiting tourists in Kibale national park. Chimpanzee trekking has been happening in Kibale forest national park since 1993. Chimpanzee trekking is done twice a day in Kibale national park i.e. starts early morning at 8am and afternoon at 2pm from Kanyanchu visitors centre, therefore you have an opportunity to choose which time is conducive for you to do chimpanzee trekking tour in Kibale forest national park but the morning hours highly recommended because you are guaranteed to see other primates like black & white Colobus, red tailed monkey or the grey cheeked mangabey and birds while on the Uganda primates and chimpanzees trekking safaris tour in Uganda. You will meet for briefing from the ranger guide before the trek starts to hear and learn about the expectations while in the forest and about other wildlife in the national park. Trackers go before you and search for where the chimpanzees nested the previous night and where they are located now, they then relay this information to your ranger guide to lead you towards their location – remember the Chimpanzees keep moving so they give the rangers information on the go. You need to be ready to walk long distances and carry along rain poncho because in a tropical forest it can rain anytime. Other items include long sleeved shirt and pants, comfortable waterproof boots, binoculars, camera, insect repellant. Kibale national park management only allows 6people per group to track the chimpanzees and we advise you to book the chimpanzee trekking permits from the Uganda wildlife authority in advance especially during Peak Sea of the year or you can book the permits through Nungi safaris Uganda when booking for the Uganda wildlife safari tour and Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris tour

2. Chimpanzee Habituation Experience in Kibale National Park

Chimpanzees in Kibale national park are habituated over a period of 2 years before they get used to humans and then chimpanzee trekking can begin after. Chimpanzee habituation is a lifetime experience that allows you accompany Kibale national park rangers & research staff to habituate at chimpanzees during their daily activities, thereby getting used to human presence without changing their nature state. During your tour, expect coming across the chimps de-nesting (in their nocturnal nests) between 05:30 to 06:30 before them throughout the day till they make new nests, feeding, hunting, copulating, breastfeeding, patrolling and the night around 19.00 and when the process is repeated overtime, chimpanzees get used to humans and that family can be included to the list for tourists to track. The Habituation Experience by tourist for low season months of March, April, May and November


Rules and regulation of Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park

  • A distance of just about 8m is very important between you and the chimpanzees.
  • People with diseases such as flue or diarrhea may not allow in the park.
  • Avoid eating near the chimps.
  • Children below the age of 15 are prohibited from entering the Kibale national park for the chimpanzee trekking experience.
  • Guide is the only one to help get access to the forest.
  • Chimps need freedom therefore no provoking them once you enter the national park.
  • Flash photography is not allowed in Kibale national park. 

What to carry along when coming for Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari tour in Kibale national park

  • Wear shoes that have a good grip, suitable for climbing steep moist muddy slopes
  • A number of people actually feel more at ease when wearing clothes that are long sleeved as this will protect them from the pricking thickets as they move through the verdant jungle
  • Do not forget a rain gear, since the weather here is highly unpredictable
  • Bring enough drinking water plus snacks to bite on
  • Carry a pair of binoculars

3. Bird watching in Kibale National Park

Bird watching in Kibale forest national park is a rewarding & breathtaking experience you cannot want to miss when you travel to Uganda for a wildlife safaris tour, and birdwatching tour. Bird watching walks in Kibale national park start at 7am every morning but you need to book early so the rangers are expecting you. The national park is home to a variety of birds including the Albertine rift endemics. Morning focus for any birder in Kibale forest is to search for the Green breasted pitta. Other species include Grey-throated Flycatcher Grey-winged Robin, Crested Flycatcher, Blue shouldered Robin Chat, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Black-billed Turaco, White-naped Pigeon, Red-chested Fluff tail, White-collared Olive-back White-bellied, Masked Apalis, Nahan’s Francolin, Tiny Sunbird, and many more.

4. Nature and Hiking walks

Kibale forest national park is rich in variety and the chimpanzee trekking may not give you enough time to take in all that the forest offers because you are focused on location the chimpanzees while on you Uganda wildlife safaris tour, Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari tour and Uganda cultural photo safari tour. There is an option of a 12km hike through the Kibale forest national park where you are able to spot more variety of birds and animals. On a lucky day, you will encounter bush pigs, Duikers, and Elephants. This is available in the dry season (December – February and June – September) because the wet season most of the trail is impassable. There is also an option of night walks to see the nocturnal when the other forest inhabitants resting and this is always one of the memorable experience to involve yourself in when you visit Kibale national park for the Uganda primates and chimpanzee trekking safari tour on a Uganda safari tour. The rangers use powerful torches to seek nocturnal such as bush baby, hyrax, potto and occasionally serval cat and civet. These walks last 2.5 hours and leave at 7pm so it’s advisable to book this activity before travelling for the Uganda safari tour where you will visit Kibale national park.

5. Community walks and Cultural experiences in Kibale national park 

There are several community initiatives and cultural experiences to engage in once you visit Kibale forest national park. Bigodi Wetland sanctuary is a community initiative to preserve the rich eco system along the wetland. The wetland is a birders haven with about 138 species. Magombe swamp which hosts eight species of primates. All these are under the management of the community. Visit a women’s project, where you can purchase handmade crafts to support them. Prepare, and or enjoy a traditional meal at Tinka’s place while on the Uganda primates and Uganda cultural safari tour and later Visit a local school that was constructed from the funds collected from the Bigodi sanctuary.

The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a fascinating area, located in Magombe swamp. this area is recognized for an extensive array of biodiversity among which are several primates’ species like the red Colobus monkey, baboon, black & white Colobus monkey, blue monkey grey cheeked, mangabey, Vervet monkey, red tailed monkey and the L’Hoest monkey. Additional Mammals such as chimpanzees, Sitatunga, mongooses, bush pigs, otters plus bush bucks, also visit this swamp coming from the adjacent Kibale National Park

The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a great example of a community-based approach to the natural resources management which can be of good economic benefit to the different local residents living within this area plus the tourism industry as well.

The Bigodi wetland sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers in Uganda who visit Kibale national park for the chimpanzee trekking safari tour, Uganda bird watching safari and Uganda wildlife safari. Actually skilled birders can spot up to 50 new species on a bird list. Today, 138 species of bird have been recognized within the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Among the major bird species within the sanctuary is the great grand Blue Turaco.

The swamp is administered by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (Kafred), and it actually benefits greatly from the adjacent Kibale National Park, since there are a number of primates such as the chimpanzees that occasionally visit the swamp, adding on the diversity of wild animals that tourists see within the Bigodi.

Its name “Bigodi” was derived from a local Rutooro word, “kugodya”, that means ‘to walk tiredly / wearily’. It is supposed that when visitors reached the Bigodi swamp on foot, they actually were at all times too tired to go on and visit the jungle; and for this reason they decided to rest there.

Conservation of this swamp has its real benefits, since it receives more than $150 000 got from tourists each year. A fraction of this earning was used to build Bigodi Secondary School as well as a nursery school, in addition to pay salaries of the school teachers; furthermore, bridges have also been constructed over swamps plus streams within the village.

Additional benefits include:

The Tips plus sales from fruits plus vegetables earned by farmers;

Some tourists have over a number of years been sponsoring a number of children living within this village for advance studies;

A number of local people have transformed their homes into African-homesteads for tourists to visit. This actually offers tourists a closer encounter of the day to day lifestyle of the local resident people;

The women in here have created the Bigodi Women Group that consists of 40 members presently, who make good-looking beads using re-cycled paper plus additional materials got from this swamp like raffia plus phoenix-palm leaves used in weaving baskets and making bags respectively. A number of their local products are also exported to as far as Europe;

Fortunately Poaching within this region has tremendously reduced, nearly to stoppage, since the poachers themselves are today serving as tour guides, that take tourists through the impressive swamp as well as guide during the community walks in the villages;

In addition, the road that runs through this village was also constructed by the funds earned by the Bigodi swamp project.

How to access Kibale forest National Park?

Kibale National Park is suited in the western part of Uganda and covers an area of about 26km south-east of Fort Port city. Kanyanchu river camp is well known to be the heart of tourism activities and this is easily accessible from Kampala from the North through Mubende as well as Fort Portal. In the southern part, you can use Mbarara – Kamwenge road to get to the national park.

Travelers say that the northern route is shorter and faster and has a distance is about 300km with a tarmac road going to Fort Portal and also a distance of 36km to Kanyanchu centre. The Sebitoli forest camp is accessible and it’s second in the tourism sector It’s a direct route from Kampala with about 16km prior to Fort Port. In case you want to use a bus, it will be easy because it runs daily from Kampala to Fort port via Sebitoli then Fort Portal along with Kamwenge via Kanyanchu. You can also access the Kibale national park from Entebbe International airport for scheduled/charter flights to Kasese Airstrip which is an hour from Kibale national park. So if you are planning for Uganda wildlife safari tour, Uganda primates & chimpanzees trekking safari tour, Uganda bird watching safari tour and Uganda cultural safari photo tour.


The Kibale national park has excellent accommodation with Kibale primate lodge that is located in Kanyanchu. Others include up-market accommodation, tree houses and un demanding cottages are discovered at Sebitoli. Every accommodation has a campsite with a restaurant serving both local and international cuisine. Budget accommodation is also found at Bigodi, Nkingo and Ndali crater area. Ndali is well known for its up-market accommodation and other budget alternative such as Chimpanzee guesthouse along with Lake Nkuruba Fort Portal town also has high standard accommodation.

Primate lodge Kibale

Primate Lodge in Kibale is a fashionable Eco-lodge located within Kibale National park. It’s enclosed by a flourishing tropical forest that is a habitat to many different species of primates for instance the chimpanzees. It’s secretly sheltered in the rainforest, it’s one of the lodges that give a really dependable jungle familiarity and it’s the most favorable place for tracking the primates in Uganda. Primate lodge Kibale has accommodation for all visitors ranging from luxury, cottages as well as tents. This lodge gives a chance to take your time in the morning and first have breakfast and later on plan for the day and how you are going to track the chimpanzees without much trouble.


Luxury Safari Tents

The lodge has about 8 lavish safari tents, wooden platform with a thatched roof that tends to match well with the environment. The verandahs on each tent offer a beautiful view of the enclosed forest. The inside of the lodge is designed with an African style with beautiful beds. The bathrooms and toilets have a natural touch of the environment made out of local stones, wall paintings as well as bamboo.

Forest Cottage

The lodge has about 7 friendly cottages are secretly located in the forest. The rooms are big with double beds, a sitting room with an African design and standard en suite bathrooms and toilets.

Sky Tree House
Another exciting adventure is the sky tree house, it has a bedroom with other facilities that can enable you enjoy a nigh there. It’s suited at a 10 minutes’ walk from the major lodge. Giving you a perfect view of the Elephant lurch, at night, all elephants gather at this point

Restaurant and Bar

The restaurant serves both international and local foods with hospital waitresses. Next to the restaurant is a fully stocked bar with a beautiful scenic view of the forest.

Lounge area
The lounge has well designed chairs; soft cushions along with sofas that will make you enjoy the red-tailed monkeys in the forest.

Cultural dancing Fire place

The evenings are usually enjoyed around the camp fire to give you all the warmth you need. Late in the night, you will experience the great sounds of the forest as well as the winding forest elephants.

Tourist Activities
Among the activities include chimp tracking, Forest walk, bird watching, Bigodi village walk discovery of the crater Lakes, Cultural heritage, Hike at the slopes of Rwenzori  along with the Nature trail. Enjoy a tour to Uganda’s national parks.

Other Uganda lodges in an around Kibale national park


Kyaninga Lodge

Mountains of the moon Hotel

Rwenzori View Guest house

The Dutchess

Northern Sector

Papaya Safari Lodge

Ndali Lodge

In the park

Primate safari Lodge

Southern Sector

Turaco Treetops

Chimpanzee Guest house

Kibale forest camp

Isunga Lodge