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kibale national park

Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park: Background Info

Kibale National Park, located in southwestern Uganda is a tropical rainforest that harbors quite a number of wildlife species that have attracted many tourists to come into Uganda. This national park has contributed widely in Uganda’s tourism industry because it harbors some endangered species that catch the traveler’s eye. Chimpanzees are primates that share about 90% of their DNA with human beings and have been habituated in Kibale Forest National Park. Uganda in total has about 4950 chimpanzees and Kibale National Park holds about 1500 chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are also visited by travelers for 1 hour which is the same for gorilla trekking. However, chimpanzee trekking also has an option for travelers to spend more time with the Chimps and this is called Chimpanzee Habituation.

Kibale National Park: Destination Preview

kibale national park

Wildlife

Kibale contains a variety of wildlife species, including 70 mammal species, 13 primates species, and 325 bird species in and under its canopy. Notable wildlife in Kibale National Park includes the remarkable common chimpanzee, baboon, red colobus, black and white colobus, L’Hoest’s, red-tailed, vervet, and blue monkeys, and the Uganda mangabey. Other exciting wildlife includes forest elephant, duiker, bushbuck, sitatunga, bushpigs, giant forest hogs, common warthogs, and African buffalo. The Kibale predator list includes leopard, serval, African golden cat, mongooses, otter, and occasionally visiting lion.

Although Kibale offers superlative primate viewing, it is challenging to see large mammals despite an impressive checklist. Kibale’s main attraction, however, is the opportunity to track chimpanzees in their natural habitat from the Kanyanchu visitor center. Chimpanzee trekking is generally fruitful; guides and visitors have been following habituated chimpanzee bands through Kibale’s medium-altitude moist forest since 1994. The chimps are tolerant of human presence. Larger mammals, such as elephants and buffalo, rarely appear on tourist walking trails but are abundant in the forest.

Birdlife

Kibale National Park is a bird-watcher's paradise. More than 370 species have been recorded and many are forest specials, including the sought-after African pitta. Four bird species have not been recorded in any other national park of Uganda: Cassin’s spinetail, blue-headed bee-eater, Nahan’s francolin and Masked apalis. The best bird-watching spot is the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary – a community project where experienced guides take you on a four-hour trail. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

The birdlife in Kibale is good year-round, but at its best from March to May and from September to November. June to September is the main fruiting season, so food is abundant, and many birds are in breeding plumage. Migratory birds, though not a major factor in the forests, can be found here from November to April. December to February and June to July have the least rain while March to May and September to November have the most rain. Rainstorms might limit your bird-watching time.

Kibale National Park: Location

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