Kibale Forest National Park (formerly Kibale Forest NP) is the best place for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. Thirteen species of primates have been recorded, which is the highest number for any Ugandan park, and several monkey species can usually be seen on forest walks. Birds and butterflies are abundant.
Wildlife Safari Tour Packages – Kibale National Park
Kibale is one of the best places in Africa to view many primate species. Visitors can expect to see five or six species in addition to chimpanzees. Species active during the day include vervet, red-tailed and blue monkey, black-and-white colobus, olive baboon, and Ugandan red colobus and Uganda mangabey. Other mammals including lion, elephant, and buffalo are present but rarely seen.
The chimpanzee community visited by trackers in Kibale is the best habituated in Uganda and sightings can be excellent. The park’s diversity of primates is one of the highest in Africa, with 13 species identified. Black-and-white colobus, red-tailed monkey, and blue monkey are all regularly spotted. Several nocturnal species are present as well, including and the eastern needle-clawed bushbaby.
Wildlife Safari Tour Packages – Kibale National Park
The park provides refuge to the world’s largest population of the endangered red colobus monkey, and it is an important stronghold for Uganda mangabey, a rare national endemic (only occurs in Uganda).
Kibale is home to many mammal species aside from primates but they are rarely encountered. Elephant and buffalo roam the forest and other species present are giant forest hog, warthog, bushbuck, blue, red, and Peter’s duiker.
The Dry seasons (from June to July and December to February) are the best time for tracking chimpanzees. The park stays open throughout the year, but in heavy rain, the trails might be difficult to walk and the overall experience might be compromised.
Bird Watching Safaris – Kibale National Park
Kibale is a bird-watchers 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.
Best Time for Bird Watching – Kibale National Park
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 is open for chimpanzee trekking throughout the year. December to February and the months of June and July are the driest months and are therefore the best times for this activity. Walking the trails is easier at this time and the overall experience tends to be more enjoyable.
Weather & Climate – Kibale National Park
The climate in Kibale is moist and temperate. Temperatures stay almost the same year-round. Daytime temperatures are about 27°C/81°F, cooling off nightly to about 15°C/59°F.
Kibale lacks a real Dry season; rain is possible anytime. However, December through February is typically drier and so are June and July. Two Wet seasons exist: March to May and August through November. It is recommended to bring waterproof clothing.
Dry seasons –December to February and June to July
December, January & February – Rain is possible, despite these being the driest months. It is an excellent time for chimpanzee trekking. Daytime temperatures are 28°C/82°F on average, and drop down to about 14°C/57°F at night.
June & July – This time is relatively dry, but there is still potential for rain – even for several days on end. Average temperatures are around 27°C/81°F in the afternoon and 15°C/59°F in the early morning.
Wet seasons –March to May and September to November
March, April & May – Wet weather is typical, with rainfall peaking in April. The forest trails can become slippery, making chimpanzee trekking more challenging.
August, September, October & November – These are the wettest months of the year. A 4WD vehicle must be used on the access roads. Temperatures max at around 27°C/81°F and fall on average as low as 15°C/59°F.
How to get there – Kibale Chimp Trekking Tours
Kibale will rarely be a destination in itself – it’s more suited as a stop among other parks on a tour of Uganda. Kibale National Park is located in western Uganda. The chimp trekking trailhead at Kanyanchu is 35km/20mi southeast of the town of Fort Portal; a 30-45 minute drive on what is now a well-surfaced road, and 360km/224mi (about six hours) from Kampala. Kibale Forest National Park
Entebbe International Airport (EBB) will be your entry point into the country. It is located about 46km/29mi from the capital, Kampala. In most cases, your local tour operator will pick you up from the airport and will also provide for any additional transportation as part of your tour package.
Domestic Flights – Kibale Chimp Trekking Tours
Booking domestic flights between parks are usually done by your tour operator and is generally included as part of your safari. Fly Uganda runs daily scheduled flights with ‘seat rates’ to Fort Portal.
Malaria & Safety – Kibale National Park
In our view, as with most other parks and reserves in Uganda, Kibale NP can be considered very safe to visit. Most of the people you come across are tourists or employees of tour operators, accommodations or the park.
Malaria & Vaccinations – Kibale National Park
Precautions against malaria are important. Antimalarial medications are advisable and you should also use mosquito repellent (those containing DEET are most effective), as well as covering exposed skin in the evening when mosquitoes are active. You will almost certainly require certain vaccinations too – consult your local travel clinic.
Chimp Trekking Safari – Kibale Chimp Trekking Tours
Animal behavior is not always predictable, so viewing wildlife can present certain risks. These will be limited greatly by listening to your guide’s directions, following their instructions, and to do chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest National Park