Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale National Park, also called “the primate planet” is located in the districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge in western Uganda. The park is situated between 1,100–1,600 meters above sea level covering an area of 766 square kilometers. Situated approximately 30km southeast of Fort Portal town and 330km west of Kampala Uganda’s Capital City, the park can be found at the coordinates of 00 30N, 30 24E (Latitude: 0.5000; Longitude: 30.4000).
Kibale National Park was gazetted in 1932 and then established as a National Park in 1993 to protect a large area of forest which was previously managed as a logged Forest Reserve. Before gazetting it as a national park, Kibale had lost a great number of tree species to logging especially at a time when it was still gazetted as a Forest Reserve. Today the park has a variety of vegetation types including one of Uganda’s most diverse tropical forests, grasslands and swamp vegetation. The park has 351 tree species some of which rise to as high as 55m and live for over 200 years. Visitors are not only fed to amazing shades of grassy-green but they can see a number of different landscapes which form excellent spots for picture taking.
Kibale National Park has thirteen (13) recorded primate species including the L’Hoest’s monkey and its 1,450 chimpanzees which cannot be seen anywhere else in Uganda in such big numbers. The park also has an additional sixty (60) mammal species including the migrant, the warthogs, bush pigs, buffalos, 500 elephants and hippos. Kibale National Park also serves its visitors to four (4) species of wild felids including the leopards and the lions which migrate between Kibale and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kibale National park adjoins with Queen Elizabeth National Park to form a 180km (111 mi) wildlife corridor, and for this reason a number of ground-dwelling mammals cannot be seen regularly because they easily connect from Kibale to Queen Elizabeth due to a number of reasons like finding greener pastures or looking for prey. The two parks are joined from Sebitoli (northern part of Kibale National Park) and Ishasha (southern part of Queen Elizabeth national Park)
Kibale National park also provides shelter to over 375 species of birds making it an ideal location to direct Uganda birding safaris. Some of the bird species include the African grey parrot, the Western Nicator, Red-chested Owlet, the Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird and the Blue-headed Sunbird.
The park’s strategic location permits a single day excursion to the beautiful town of Fort Portal where the World’s youngest living monarch lives (the king of Tooro kingdom); a visit to the Rwenzori Mountains and a trip to the Toro – Semuliki Wildlife Reserve.
On top of being a key ecotourism destination, Kibale National Park is a center for research. Researchers have over the years carried out research on Kibale’s flora and fauna species. Today Makerere University Biological Field Station (MUBFS) can be found here.
More information about Kibale National Park
Safari lodges within the park
Accommodation in the Northern Region – Crater Lakes
Accommodation in Bigodi Region (South)