Kibale National Park


  9 reviews
Red Colobus Monkey in Kibale
Red Colobus Monkey in Kibale
About Kibale National Park
Country found in:
Parks total area:
795 km² (306.9 miles²)
Year established:
1993
Anti-malarial:
Absolutely!
Park wildlife:
  • Kibale National Park contains one of the last tropical forests in the country
  • Biodiversity threatened by consumption and deforestation
  • The park contains diverse species of mammals, including primates, as well as birds and trees
  • Visit during the hot, dry months of January and February
  • The park is highly favored for safaris of Chimpanzee tracking and bird watching

Located in the southwestern region of Uganda, Kibale National Park covers about 795 km² (306.9 miles²). The park is between 1,100 m (3610 ft) and 1,600 m (5250 ft) above sea level and encompasses one of the country’s last remaining tropical forests. It is also one of the few remaining areas to contain both lowland and montane forests, such as wet tropical vegetation, woodland and savannah. This diversity of habitats is due to the range in altitude.

Two major tribes, the Batooro and Bakiga, inhabit the surrounding area of the park and use it for food, fuel and a number of other resources. Because populations have significantly increased, biodiversity within the park itself has been adversely affected. Although the park retains high ecological value, it has been threatened by consumptive use and deforestation over the last few decades.

Wildlife of Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park is home to 70 mammal species, including elephants and buffalo. Lions purportedly are still found here, but the reality is they are rarely, if ever, seen. Most notable among these is the diverse primate population, including the chimpanzee. The park also has over 375 bird species.  Although the park is home to a diverse number of mammals, it is often hard to see them due to the dense forests. The park has over 351 types of trees, some rising over 55m (180 feet) and aged over 200 years old. However, this makes Kibale National Park a prime safari destination for chimpanzee tracking and bird watching. Visitors also have a choice of nature walks and tours of the volcanic crater lakes.  There are two main tourism centers within the park, Kanyanchu River Camp and Sebitoli Forest Camp, which can be reached by car from a northern or southern route. 

Kibale's proximity to Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) makes it easy for visitors to see both parks. Kibale lies to the north of QENP and the two touch via a game corridor. 

When is the best time of year to visit Kibale National Park?

The park is open year-round, but during the rainy season, which runs from October through December and March through May, roads are difficult to use. The dry season, during the months of June and September, the average temperature is 25 C (77 F), but even then visitors can anticipate the occasional thunderstorm, particularly in the northern, wettest part of the park. Overall, the climate is pleasant with annual temperatures ranging from 14 C to 27 C (57 F to 80 F), and visitors should expect cooler nights. The best time to visit is during the hot, dry months of January and February when animals will stay near the water.

Safari tour packages (138)   See all tour packages

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(5/5 stars) Written on: Mar 18, 2016   |   Visited: Oct 2015.
Its past 6 months since I was on an 18-day safari through Uganda and Tanzania. I visited many attractions but Kibale Forest in Uganda was the highlight of these 18 days. We were a group of 6, travelled in a comfortable mini bus and were on a tight budget; therefore used lazy camping as our tour operator was able to provide it.

Trekking through Kibale Forest was ... read more

I saw

Chimpanzee
Vervet monkey
Baboon
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10 people gave this review kudus.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Jan 18, 2016   |   Visited: Aug 2015.
Kibale forest is beautiful and contains a vast number of bird species and many primates of which chimpanzees are the star attraction. There a 24 permits issued daily and one 'community' of habituated chimps which live in friendship groups which vary in size. The 24 guests are split into 3 groups.

If you are questioning visiting the chimps before/after the gorill... read more

I saw

Chameleon
Chimpanzee
Mongoose
Baboon
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7 people gave this review kudus.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 23, 2015   |   Visited: Sep 2015.
As soon as you step into Kibale, you know it's special. A cathedral of nature, with primates as high-priests. We've been living and working in and around the park since 2000, and cannot resist returning year after year. This forest gets into your blood. Some highlights of our 15 years:
-First chimp siting was a spectacular surprise, while out researching other... read more
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9 people gave this review kudus.

(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 16, 2015   |   Visited: Sep 2015.
I went for a trip to Kibale forest national a park. The park is amazing on our way we say many baboons, the Black and White Colobus monkey, the mangabey etc. This park is known as a home for the chimpanzees and various bird species and butterflies. I enjoyed my stay as I also saw many crater lakes in the area. read more

I saw

Chameleon
Chimpanzee
Baboon
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9 people gave this review kudus.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Mar 04, 2015   |   Visited: Feb 2015.
The driver guide was kind to us, very patient, time-conscious. He easily adapted to our requests and culture and was very peaceful, smart and interesting. He was very knowledgeable about the park, made it exciting to track the chimpanzees. read more

I saw

Chimpanzee
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10 people gave this review kudus.

(5/5 stars) Written on: Mar 11, 2014   |   Visited: Feb 2014.
Known to have one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forests, Kibale National park is one of the few parks containing both lowland and montane forests. The park is located in the districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge in Western Uganda

It is an important eco-tourism and safari destination, popular for its vast number of bird species(375 species), 70 mammal species, ... read more
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11 people gave this review kudus.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Jan 15, 2014   |   Visited: Apr 2013.
After somberly deciding Gorilla Trekking was just way too much money for my mid-twenty year old budget, my travel partner and I decided to check out chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park and discovered the option for chimp habituation experience during our research. What's the difference you ask? Chimp trekking allows only one hour with the chimps after hikin... read more

I saw

Chimpanzee
Vervet monkey
Baboon
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13 people gave this review kudus.

(4/5 stars) Written on: May 12, 2013   |   Visited: Sep 2012.
Having been in Arusha National Park for trekking, we once again opted to give it a try…of course in a neighboring country. Kibale National park was our destination after a lot of soul searching considering that the East African country-UGANDA, has a lot to offer in terms of trekking sites. The park is situated en route Bwindi Impenetrable National park, and the mor... read more
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11 people gave this review kudus.
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** Safari guru **

(4/5 stars) Written on: Apr 26, 2013   |   Visited: Nov 2012.
Our destination was Kibale (pronounced: Chibale) National Park which is a 5 hour drive from Uganda's capital Kampala. Our purpose was to find habituated chimpanzees. Our trek started at the kanyanchu centre where we were required to pay the Ugandan Wildlife Authority trek fees. The charges are 150 USD for foreign non-residents, 100 USD for local residents .

Afte... read more
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13 people gave this review kudus.
Safari suitability: 7 / 10
No big five sightings, but prime for chimpanzee tracking and bird watching. Exploring can be done (and is recommended) on foot. During rainy season Jeep 4x4 highly suggested.
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Articles about the Kibale

Nearby parks and game reserves

Animals you can find

Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee
Elephant
Elephant
Chameleon
Chameleon
Bushbaby
Bushbaby
Vervet monkey
Vervet monkey
Warthog
Warthog
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Getting to Kibale

Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Bush walks
Bush walks
Cultural / Tribal visits
Cultural / Tribal visits
Photography
Photography
Trekking
Trekking

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