kibale national park
Kibale Forest National Park is situated in Fort portal western Uganda with a beautiful diverging tropical rain forest. This includes a large area of grasslands and swamps which occupy the central and northern regions of the park on raised land. The park is near the serene Ndali-Kasenda crater area and it only takes one 12 hours to reach Toro-Semliki wildlife reserve, Queen Elizabeth , Rwenzori Mounatins and Semliki National Parks. The park is large enough to safe guard many rain forests which act as habitats to various wildlife species i.e seventy in number with thirteen primates like Chimpanzees. It offers opportunities to those interested in bird watching since it consists of more than 375 species of birds and these are usually flying from one destination to another hence providing an exceptional experience to the guests. The facilities used are community based which has improved the lives of the local people since these have gained profits/ income which has improved their standards of living. Among these communities are the Bakiga and Batooro people who benefit from the forest for medicine, food, fuel etc.
Activities at Kibale Forest National Park
Bird watching at Kibale Forest National Park is carried out in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary situated outside the park with approximately 138 species of birds which are usually seen when you embark on a guided nature walk through extensive trails. The activity begins at 7:00 am at Kanyanchu and some of the unique bird species you will view include; the Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, White-collared Olive back, Papyrus Canary, Yellow-billed Barbet, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black Bishop, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, White-spotted Flufftail, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Western Nicator, Grey-winged Robin-chat, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, White-breasted Negrofinch, Black-crowned Waxbill etc.
The most carried out activity in Kibale forest is the primate walk to Kanyanchu where you will spot about 13 different species including various diurnal monkeys. Chimpanzees at Kanyanchu are famously tracked since 1993 after habituation and the opportunities of spotting and interacting with them are outstanding. These walks begin early in the morning at 8:00 am and 2:00 pm and take a period of 3 hours as according to many factors to be considered. Visitors who wake up early will have the opportunity to spot the chimps leaving their nests in the period between 6:00 to 6:30 am before hunting, feeding, resting, breast feeding, watch guarding until time comes to construct fresh nests around 7:00 pm.
Embark on a guided cultural walk through the Magombe swamp wetlands to enjoy various wildlife species i.e 8 varieties of primates including many of the 200 species of birds, several butterflies, swampy vegetation as well as the traits of the Batooro people. Take village walks and stops at local schools, churches, traditional healing centers as well as the Kibale Association for Rural Environment Development (KAFRED) a community based organization that was founded to improve the lives of people by providing them with education, health. It also enhances and eradicates people about the importance of conserving bio diversity through music, dance and drama presentations at local schools. While carrying out the activity, you will be informed about the history Bigodi by inter relating it to the story of the “Village of Two Tribes” i.e when the Bakiga connected with the Batooro in the early 1950s.
Hiking and Nature walks
This activity can occur in the night through the dark thick forests and while on this, you will spot different creatures that move in the night like the potto, night jar, bush baby, cricket and tree hyrax with its chilling shriek, as well as the occasional civet or serval cat. The chimpanzees rest at dusk which makes it hard to track them so we advise you to carry powerful torches in order to spot them. These walks begin at 7:30 pm and take about one and a half or two hours with the help and company of an armed skilled ranger for protection in case of emergencies