Kibale Forest National Park is a lush tropical rain forest in southern Uganda, with the highest density of primates in Africa. It’s also the one best place in the world to track wild chimpanzees, with five groups habituated to human contact. Its home to 13 primate species, with the endangered red and white colobus monkey, grey cheeked mangabey and the rare L’Hoest’s monkey the other highlights.
If you’re looking to go off the beaten track and find an authentic experience of untouched ecotours in Uganda, Africa, then this is the place for you. It’s raw, it’s beautiful and it’s not for the faint-hearted but offers the chimpanzee sightings. You can choose to spend a full day with the chimpanzees as part of habituation experience. Whichever you choose you never forget when eyes gaze into a mountain gorillas’ eyes when you see a chimpanzee mother cradle her young infant in her arms or when you enjoy watching juvenile gorillas rolling and jumping on the forest floor, just like human children. They share 98% of our DNA.
A large wildlife corridor links Kibale to Queen Elizabeth National Park, where herds of African elephants roam freely between both sanctuaries. While the park’s plethora of primates is undoubtedly its main draw, Kibale is also home to other animals such as leopard, buffaloes, duiker, and bush pig.
Bird lovers will be mesmerized by the park’s 325 recorded bird species and a hard day exploring is best topped off with a cup of coffee made from the park’s wild Robusta coffee tree. There are also an incredible 250 species of butterfly that live here.
Start the primate safari early from Kampala/Entebbe, it’s a 4-5hrs drive, your safari guide picks you and the target is to have lunch at Kibale Forest Camp. You will go for chimpanzee trekking in afternoon, when you have a better chance of seeing the chimps on the forest floor. During the trekking you can see them close and capture shots of our closet cousins in the Jungle in there frenzy exciting moods grooming. In Kibale forest t there different species of Monkeys are found – red Colobus, black & white Colobus, red tailed monkey and bush babies being a few.
Kibale has wonderful forest and papyrus birds but you will have to rely on calls and the odd glimpse through the forest canopy. Rare species include the papyrus Gonolek, white-winged warbler, white-collared olive back and papyrus canary, white-spotted fluff tail, yellow-spotted barbet, hairy breasted barbet, yellow –billed barbet, western nicator, grey-winged robin-chat, white-tailed anti-thrush, brow backed scrub-robin, black and white among others. Overnight at Kibale Forest Camp with meals included.
After a sweet breakfast at the Kibale Forest Camp you will set out for Kibale Forest at a leisurely pace via the crater Lakes area to Kasese town, one of the popular centres in western Uganda. The road passes through fertile agriculture land and follows the lower slopes of one of Africa’s largest mountain rangers, the famous Rwenzori Mountains. You will cross the equator and pass through Queen Elizabeth National Park where the Uganda Kob is abundant and you may see elephants of buffaloes in the distance.
After lunch at Bush Lodge, you will go on a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel leaving at 4:00pm. The Kazinga channel is a dominant feature of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and links Lake George with Lake Edward. The channel attracts a varied range of animals and birds and one of the world’s largest concentrations of hippo’s year around and crocodiles. During boat safari you may spot skimmers, African spoonbill, African Crake, three-banded plover, green sandpiper, wood sandpiper, grey-headed gull, lesser swamp-warbler and many others. Overnight at Bush Lodge
After breakfast at Bush Lodge, you will leave the northern section of Queen Elizabeth National Park, a network of tracks allows you to find elephants, buffaloes and other animals in the grassland thickest that cover the north Kazinga area near the Mweya peninsula. Lions and other big cats are most reliably sighted on the typically open East African savannah Kasenyi plain, east of the Kasese highway. The area is known as the main breeding ground of the Uganda Kob, the main source of food for lion pride in the area.
Enjoy a game drive via the southern section of the Ishasha plains well known for the famous tree climbing lions. From there you will leave via a dirt road for 2-3 hours depending on the road conditions to Buhoma the base for gorilla trekking in the famous Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park with dinner and overnight Buhoma Community Rest Camp.
This big day prepares you for a great encounter with of Bwindi’s rare mountain gorillas. For most of the visitors, this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda. This fascinating impenetrable forest has hills covered with mist and like a blanket cover of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rain forests. The forest attracts spectacular species of birds such as 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift endemics including the African Great Broad bill and other beautiful forest species.
Begin the day with breakfast ready for trekking which begins as early as 7:00am with a short briefing of how to behave when you meet the gorillas in the forest. Take with you packed lunch, mineral water, hiking boots, a camera, long sleeved shirt and trouser, insect repellent, sun glasses and a hat. Tracking mountain gorillas may take between 2 to 8 hours depending on the location of the gorilla family. Once sighted, put out your cameras to take shots as you observe them playing, eating, grooming, and sleeping. This is one of the unique safaris that gives you an opportunity to experience the mountain gorillas in their natural home.