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All about Kibale Forest National Park, the best place to see chimpanzees in Africa.

Kibale forest national park is located in western Uganda, Fortportal.

The park is famed for its habituated chimpanzees and birding in Bigodi swamp. This park was gazetted in October 1993.

The park has 60 mammal species of which 13 species are primates. This park has the highest concentration of primates in Uganda. The 9 diurnal primates include: vervet, red tailed, L’hoests and blue monkeys, olive baboon and chimpanzee.

Other mammals in the park include: lion, leopard, buffalo, hippo, warthog, elephant, giant forest hog, bush pig, bush buck, sitatunga and Peter’s red and blue duikers. Bird species number up to 335 species of which 4 are endemics to Kibale: Cassin’s spine tail, blue headed bee eater, masked apalis and Nahan’s francolin. A four hour bird trail has been laid out for serious birders in the Bigodi wetland.

Kibale Forest National Park, together with the nearby Ndali-Kasende Crater Lakes, are close to being an independent traveller’s dream, blessed with the tantalizing combination of inexpensive accommodation, easy access, wonderful scenery and a remarkable variety of activities. The park is highly alluring to nature lovers for the opportunity to view a wide range of forest birds and track chimpanzees (as well as viewing a wide range of other primates). Though the scenic appeal of the region remains undiminished, the rising cost of chimp tracking, and the conversion of the old budget Kanyanchu River Camp to an upmarket tented camp, mean that the national park is no longer the mandatory backpacker destination it was a few years ago.

History

Gazetted in October 1993, the 766km squared Kibale Forest National Park extends southwards from Fort portal to form a contiguous block with the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, the dominant vegetation type is rainforest, spanning altitudes of 1,100-1,590m and with a floral composition transitional to typical eastern Afro-montane and western lowland forest.