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Kibale National Park has a wide altitudinal range, rising from 1,110 m in the south to 1,590m in the extreme north. The park occupies undulating terrain on the main Ugandan plateau draining in a southerly direction.

The geology consists of Precambrian rock formations-sedimentary in origin; these have been strongly folded and sometimes metamorphosed. Prominent ridges of quartzite, schists and
phyllites, intruded by amphibolites, gneiss and granites overlie these formations. Some hills have exposed layers of hard laterite. Some 90% of the park area is overlain by red ferralitic soils: about two thirds of these are sandy clay loams in the north and one-third, clay loams in the south.

These soils are deeply weathered, show little differentiation in horizon and are of very low to moderate fertility. The remaining 10% is fertile eutrophic soil over a base of volcanic ash around Mpokya and Isunga on the western edge of the Kibale National Park.