320km west of Kampala with altitudes ranging from 1,100 - 1,590 meters above sea level, this marvellous national park contains moist tropical forest, woodland and savannah. Kibale is above all known as the site in which to see habituated troupes of wild Chimpanzees. Chances of observing chimps during the regular morning or afternoon tracking excursions on offer, exceed 90 percent. Serious ape enthusiasts can also enjoy a full day out with researchers from the Chimpanzee Habituation Programme.
Kibale also contains a further 12 primate species – the greatest variety and concentration in East Africa. Day walks in the forest usually reveal other resident monkeys, such as Red colobus, Blue monkey and Grey-cheeked mangabey and a high number of bird species including the Green-breasted Pitta (Kibale has over 335 species of birds including four species not recorded in any other national park, as well as a similar range of forest birds to Semliki National Park). Other bird species include African Grey Parrot, Black-billed and Great Blue Turacos. Guided night walks can deliver some alluring nocturnal wildlife including a cluster of prosiminans: Potto is present, as are Spectacled, Demidoff's, Thomas's and Eastern needle-clawed galagos (bushbabies).
5km south-east of Kibale, the scenic 8km-long Bigodi Wetlands beckon nature enthusiasts, who come to enjoy the boardwalk trail and viewing platforms. All visiting birders include this walk in their time here. KAFRED, the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development, manages the site and supports a range of inspiring community development projects including Bigodi Womens Group and Enyange Dance & Drama Group. At Ndali Lodge near the park, visitors can make the Vanilla and Coffee Plantation walk, as well as an enjoyable hike to see the Ndali-Kasenda Craters, comprised of 60 permanent and seasonal freshwater volcanic lakes. Those keen to get to know more about the region's people, should make a point of stopping by at the Bunhangabu Beekeepers Cooperative Honey Project and the Rubona Basket Weavers' Association.
Guided walking trails focus on tracking one of the habituated groups of chimpanzee, which have been intensively studied here. Chimpanzee tracking generally begins in the early morning, as is the case with gorilla tracking in Bwindi. We recommend a two night stay at this park, which would also enable you to do a walk in Bigodi Swamp, a rewarding site for small wildlife and birds.
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