From this write-up, you find out how to spend 5 days in Kibale National Park. Kibale National park is home to the biggest chimpanzee family in Africa. This tropical forest occupies 795sq km of land. A number of primates including chimpanzees spend the entire day and night in this park.
Since Kibale Forest neighbors Queen Elizabeth National park to the south, a number of other wild animals cross the forest like Elephants, bushbucks, duikers, and waterbucks to mention but a few. Although they rarely come into sight, expect to find them during chimpanzee trekking.
For a great birding experience, Kibale National park is one African safari worth visiting. More than 325 bird species live in the park including the rare shoe bill. 6 of the Albertine endemics may be seen spotted. Some resident birds of Kibale forest include red-faced woodland, yellow spotted nectar, collared Apalis, purple-breasted sunbird, and blue-breasted kingfisher to mention but a few.
Children below 12 years are not allowed to do chimpanzee trekking but children’s activities are on to keep them busy and engage them in the conservation plan. A 1 to 2 hours walk into the forest with an educational forest walk keeps them busy. They are kept busy while their parents go chimpanzee trekking.
Day 1: Drive to Kibale National Park
Take your breakfast and head to Kibale National Park. The drive takes about 5 hours on the road. Enjoy the amazing scenery that you pass by, especially the gardens. You may make an optional stop at Nyakarima mythical tree which is believed to possess powers to conceive. Get to the lodge and relax
Accommodation at Kibale National Park
A variety of accommodations facilities most of which offer full board service are available within and on the outskirts of the park. Different accommodation plans ranging from up-market to mid-range to Budget can be booked. A wide range of accommodations are available in Fort Portal town. Some accommodations available include Ndali lodge, Primates Lodge, Kyaninga Lodge, Kibale Safari Lodge, C.V. K, Chimps Nest, Chimpanzee Guest house
Day 2: Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale National Park
Start the day with a briefing from the ranger guide early morning if you are on the morning shift. Gather at Kanyanchu or Sebitori ranger station for briefing. Chimpanzee trekking rules are some of the details talked about. Rules like do not eat near the chimps, keeping a distance of 8 meters between you and the chimpanzees, never enter the park without a park guide, no flash photography.
Look out for other primates like olive baboons, bush babies, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, bush babies, and others. Numerous birds spend the day in the forest and during your trek, you may get to identify some of them like little greenbul, blue-breasted kingfisher, yellow-rumped tinker bird, African pitta, and blue-headed sunbird, black bee-eater mention but a few.
Chimpanzees normally communicate by beating the tree trunks to send a warning to the rest. Follow the guide’s instructions till you locate the chimpanzees. They live in a community under the leadership of an alpha male.
When you meet the chimpanzees wait and put a distance of about 8 meters apart from them. Watch them eat the day’s meal which is mainly foliage. During extreme drought, the chimpanzees may eat monkeys to survive but this is rare. Take photos as souvenirs for your chimpanzee trekking experience. It is like a trip to the lost relatives in the Jungle because chimpanzees have the closest DNA to about 98% of humans.
An optional visit to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary in Magombe swamp may give you chance to see primates you may have missed in the forest. Some of the primates include red colobus, black and white colobus monkeys, and Pottos monkeys to mention but a few. Over 138 bird species may be identified too including the serene shoe bill. It is a community-run project. Get back to the lodge to relax.
Day 3: The Forest Hike in Kibale National Park
This is a 12 km hike from Kanyanchu visitor center to the elephant wallow. This trek begins from 0800hrs to 1400hrs. During the hike you by-pass diverse habitats like a tropical rainforest, riverine forest, swamp, and grassland.
This walk gives you chance to see more primates, a number of birds, bushbucks, and duikers. This hike is more effective from June to September and mid-November to February.
Day 4: Visit Amabere ga Nyina Mwiru stalactites and stalagmites and Tooro Kingdom
Step out of the forest to and take a walk to the stalagmites and stalactites called Amabere ga Nyinamwiru. The history behind these land formations is lovely to listen to. It is believed these stalactites and stalagmites developed from a Tooro princess’s breasts that were cut off. Bypass the incredible falls that pour from the many rivers that feed the falls. You’ll proceed hiking through creeping tendrils taking you to the top.
Spend the afternoon in the King’s palace. The kings of Tooro locally have the title of Omukama. Currently the Omukama of Tooro is Oyo Kabamba Iguru. Enjoy the guided walk through the place. When standing in the compound of the Tooro King, you get a clearer panoramic view of the entire Fort Portal town. Relax in the compound and take photos in front of this incredible circular glass palace building.
If you checked out of your lodge in Kibale National Park, you may book overnight in accommodations available in Fort portal town like Mountains of the Moon Hotel
Day 5: Departure day
After having fun chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National park, drive back to Entebbe to catch up with your return flight.
Two main routes are available to get to Kibale National Park and below are the possible routes.
Sebitori Forest Camp a secondary tourism center of Kibale National Park lies close to the Kampala main road to Fort Portal. This is about 16 km prior to arriving at Fort Portal town. To enjoy the tour to Kibale National Park it is best enjoyed when you take a round trip.
Take the route through Kampala-Mubende- Fort portal at the start and then go through Kibale-Fortpotal-Mbarara-Kampala on Departure day. Respective routes have different and exciting features in the countryside that you can stop by to enjoy or look out of the window to see.
Daily domestic flights depart Entebbe Airport and Kajjansi Airstrip to Kasese Airstrip. You may opt to take a Fly-in Chimpanzee trekking safari. You need a transfer vehicle to take you from the airstrip to in or out of the park premises. These flights take about 2 hours to arrive at the airstrip and are two schedules morning and afternoon.
Charter flights from Kajjansi Air Strip or Entebbe Airstrip can also be arranged upon request
Each day the Uganda wildlife Authority issued chimpanzee permits. Two chimpanzee trekking sessions are available for tourist booking that is morning and afternoon.
Each chimpanzee trekking permit cost $150 per person per trek. You need to book your chimpanzee trekking permit in advance because they get sold out, especially during peak season.
Although the Kibale Forest is not as sodden as Bwindi Forest, you need to pack gears that will protect you from jungle conditions.
Safari vacations and travel services designs itineraries in Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC with over 10 years of experience and we are proud of our reputation for executing some of the most highly-rated vacation experiences. Our local consultants plan with you your preferred itinerary using expert ground knowledge. We take care of all the local logistics like permits, accommodation, and transport. And also, manage your entire trip, from start to finish.
For inquiries, advice on how to plan for this safari, booking the hiking permits; organizing transport and accommodation, get in touch with safari vacations and travel services, we help you to avoid inconveniences after landing for the safari.