Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda is one of Africa`s famous forest national parks and most varied tropical forests. Kibale Forest National Park inhabits 13 species of primates and most notably the chimpanzees. Various inhabitants of the Kibale National Park range from the wet tropical forest of the Fort Portal plateau to the woodland savannas of the rift valley.

Kibale National Park covers an area of 766 square kilometers and stands at 1590m above sea level and forms a contagious block with Queen Elizabeth National Park at an altitude of 1.100-1.590m above sea level. The nearest city of the Park is Fort Portal with the park experiencing an average annual temperature of 14-27°c. Most of the Park`s area is covered by the tropical rain forest.

  • Best visited in dry season
  • Uganda, East Africa
  • Mainly chimpanzees to see
  • Can rain any time
  • Good fitness level required
  • Chimpanzee permit USD $200

Tourist Attractions in Kibale Forest

Kibale National Park is most known as a home to account of 13 species of primates including the endangered chimpanzees - the closest animal to a human being which shares about 99% of the human DNA. On the African continent, Kibale National Park is known as the best destination for sighting the chimpanzees because of the very big population of chimps in Kibale Forest.

Other species of primates in Kibale National Park include; Hoest's and blue monkeys, vervet, red-tailed and black and white Colobus monkeys, olive baboons among others. Kibale National Park is also one of the famous birding paradises in Africa with over 370 species of birds some of which are endemic like the Nathan’s francolin, blue-headed bee-eater, Cassin's spine tail and masked apalis.

Kibale National Park is also ideal for people who carry out research about plants. The forest has over 250 species of trees.


Kibale Forest Attractions

Chimpanzee Trekking

Chimpanzee trekking is one of the most common tourism (main visitor) activity in Kibale National Park. Trekking of Chimps in Kibale national park can be done every day in the morning and in the afternoon. The starting point for this activity is Kanyankyu gate and the activity begins with a briefing by the Uganda Wildlife officials. After the briefing, the tourist heads into the forest together with the ranger guide(s) to search for chimpanzees. A group of maximum 8 people are allowed to trek the chimpanzees and after sighting them, visitors and allowed to spend 1 hour with the chimps.

Chimpanzee Trekking is mainly done by to conserve these endangered cousins on man and only those who have purchased chimpanzee permits for that particular date are allowed to trek Chimpanzee leave in groups (families) and Kibale National Park has at least 11 families that can be trekked.


Birding is another prominent activity in Kibale national park is birding, the Park has over 270 species of birds and some of the forest birds are endemic to this place in all over Uganda and Africa.

Nocturnal Walk

Nocturnal walk as you search for nocturnal animals is also another common activity done by most of the visitors in Kibale National Park.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (HEX) enables visitors to accompany researchers and habituators into the forest. Visitors are allowed to spend much time with the chimpanzees and learn more about the chimps as much as they can.The chimpanzee groups involved are less accustomed to human presence than those visited on the Primate Walk and following and viewing them is both exciting and challenging.

Early visitors can watch chimps leaving their overnight nests between 6:00 – 6:30am before feeding, copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, resting, patrolling and displaying until it is time to build new nests around 7pm.

Chimps move freely in the wide forest so it is hard to determine the amount of time that will be spent searching for the chimps- but at least 95% of the visitors have been able to see them.Please read through the trekking rules or consult (us) your travel agents for further assistance.

Community/Cultural walks

Community walks like the Bigodi Community and Swamp walk is another serious activity in Kable National Pak, this community is initiative has professionally trained staff that enables the visitors to fins more primate and birds of their interesting species like the papyrus gonolek and the great blue Turaco that are available in the park.


Accommodation in Kibale

There are many accommodation facilities in and around Bwindi impenetrable national park and in various categories from luxury to midrange to budge and camping. A lust of accommodation facilities in Bwindi impenetrable national park include;

Luxury accommodation facilities; Trackers Safari Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi Lode, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lode, Ruhija Lodge, Lake Kitandara tented camp, Lake Murehe Safari Lodge and Gorilla Safari Lodge among others.

Midrange accommodation facilities include; silverback lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Engagi Safari lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, The Haven Buhoma lodge, Gorilla Valley lodge among others.

Budget accommodation facilities include; Buhoma community Rest Camp, The Gorilla Rest, Gorilla Conservation Camp, Trekkers Tavern Cottages, Eco Marvels Gorilla Lodge, The Crested Crane Bwindi Hotel, Gift of Nature Lodge, Bwindi Forest Safari Cottages and Rushaga Gorilla Camp among others.


How to get there

Kibale National Park is located in western Uganda, about 26km south-east of Fort Portal -the closest town to the Park. Kanyankyu River Camp is the primary centre for tourism activities and this can be accessed from Kampala either from the south through Mbarara and Kamwenge or north, via Mubende and Fort Portal.

By Road: The the shortest and quickest route is the northern route, with a 300km tarmac road running to Fort Portal and 36km on murram to Kanyankyu.

Public transport running throughout the day between Kampala and Fort Portal runs throughout the day (passing Sebitoli) and Fort Portal and Kamwenge (passing Kanyankyu).

By Air, Visitors can fly from Entebbe international airport or any other air strip and fly to Kasese Airstrip. From there, a vehicle can be arranged to pick-up clients and transfer them to the lodge of their choice. Domestic airlines like KEA and Aerolink operate scheduled and nonscheduled flight to this destination every day.