Kibale National Park
Kibale Forest National Park is all about tracking chimpanzees. When the going gets tough, there’s no embarrassment in taking a break that is until you hear the chimps loudly urging you not to give up. Kibale prides itself as being Africa’s top protected area for primates, numbering as estimated to13 species.
Being a rainforest, the humidity in the Kibale forest can get uncomfortable, but the vegetation is luxuriant and dense. Often hikers will come across a tangled growth of vines that are intertwined with the tree trunks. It may look like an animal, but it’s really planting matter.
Kibale can not be appreciated in a day, so you are best advised to book in at a lodge and get the best value for your visit. Chimps can be elusive when they want to be once you have them in your sights, they can not fail to enchant you with their antics.
Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, sharing more than 98% of our genetic blueprint. Humans and chimps are also thought to share a common ancestor who lived some four to eight million years ago. Chimps are generally fruit and plant eaters, but they also consume insects, eggs and meat. However, you are advised not to feed them.
A large block of rainforest that offers excellent birding experience harbouring over 400 species including weaver bird, pied hornbill, Narina Trogon, Afep Pigeon, Yellow-spotted, hairy breasted and Yellow-Billed Barbets, chestnut starlings and joyful Greenbul among others.
All treks through Kibale Forest are with a trained guide or warden. Beyond the chimps, Kibale is a great place to see a variety of butterflies. The cool weather and rich soils are ideal for growing some of Uganda’s best tea and is home to Robusta coffee.
Community Tourism in Kibale
Enjoy the experience of being one with the community. Eat a traditional meal which may mean doing without tables and chairs but after the first mouthful, you will not regret it. They are plenty of woven baskets and souvenirs from the communities around Kibale. Don’t miss to get yourself a keepsake from different women communities around to remind you of the trip.
You can not underestimate the importance of Kibale Forest National Park since rainforests now cover less than 6% of earth’s land surface. Scientists estimate that more than half of all the world’s plant and animal species live in tropical rain forests like Kibale. Tropical rain forests produce 40% of Earth’s oxygen.