Kibale National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. Forest cover interspersed by patches of grassland and swamp, dominates the northern and central parts of the park on an elevated plateau. The park ins home to a total of 60 mammal species, most famously the 13 species of primates including the chimpanzee. It also contains over 375 species of birds. Kibale adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south to create a 180-km long corridor for wildlife between Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, as Sebitoli in the north of Kibale.
Best Season to Visit to Kibale National Park and Track Chimps
Northern Kibale is the park’s wettest area, receiving mean annual rainfall of up to 1700mm, mostly during March-May and September-November. The climate is generally pleasant with a mean annual temperature range of 14˚-27˚C. Temperatures are highest (and rainfall lower) in the south where the terrain drops down onto the hot rift valley floor and forest gives way to open grasslands.
Dry Season: June to September is the driest time and temperatures average 80˚(25˚) when most animals remain near water, but be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms at anytime. The hot dry time is January to February and is good time to visit.
Rainy Season: It rains anytime from October to December and March to May when many roads become impassible.
What to Bring on a tour to Kibale National Park
Hiking boots are ideal for forest walks although stout walking shoes are adequate. Lightweight rain coats are advisable. Altitude and forest environment makes evenings cool and a lihgt jacket is recommended. If you choose to bring a camera, be aware that the dark-haired chimpanzees in typically dim conditions present challenging subjects.
Recommended Lodging and Accommodation Options in Kibale and Fort Portal
Ndali Lodge set stunningly amidst the Bunyaruguru crater lake region of Western Uganda, 24 kilometres south of Fort Portal
Kibale Forest Camp situated in a patch of indigenous forest, just outside Kibale Forest National Park. The camp consists of 7 African safari style tents, which are comfortably furnished with twin or double beds
Kyaninga Lodge located 15 minutes outside Fort Portal town. Perched atop a hill overlooking a stunning blue crater
lake, the lodge enjoys spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding landscape
Primate Lodge Kibale is located at the Kanyanchu Visitors Centre in Kibale
National Park. From Fort Portal follow the road to Kamwenge for 36 kms and branch off at the sign post directing to Primate Lodge Kibale.
Chimps Nest Kibale near Nyabubale, a small village between Nkingo and Bigodi. It’s only a 15-minute drive from Kanyanchu, the starting point of UWA chimp-tracking and other activities in Kibale Forest.
CVK Lakeside Resort.This picturistic low budget priced accommodation is located near a beautiful Crater Lake Nyabikere
Mountains of The Moon Hotel This is a large resort-style hotel, just outside of the center of Fort Portal. It features a large main building with a central garden and rooms surrounding an inside courtyard.
Rwenzori View Guesthouse This is a small scale beautiful guest house in Fort Portal. The owners managed to get the perfect informal atmosphere for this place.