If you are looking for monkeys, there is one place in Africa that will make you happy. If you are planning a special safari among the most incredible creatures of this continent, you must come here. To western Uganda, to Kibale National Park, to be exact. One of the many national parks and reserves of this nation, Kibale has the highest concentration of monkeys and apes in East Africa. Over 13 species of these animals live here, along with species of birds and millions insect. This is the park with the most beautiful butterflies ever!
The territory had been declared a “protected reserve” already in 1932 but only in the 1990s it became a real National Park. Very close to Queen Elizabeth National Park, it is one of the most interesting tourist places in Uganda. Both parks host itineraries for safaris and are worth the visit. Animals and humans – the Batooro and Bakiga tribes – live in full harmony, here, ready to welcome foreigners. All tourist services are in Fort Portal, the closer town and starting point of all trips.
What to see in Kibale National Park
The beauty of the landscape in Kibale National Park is unique. It consists of three different environments: mountain forests, open grasslands and swamps. It offers the most stunning views of Africa, and a safari here will be unforgettable! Among the 13 species of local monkeys you will admire: mangabeys, blue monkeys, colobuses, chimpanzees. It is also easy to meet elephants, often migrating from Queen Elizabeth park to the nearby plains, or leopards. Sometimes safaris can enter the lions’ territories and also run side by side with buffalos.
In Kibale you can admire birds of many species. Long-tailed cuckoos, parrots and birds of prey will be your favourite natural show. Pay special attention to butterflies: here you can find some of the most beautiful in Africa. Tourists are welcome among the local tribes. The people who still live inside the park will show you their daily life. They are mostly farmers and many of them work in the local coffee plantations. Unfortunately wild agricultural exploitation and too many safaris are changing the environment and also the animals’ behaviour. Always listen to your expert guides when you are on trip over there.
Things to do
Safaris are the main tourist activity in Kibale. Driving throughout the natural habitat of the animals is the best way to meet them and observe them. You can also practice bird-watching, here, as well as forest hiking and guided walks. Other interesting activities do not concern safari. You can see how local rangers help young monkeys to learn things, or how they cure them and introduce them again in the nature (chimps habituation). Between one safari and the other, do not miss a visit to the lovely Fort Portal, the reference town. Here you can find services, shops, even some spa – thanks to the local hot springs.
Information about Kibale
Tourist can sleep in Kibale thanks to two lodges – Primate Lodge and Nbali Lodge – and a tented camp, Mantana. This will allow you to also enjoy nice walks or “safari on foot” to closer areas of the park.
A very large and direct road, though unpaved, connects the park to both Fort Portal and Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. Buses or jeeps can easily get there, but it takes a 4-hour drive from the capital. The reference airport is, of course, Entebbe.