Top Things To Do and See in Kibale Forest National Park

Posted by on March 7, 2020

Choose your Top Things to do and see in Kibale Forest Park

Kibale Forest Informational Guide – East Africa’s Best Chimpanzee Trekking Park


The Top Things To Do and See in Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale Forest is where the Central African Jungle meets East Africa. It is East Africa’s premier Chimpanzee Trekking Park. It is Home to 13 Primate Species, including almost 1,500 Chimpanzees. 

Kibale Forest, when it comes to Primates, including chimpanzees, offers you the best experience in East Africa with sure sightings during a Chimpanzee Trek. It is also the best location in Uganda. There are about 5,000 Chimpanzees in Uganda, 1,500 of them are inside of Kibale Forest.

Kibale Forest and the surrounding area offers much more than Chimpanzee Trekking. It is one of the only Tropical Rainforests in East Africa. It gives visitors Africa beyond savannahs and arid planes. 

Kibale Forest National Park is one of East Africa’s major Tropical Rainforest, something you cannot find in Kenya or Tanzania. A Visit to the Forest allows you to discover a whole other world of the Rainforest Jungle where the vegetation alone will amaze you.


Kibale Forest National Park is mostly known for Chimpanzee Trekking.  There is, however, much more to Kibale Forest than the chimpanzees of Kibale Rainforest. Kibale is one of the most diverse parks in Uganda.  Kibale Forest is not only rainforest but patches of grassland savannah and swamps.  Kibale Forest is connected to Queen Elizabeth Park through a 180-kilometer long wildlife corridor that even extends beyond Kibale Forest.

In Kibale Forest, you can find Vervet Monkeys, Red Tailed Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, gray-cheeked Mangabey Monkeys, Red Colobus, Black and White Colobus, Olive Baboons. And, of course, the primate for which Kibale Forest is best known for – Chimpanzees.

Nocturnal Primates include Bushbabies and Pottos, and you can often see them when taking a nightly guided forest walk with spotlights, which is unusual and rewarding activity.

Kibale Forest is more than chimpanzees and other primates. It is home to about 70 species of mammals, and the checklist of them is quite impressive and includes Forest Elephants (about 500), Forest Buffaloes, Hippos, Warthogs, Giant Forest Hogs, Bushpigs. Bushbuck Antelopes, Golden Cats, Leopards, Sitatunga Semi-Aquatic Antelopes with webbed hoofs, also red and blue Duikers.

Kibale is one of the best forest parks for birds in Uganda with 375 recorded species and birders can easily spend days here exploring what Kibale Forest has to offer them spotting birds such as the African Pitta, Green-breasted Pitta, Afep Pigeon, White-naped Pigeon, Crowned Eagle, Red-chested Owlet, Black Bee-eater, Western Nicator, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Little Greenbul, Brown-chested Alethe, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, African Grey Parrot, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Brown Illadopsis, Black-capped Apalis, Blue-headed Sunbird, Collared Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Yellow Spotted Nicator, Little Green Bul, Black-eared Ground Thrush, and the Abyssinian Ground-thrush.

If you are a butterfly enthusiast, you will love the Kibale Rainforest and its 250 species of Butterflies. If you are really on the lookout for the unusual, you will spot a few reptiles and amphibians along the trail.

All this makes Kibale Rainforest a most appealing place for you to explore.  Beyond the Kibale Park are the Crater Lakes, where you can hike, fish, and swim in some.


Top Things to do and see – Activities in or near Kibale Forest Park


Chimpanzee Trekking:

Most visitors to Kibale Forest go chimpanzee tracking, which means that you will be one hour with a chimpanzee group.  Some want more of the experience of being with the chimpanzees, and you can have more.

Kibale Forest is the best Chimpanzee Trekking Location in East Africa. None of our Clients have missed out on seeing the Chimpanzees on their Trek.

At Kibale Forest, you can also spend a whole day with a Chimpanzee Group in what is called a Chimpanzee Habituation Experience.  It is an all-day experience from very early to late afternoon.

Kibale Forest is the Primate Capital of East Africa is the best place to track Chimpanzees in Uganda, there are other excellent chimpanzee trekking places but none like Kibale Forest.


Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Kibale Forest:

Kibale Forest is the best place in East Africa for the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience.  It is an all-day experience with the chimpanzees in Kibale Forest.

The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience begins early in the morning. It lasts all-day long – you are with a guide, researchers, trackers, and others as you are in the presence of Chimpanzees being habituated.

Not only will you see Chimpanzees, but other primates, birds, butterflies, trees, and mammals.

The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience is different from typical chimpanzee Trekking in that you are an active participant in the habituation process itself.

The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience – also called CHEX, is one of the more popular activities for our safari clients.


Hikes and Nature Walks:

Nature walks and hikes abound in, near, and around Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda.  There is even a hike that traverses the length of the park. Where each night you sleep in a different area outside of the park.

There are also plenty of day-hikes in or near the park and in the park for you to enjoy the various aspects of the Kibale Forest and the surrounding area.

There is a great half-day (Plus) hike during the dry seasons of 12 kilometers in length.  Along with this hike, you can see the varied habitats found in the forest, rivers, swamp, grassland, and the tropical rainforest, all making up Kibale Forest.  An extended hike (several days) through the park can be taken and can be incorporated into your itinerary.

Five days Kibale Forest Chimpanzee Trekking – Hiking Safari


Nocturnal Forest Walk:

The night forest walk takes place after dinner in Kibale Forest.  You are guided by Uganda Wildlife Rangers equipped with spotlights to see the forest come alive at night.

You can see the creatures of the night, such as Bush Babies, Pottos, at times Tree Pangolins and other nocturnal animals, including the birds that rule the night in the forest.

The walk is about 1 1/2 hours in length.  The walk is optional in Safaris that take in Kibale Forest and is best taken during the night that you arrive in Kibale Forest.

The nocturnal forest walk requires that dinner arrangements are made at the lodge where you are staying.

Nocturnal Walk costs more than typical hikes in the parks.


Chimpanzee Trekking and Chimpanzee Habituation Safaris:

Kibale Forest is one of the highlights of any Ugandan Safari.  After Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, it is the favorite Primate Park to visit in Uganda.

What makes Kibale Forest even more popular are the added plus items that one can do see on a chimpanzee trekking or habitation experience safaris to the park.  The Plus Features such as Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary, the Crater Lakes, Caves, and hikes.

The primary reason that visitors come to Kibale Forest is the fact that the Forest is the Primate Capital in East Africa with 13 species of Primates that can be seen here.

You can easily combine Mountain Gorilla, wildlife, and chimpanzees on a 7-day safari in Uganda.


Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary:

Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary – only a swamp in the tropical jungle, filled with natural wonders that have amazed and delights thousands each year as they trek through this Jungle Swamp – primates – including chimpanzees in the afternoon, birds including the large Blue Turaco.

Even more than that, the incredible plants, trees, palms, Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary have become a must-visit place near Kibale Forest.

It is a Bigodi Community Project, and the guides are from the project, and the community benefits greatly.

The walk is 3 hours in length and not to be missed by birders.

For many, this is one of the best experiences in Uganda.


Crater Lakes Top of the World Hike:

Near Kibale Forest, you will find many crater lakes which you see as we drive near the Park.

The top of the World Hike is a popular activity near Kibale Forest – a three-hour or longer guided walk covering three crater lakes, villages, tea plantations, and a view from the top of the world that takes in 3 crater lakes and the Rwenzori Mountains with the landscape below.

This hike is three hours in length and is taken with guides who can explain Village life – the legends of the crater lakes, the tea and vanilla plantations all along the way

Other crater lake hikes can be done either half or full-day.

The Crater Lake Trail – Kibale Forest – Queen Elizabeth Park

The Explosion Craters and Crater Lakes of Western Uganda

Rwenzori Mountain Foothills


The Amabere Caves:

Visit this fantastic cave for its beauty, natural wonder, and cultural legends. In essence, it is located not too far from Kibale Forest and is a most welcomed addition to the other places in, near, or around Kibale Forest Park.

The Amabere caves – just a short drive are a combination of legends and nature – you will hear the stories of old and see nature at work as you are guided on the hike to the caves and the waterfall.

The hike – nature-walk is about two-three hours in length and is conducted with a local guide provided by the owner of the property.

Three nearby crater lakes can be visited on a hike.

This is a privately-owned site, and there is a fee charged for visiting the Cave that many consider too high.


The Nakayima Witch’s Tree:

This is a cultural and traditional worship site that you can visit on the way to Kibale from Kampala or from Kibale to Kampala.

Commonly called the Witch’s Tree it is on top of a hill with great views, it is used by Ugandans who come and appeal to the spirits in the case of illness, infertility, diseases, relationships.

A tour guide will give you insight into the site, the current cultural practices, and the oral history of this ancient tree and the reason it became an artistic site many years ago.

Break your drive-time from or to Kampala or Entebbe with a visit to the Nakayima Cultural site.

Even President Museveni and his wife have come here to visit the leading historical site.


Kibale Forest Lodging Choices:

Choices of lodging from budget to Luxury that you while visiting Kibale Forest and partake in the many activities described here.

In the budget – moderate range Kibale Forest Camp stands out, and in the Luxury range, it is Kyaninga Lodge overlooking a crater lake. Ndali Lodge also is exemplary, and both lodges are still the best in the area, and our clients have loved their several stays here.

Crater Lake Safari Lodge has become one of the most consistent luxury lodges that the majority of our client love.

We will work with your lodging choices when creating a safari for you and consider your budget choices.

Kibale Forest – the best Primate Park in East Africa – It is certainly not to be missed during your time in Uganda.


Contact us about the Top Things To Do and See in Kibale Forest National Park – that you want to include in your Safari in Uganda.