Discover Primate Paradise: Kibale National Park

Popular Tours to Kibale National Park

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Kibale Forest National Park, also known as the primate capital is one of the most attractive forests in Uganda, the best protected area that offers natural freshness. This park is dominated by a natural rainforest and shelters variety of primate species, about 13 of them including the chimpanzees. It is strategically located in the rift valley area and prides itself of favorable weather conditions.

Kibale National Park straddles in the Kabarole District, and surrounded by Kamwenge and Kasese districts. It is found in the Albertine rift valley area and as you drive to the park, it is possible to view the scenic Crater Lakes. The parks that border Kibale Forest National Park include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semuliki National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park.


Kibale houses a diversity of faunal species, about 70 mammal species which include 13 species of primates and 375 bird species, reptiles, butterflies and more. The park’s animal species include the red-tailed monkeys, buffaloes, duikers, elephants, sitatungas, bushbucks, mongoose, serval, warthogs, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, African golden cats, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, chimpanzees, Uganda mangabeys, red colobus monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, to name but a few

chimpanzee tracking

Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale

Chimpanzee trekking is the main highlight of any safari to Kibale National Park. This park alone holds over 1500 chimpanzees and several communities have been habituated for tourism reasons. The chimpanzee share over 98% of DNA with humans and makes them our closest relatives in the natural habitat. Day chimpanzee trekking sessions start in the morning and in the afternoon at 2pm. Each session is led by an experienced park guide and takes about 2-4 hours which include one hour of a close encounter and taking photos. Visiting Kibale Forest to see chimpanzees requires you to have a valid permit and each chimp permit costs USD200 per person.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

If you are an enthusiastic primate lover and want to spend more time face-to-face with chimpanzees, then chimpanzee habituation experience (CHEX) should be a must-book. This is half-day or full-day search for semi-habituated chimpanzees and it is all about making them get used to human presence. Entirely, habituation is a process and takes about 2 years less or more for chimpanzee communities to get familiar to human presence in the wild and they are opened for trekking. Kibale chimp habituation experience permits cost USD250 per visitor.

chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest national park


Kibale is a rich birding location, supporting over 375 bird species and include native, endemic and forest species. 4 of the park’s birds can’t be spotted anywhere else in Uganda and include the blue-headed bee-eaters, Cassin’s spinetail, Masked Apalis and the African green breasted pittas. Other birds to identify on birding tour include the purple-breasted sunbird, yellow-spotted nicator, blue-breasted kingfishers, Abyssinian ground thrush, Nahan’s francolins, red-faced woodland warblers, African grey parrots, black-capped apalis, scaly-breasted illadopsis, African grey parrots and more.

Nature walks/hiking

Nature walks are rewarding on-foot experience that tourists visiting Kibale National Park should expect on Uganda safari. This is done around Kanyanchu area and Bigodi Wetland. Diversity of primates and birds plus butterflies can be spotted on a guided nature walk and include colobus monkeys.

Hikes are also enjoyable on a tour in Kibale National Park. These are done along the different trails in the park and nearby including the Mpanga Waterfall trail, Sebitoli and Kihingami wetlands, Ndali-Kasenda Crater Lakes Area, and others.

When to visit Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park safari tours are done at any time of the year. The park enjoys favorable weather conditions throughout the year, but the best time to go chimpanzee trekking is during the months of June, July, August, September & December, January & February. The wet or off months, especially March, April, May and October to November are ideal for birding or chimpanzee habituation experience.