Primate Holidays

Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda

Kibale Forest National Park

Located in western Uganda, Kibale National Park is a hotspot for primatologists and visitors alike. The park is well-known for its abundance of chimpanzees, earning it a reputation as one of the best places to see these fascinating primates. Many visitors come here specifically to observe these apes in their natural habitat. The size of the national park known as Kibale Forest is 795 square kilometres. Uganda Wildlife Authority is responsible for the safety and upkeep of the park.

Attractions in Kibale Forest National Park.

Tourists on safari in Kibale National Park are sure to be astonished by the park’s many noteworthy features.


Over 13 species of primates that call Uganda home can all be found in Kibale Forest National Park, with over 1,450 chimpanzees that stay in the park. These apes make their homes in the park’s dense canopy, where they construct elaborate tree nests from which they glean food and cover for their young. The park is home to a wide variety of primates, including the top primate, the chimpanzee, as well as other primates such as white and black colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, Olive baboons, grey checked mangabeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and many others.

Visitors to Kibale Forest National Park can observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat and participate in chimpanzee habituation safari in the Kanyanchu area of the park.

Animal species.


Kibale Forest National Park is not just a great place to see chimpanzees, but also a variety of other animals thanks to its unusual location and the park’s well-maintained, dense forest environments. Elephants, lions, leopards, African pam civets, warthogs, bushbuck, sitatunga, marsh mongooses, golden cats, and a host of other animals call this park home.

Bird species.


Over 375 different kinds of birds have been spotted in Kibale National area, including endemic species found only in the area, woodland birds, migratory birds, and many others. Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds, little greenbuls, red-faced woodland warblers, black-eared ground thrushes, yellow-spotted Nicators, yellow-breasted Apalis, Papyrus Canary, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Blue-Shouldered Robin-Chat, Malachite Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Blue-Throated Roller, White-Crested Turaco, Helmeted Guineafowl and purple-breasted sun birds are just few of the bird species that may be seen in the park.

Activities in Kibale Forest National Park.


Chimpanzee trekking.

Kibale National Park is popular among tourists because of the chimpanzee trekking safari that can be done there. In my opinion, this is the most visually stunning aspect of a safari in Uganda. Briefings on park regulations and safety procedures for chimpanzee trekking safaris are given at the park’s headquarters at the crack of dawn. After the orientation, park rangers will lead you into the park’s jungles along well-maintained paths so you may observe chimpanzees up close.

Chimpanzee trekking can last anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours, depending on how far the chimpanzees have to travel in the forest in search of food. During your trek, you’ll also see a variety of other animals, plants, and birds native to the park. Once you locate the chimpanzees, you’ll have an hour to immerse yourself in their world, observing everything from their feeding routines and grooming their young to how they respond to being photographed and filmed.

Chimpanzee habituation.

Chimpanzee habituation in Uganda’s Kibale National Park is once-in-a-lifetime safari experience unlike any other. This fascinating safari activity involves acclimating wild chimpanzees to the presence of humans, and it begins bright and early (around 6:00 a.m.) with a briefing on the park’s rules and regulations. A group of researchers, guides, scientists, and park rangers will lead you into the forest after a short briefing; as you make your way through the forest in search of chimpanzees, you’ll have the opportunity to see many other species of primates, plants, and birds. After a gruelling four-hour trip, visitors finally get to spend some quality time with the chimpanzees they’ve been searching for.

Chimpanzee habituation is when visitors spend extended periods of time in the company of chimpanzees in order to become accustomed to them and learn about their culture by watching them interact with one another, groom their young, hunt, construct their nighttime nests, name their young, and a variety of other activities.

Bird watching.

Kibale National Park is a great place to go for bird watching safari because it is home to over 375 different species of birds, including migratory birds, forest birds, and birds that are unique to the Albertine Rift, and you can go bird watching there at any time of day (morning, afternoon, or night) with the help of a knowledgeable bird guide. They include the Afep pigeon, Black bee-eater, Brown illaopsis, Crowned eagle, Grey parrot, Masked apalis, Nahan’s francolin, Red-chested owlet, Western nicator, crowned eagle, African pied wagtail, black capped waxbill, great blue turaco, Little Greenbul, African green pigeon, blue breasted kingfisher, yellow spotted Nicator, papyrus canary, African dusky flycatcher, Ash flycatcher, Brown-eared woodpecker, papyrus gonolek, collared appalis, and African Emerald Cuckoo and among others.

Guided nature walks.


The ideal way to explore Kibale National Park is on a guided nature walk safari, where visitors may see areas of the park that are inaccessible by car and learn about the park’s hidden gems with the help of an expert guide. During nature walks, visitors have a better chance of seeing some of the most fascinating creatures up close, such as elephants, monkeys (such as red-tailed monkeys and black-and-white colobus monkeys), birds, and butterflies.

Kibale Forest National Park
Guided nature walks

Night forest walks.


Visitors to Kibale National Park who are smart about their travel plans take part in the park’s unique night forest hikes. Here, visitors can see the park’s sights with the help of park rangers and flashlights, focusing in on the nocturnal animals including hyenas, pottos, bush babies, serval cats, civets, and more.

Best time to visit Kibale national park.

The dry months of June through September and December through February are the best times to visit Kibale National Park because the trails used for chimpanzee trekking safari and nature walks will be completely dry and easy to navigate.

Where to stay in Kibale National Park.

Chimpanzee forest lodge, Nyankuruba nature reserve and community campsite, Turaco treetops, Chimpundu lodge, Primate safari lodge, Isunga lodge, and many others can be found within Kibale National Park and are suitable for visitors of all budget ranges and tastes.

How to get to Kibale forest national park.

The national park of Kibale is easily accessible by road and air from Kampala, the country’s capital.

By Road means.

From Kampala, you can take a road trip to Kibale Forest National Park via Mubende, Fort Portal, or Mbarara, Kamwenge; from there, it’s another 6 or 7 hours to the park’s headquarters.

By Air transport.

It is possible to fly to Kibale Forest National Park from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield, and then take a connecting flight to Kasese or Semuliki Airstrip, from which the park can be reached via road.

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