Situated to the east of the snow capped Rwenzori Mountains or “Mountains of the Moon” in western Uganda, the Kibale Forest National Park is a haven for primates, boasting the greatest diversity of primates on Earth. The dense tropical African forest is also one of the best places on the planet to trek for chimpanzees – our closest living relatives (along with bonobo) – in their natural habitat; a wildlife experience that will thrill even the most seasoned of safari goers.
Spending a day on the chimpanzee habituation experience allows you to track a troop of noisy, whooping, shrieking and grunting chimps as they move through the forest. These are socially complex animals, our cousins in evolutionary terms, with complicated communication skills and facial expressions that are superior to the more introverted gorilla. Their social structures, their friendships and battles, their treatment of youngsters and old, their sexual behavior, all bear striking resemblance to the human condition. It is not surprising that we would be intensely curious about these great apes, that they can enrich our lives, reveal much about ourselves and remind us that we are a part of nature, not separate or above it.
For many travellers, the lure of puma tracking brings them to this spectacular corner of South America, but there’s so much more to enjoy in Torres del Paine, from world-class hiking in the valleys and mountains on day-long routes and multi-day treks to kayaking among icebergs, fly-fishing, horse riding and ice hiking on glaciers.
Chimps are not the only draw of Kibale. As you walk the forest trails you are likely to come across some of the 12 other species of primates; including the eastern black-and-white colobus and central Africa red colobus monkey, blue monkey, the highly terrestrial L’Hoest’s monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, and the delightful red-tailed monkey.
The year-round birdlife in Kibale is equally exciting with 372 species to entice twitchers. Kibale is home to species typical of medium-altitude forest, including the globally threatened white-naped pigeon, the highly sought-after green-breasted pitta, narina trogon and black bee-eater to mention a few.
WHY WE LOVE KIBALE
The best place for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda
Spectacular primate diversity
A bird watcher’s paradise with more than 370 species
250 species of butterfly
Chance of seeing elusive nocturnal species on night walks
If you would like to explore Kibale Forest with us please pop us a mail. Please note that our 2018 scheduled Uganda trip is now fully subscribed but our 2019 tour is open for bookings.
Dates: 23 February to 4 March 2019
- Guereza colobus monkey
- Central Africa red colobus monkey
- Blue monkey
- L’Hoest’s monkey
- Grey-cheeked mangabey
- Demidoff’s and Thomas’s Galagos
- Green-breasted pitta
- White-naped pigeon
- Narina trogon
- Black bee-eater
- Superb sunbird
- Cassin’s spinetail
- Abyssinian ground thrush
- Blue-breasted kingfisher
- Crowned eagle
Photo credits: Chimpanzee x 2 by Mario Haberfeld, black-and-white casqued hornbill and guereza colobus monkey by Larry Jackson.