Chimpanzee Trekking Group Safaris in Kibale Forest National Park
Though the park is well known for the primates, it is also diverse in other terrestrial mammals that can be seen in the park, including; the Red and blue duikers, bushbucks, forest elephants, bush pigs, common giant forest hogs and so much more. Some of the daily sighted species of birds, include olive long-tailed cuckoo, great blue Turaco, Patas grey parrot and the ground thrush which is endemic to Kibale forest.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale
The varied flora and a huge forest canopy has made Kibale forest a perfect home for chimpanzees that everyone on a chimp hunt is recommended here. Chimp trekking in Kibale forest gives a unique experience that no other forest reserve can give in Uganda and East African region. An all day trip to this place can do you better than expected. Walking through the lush vegetation while dodging, ducking and pushing your way through the thick branches, damp dirt and leaves.
Trekking through a thick fog, burrs and wet undergrowth plants, proceed to move up the steep terrain, while grabbing on to tree branches and strong vines to help you pull up, step by step as you try to reach out to the direction where the sounds of chimps are heard. The reward in the end of a chimp trek in Kibale forest is definitely worthwhile, with safari ants under your shirt and crawling at their pace, pale face and wet shoes, these humble apes will finally come into sight and proceed to have an up close encounter with the gentle, intelligent creatures. Meeting these chimps face-to-face is a completely rare and special treat that no one should ever miss.
Nature Walks in Kibale Forest
Due to the diverse nature of this park, interesting nature walks have been constructed and are always there to offer memorable nature-friendly treks for any visitor. The park offers both day and nocturnal guided nature walks to expose trekkers to diverse experiences. A day nature walk is favorable for carrying out chimpanzee treks and some other rare residents of the park and as they go to rest, the nocturnal walk begins after dinner, usually at 7:00 – 7:30 pm and lasting for about 2 – 3 hours.
A day nature walk is also ideal for butterfly viewing and as well important for birding expeditions, to explore Kibale forest’s 372 varied bird species. Birding can also be done in the Bigodi wetland sanctuary, which is a popular home of the great Blue Turaco as well as magical community encounters, biking and other cultural experiences. A night walk is an interesting adventure, particularly for spotting rarely seen nocturnal animals such as the Potta, bush baby, nightjar, cricket, tree hyrax, and the occasional serval cat and leopards. The strong spotlights offer clear sights of such nocturnal creatures.
Night nature walks are a ‘must do’ while in this tropical forest; Beginning after dinner, visitors undertake the amazing nocturnal walk not just to view the sleeping jungle life, but to experience the remote African rain forest life. Beyond viewing the nocturnal creatures of Kibale forest, it is the feeling of the jungle with its night echoes, plants and trees that seem to take a different expression at night. An outstanding feature of the walk is experiencing the jungle echoes in the night on your Nocturnal Forest Walk in Kibale Forest, which is an out-of-ordinary experience.
Accommodation in Kibale Forest National Park
There are numerous lodging facilities that serve Kibale forest ranging from back packers camp sites, basic lodges and safari tents, midrange and standard lodges, and super luxurious lodges. These are well distributed across all corners of the forest; in the north (the crater lakes region), Southern part (the Bigodi sector) while others are located inside the park offering firsthand forest experience.
Whether you stay in the up-market Kyaninga lodge, Primate Lodge or choose to slumber at the basic Rweteera Safari camp; the experience you find in each of them is worthwhile. Don’t let your budget be the hindrance to a great group tour in Kibale national park. What makes lodges in Kibale specifically unique is that each has been designed and built intentionally on a prime spectacular location overlooking the crater lakes, forests, conical hills or evergreen vegetation, all furnishing their visitors with extra ordinary scenic views.
When to visit Kibale forest for group tours
The wettest sector of Kibale is its northern side (crater lakes region) which receives an average annual rainfall of around 1700mm, mainly during months of March to May and September – November. Rainfall is lower (Temperatures are highest) in the south (Bigodi sector) where the terrain is more flat at a point which intercepts with the rift valley floor and where the thick forest begins to give way to open grassland. However, Kibale’s climate is generally pleasant with average annual temperatures ranging from 14 to 27 degrees Celsius.
Joining a group tour to Kibale forest
Group tours to Kibale forest are perfect for intrepid travelers, researchers, students, and those who really need a completely off-the-beaten path experience in an African jungle. Though chimpanzee trekking is restricted to only 8 people per troop per trek, but Kibale can still be visited by more than 100 people per day due to the increased number of habituated troops of chimpanzees. There are numerous activities in Kibale forest which can best be done in groups including Crater Lake hikes, tea plantation tours, cycling, community walks, nature walks and more.