Kibale National Park
The park is a vast piece of equatorial rainforest, located some 35km South of Fort Portal. It adjoins with Queen Elizabeth National Park and is an important eco-tourism and safari destination, popular for its population of habituated chimpanzees and 12 other species of primate. It is also the location of a biological field station managed by Makerere University.
Kibale is home to the highest concentration of primates in the world. Black-and-White and Red Colobus, L’Hoest’s Monkeys and Galagos are among the different species of primates which have been counted there.
The park’s main attraction, however, are the 500 Chimpanzees, which have been habituated to human visitors since 1992. You can search for some of our closest relatives on a guided 4-hour forest walk. More than likely, the Chimps will be found on one of the huge fig trees where they spend the day, feeding on the sweet ripe fruits.
At times, a young male threatens to attack the visitors, but those tricks are more funny than scary.
Kibale’s population of elephants travels between the park and Queen Elizabeth National Park, and other large animals that live in the park include leopards, bushpigs, three species of duiker and two species of otter. Bird life is also prolific, particularly noisy hornbills, two species of pitta and African Grey Parrots.
There are a number of hotels in Fort Portal.
The Ruwenzori View Guesthouse is situated in beautiful and quiet Surroundings. All rooms have hot and cold running water, shower and toilet. In this family-run establishment the ambience is friendly and the food is extraordinarily good.
At Ndali Lodge, each of the four cottages face the Mountains of the Moon. On a clear morning, the snow on the peaks is clearly visible. All cottages have private facilities. The lodge sits near a delightful crater lake. Mark Price provides a friendly welcome and an interesting stay.
CVK (Crater Valley Kibale) Resort Beach Lodge, 21 km from Fort Portal town and just on the border of the Park, 10 km from Kanyanchu, is another alternative to the above. It is elevated to provide beautiful views of the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and has a myriad of crater lakes to which tourists can walk. CVK is a beautiful example of ECO-TOURISM being practised.
Kanyanchu Tourist Camp just 35 km from Fort Portal town. With an open forest and large community of chimpanzee, Kanyanchu offers an enjoyable chimpanzee tracking experience. There is an on-going habituation project of chimpanzees and monkeys run by The Jane Goodall Institute & Uganda Wildlife Authority. All of the guides are actively involved with the Kibale Habituation Project. Visitors are assured that they are supporting a sustainable eco-tourism initiative for effective conservation of the Park.
At the nearby villages of Bigodi and Nkingo, there are simple Lodges and Camps, and meals are available.
A good spot for campers and backpackers is Rwengo Lakeside Tourism Camp.
Inside the park, camping facilities are available. There are two, private campsites, each with a tent which sleeps two. Bedding is provided. There are four additional campsites, where you must bring your own tent and bedding. At all sites, you must bring your own food and utensils. Fuel can be provided for cooking.
The park is located in South Western Uganda on the East side of the Western (Albertine) African Rift Valley. It lies along Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and borders the DRC’s Virunga National Park, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated in the Bundibugyo, Kabarole, and Kasese districts.
Popularly referred to as the “Mountains of the Moon, the Rwenzori Mountains boasts of some of the highest peaks in the world. Only Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya in the neighboring Tanzania and Kenya overshadow it but only in elevation. Rwenzori’s highest peaks are permanently snow capped and they offer great trekking experiences for mountain climbers.
The Rwenzori Mountains are unique in the fact that they are not volcanic in origin, but were forced ‘up’ during the upheaval and formation of the Great Rift Valley. Primarily, they attract hikers and mountain climbers. However, the park also supports an impressive number of mammals including elephants, chimpanzee, golden cat, rock hyrax, Sitatunga, genet, black-and-white Colobus monkey, Duiker, Vervet, giant forest hog and many of the shyer species of antelope such as duiker, as well as a diverse and colourful variety of bird-life.
Attractions and activities
Mountaineering is done during the morning hours starting from Nyabitaba, Bujuka and Mubutu. This is accompanied with porters to carry tourists to the peaks together with their language and professional guides are available in the park
Natural walks which lead to John Matte for a bout 7 hours up to Nyabitaba village can as well see the natural duikers.
Land-scape viewing the north ward westward as well as the Democratic republic of Congo.
Hiking to the hut Nyabitaba through the path Guy Yeaman, Kichunchu River Mubuku.
Bird watching in the Rwnzori Turaco and others.
Accommodation range from self-contained to non-self contained facilities. There are accommodation facilities in Kasese town. These are good clean mountain huts with rooms for about 15 people.