Best Time To Visit Kibale Forest National Park

The dry season is the best time for many activities in Kibale National Park for chimpanzee trekking

Best Time To Visit Kibale Forest National Park

Best time to visit Kibale Forest National Park for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. The park is located in western Uganda in Kamwenge district near Fort Portal, Kibale National Park was established in 1993 to protect the forest and it’s being managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority. Kibale National Park is best known for having the biggest number of chimpanzees over 1500 individuals, 500 bird species, 15 species of primates, 80 species of mammals, and 300 tree species.

Just like any other protected area in Uganda, Kibale National Park is always open throughout the year so you can book your safari to Kibale National Park any time of the year. But there are best times to visit Kibale National Park for activities like chimpanzee trekking, birding, nature walks, Crater Lake safaris, community walks, chimpanzee habituation, etc., and the best time to visit Kibale National Park is defined by the type of activity of your choice.

The best season for doing many activities at Kibale National Park is the dry season and this is the peak of the season in Uganda. The dry seasons in Uganda are always two and they are experienced in December, January, February and it resumes again in June and July. The dry season is the best time of the year to visit Kibale National Park because it finds the trails passable and dry making chimpanzee trekking and nature walks thrilling and easy. The forest is clear making the sights of different primates playing in the trees easy.

June, July, August, and September are months of the pick of tourism in Kibale National Park and other national parks in Uganda, and this time is called the high season for tourism. It’s about this season that Uganda receives a lot of visitors coming for primate trekking but mostly mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park but because gorilla trekking walks hand in hand with chimpanzee trekking, Kibale National Park being the best chimpanzee trekking destination in Uganda, it also receives a lot of visitors in June and September.

The wet season in Kibale National Park is experienced in March, April, and May and also from October to November. In this season much rainfall is received in May and November and it’s the worst time to visit the park because the trails in the park are impassable and slippery and lodges close up in these seasons because there are little visitors and they don’t want to occur losses in Kibale National Park.

However wet season in Kibale National Park is the best season for birding. In November you get a chance to see migratory birds in Kibale National park these come from Queen Elizabeth National Park and other places. This season is also best for the chimpanzee habituation process because the park is free to many visitors, so the chimpanzee habituation research process can be done easily. In this season Uganda Wildlife Authority tends to cut prices of most activities in all national parks including Kibale National Park to maximize visitor inflow into the country.

The dry season is the best time to visit Kibale forest national park for many activities i.e. chimpanzee trekking, hiking and nature walks, crater lake safaris, camping, birding among others. Though the wet season is also the best in its way as it finds Kibale National Park free for chimpanzee habituation

About Kibale Forest National park

Kibale National Park was gazetted in 1993 to protect the forest species in the area. Kibale National Park is located in southwestern Uganda in Kabarole districts, Kamwenge and Fort Portal. The park covers an area of 774 sq. km and is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Kibale Forest National Park eco-community has got birds, butterflies, mammals, and a wide range of interesting ecosystems. The park is well known for the highest number of chimpanzees in East Africa with four communities of fully habituated chimpanzees, Ngongo community with 200 chimpanzees in the central part of Kibale National Park. There is also the Kanyachu community on the southern side of Kibale national park and the Sebitole community found on the northern side of Kibale national park.

Kibale Forest National Park was gazetted as a logged forest in 1932 by the British. The forest was also used by the British to extract wood apart from protecting its nature, the called wild coffee from the forest. These British planted exotic trees in areas they had cleared hardwoods as the need for hardwood timber hiked when the construction of Kilembe copper mines began in Kilembe town, Kasese in 1950.

Kibale was gazetted as a forest reserve under British control in 1948 but they continuously cut trees and later could plant exotic trees in areas where they had cut the trees. In 1993 Kibale forest reserve was later established as Kibale National Park and Uganda national parks later 1994 took over the responsibility of the national park and in 1996 Uganda national parks merged with the game department of Uganda and formed Uganda wildlife authority which took the responsibility to consolidate and facilitate wildlife protection within Kibale Forest national park.

Kibble Forest National park is home to 13 species of primates making it the only park with the biggest number of primates in African in both total and number of species. Kibale national park has a total of 1500 chimpanzees while other primates include Ugandan mangabey, lophocebus ugandae, Uganda red colobus, red tailored monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, L’hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons among others.

Kibale National Park is not only a home for primates but also other animals like blue and red duiker, bushbucks, sitatungas, warthogs, lions, buffaloes, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, and other predators i.e. African golden cats, leopards mongooses among others.

There are so many activities in Kibale National Park which include hiking and nature walks through Bigodi wetlands sanctuary where you get to see different animals and birds and also tree species, nocturnal walks through the forest at night with a guide and friends here you get to see the night hunters such as leopards, pottos, cats, and pangolins

Chimpanzee trekking and habituation are the most done activities in Kibale National Park. These are best done at 8 am when chimpanzees are leaving their homes to go hunt for food and at 4 pm when they are coming back to their nests for resting.

Other activities include Crater Lake tours through the Ndali Kasenda crater region, bush crafts for kids, cultural encounters among others. You can visit Kibale National Park any time of the year however the best time to visit the park is during the dry season in June to September and December to January though some visitors prefer to visit the park in low seasons when the park is a fee and when there are discounts on park fees.

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