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All About Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda
Kibale National Park is one of the most beautiful places of the tropical forest in Uganda, with a total surface of 795 km2. It is known as a domicile of forest wildlife, especially because of its 13 species of primates whose chimpanzee. It is prevailing in the north and central parts of the park, on the elevated flat terrain Fort Portal. Kibale is 1590m above the sea level; and it is the highest at the park’s northern lean. Its north is damp, with a mean annual precipitation of 1700mm, normally in March-May and September-November. The weather is usually pleasant and the annual temperature is 14-270c. Whereas the temperatures are hot, the rain becomes lower in the south. In that region, land drops come down to the hot rift valley f100r. It is to be noted that the forest offers an open pampas.
As in the South, the park meets Queen Elizabeth National Park. They both maintain a long migration passageway of about 180km of the wildlife, from Ishaka to Sebitoli. The former is the remote of the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and the latter is the forest in the North of Kibale.
The Kibale-Fort Portal is a good area to explore and enjoy in Uganda. The park is close to the serene Ndalikasenda crater, Rwenzori mountains and Semuliki as well as Toro-Semuliki wildlife Reserve.
Kibale National Park lies in the west part of Uganda, 26km south-east of Fort Portal town. You can get to Kanyanchu River Camp a good and primary center for tourism activities. You can pass from Kampala via Mubende and Fort Portal, or reach the south through Mbarara and Kamwenge. The Northern board is shorter and quicker, in a 300km tarmac road to Fort Portal, followed by 36km Muram to Kanyanchu.
The second tourism center is Sebitoli and it is more reachable than the first. It lies directly on the Kampala road, 16 km before Fort portal. Public transport between the two is dynamic, as well as the transport between portal and Kamwenge via Kanyanchu.
You do not have to worry about whether you will eat, drink, or sleep! Kibale Primate Lodge has resolved the problem. It lets you choose among store cottages, tree houses and up market-tented camps. Simple cottages are also found at Sebitoli. There and at Kanyanchu, you are provided with campsites and canteens, with indispensable meal!
Fair accommodation is available in the neighbor villages of Bigodi, and Nkingo, with a free alternative to go to Ndali Crater area. You can also get right of entry to Chimpanzee Guest House and to Lake Nkuruba.
Flora and fauna
The inconsistency of altitude in Kibale enables the existence of different types of home, lying from wet tropical forest evergreen forest on the plateau of Fort Portal through moist semi deciduous to woodland and savanna on the rift valley ground.
In the central part of the park, the forest knows a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees. In the latter, evergreen variety is dominant. Trees grow up to 55m or more, and they show evidence of semi-closed parasol of stratified tree crowns. The bush is not dense with shade herbs, shrubs, a variety of ferns and bread leaved forest grasses. 351 tree species have been outnumbered in the park.
The density and diversity of primates in Kibale is towering in Africa. It is famous because of its 13 types of Chimpanzee, a said closest relative of man. Kibale’s 1450 chimpanzee are the representative of Uganda’s primate. The park also covers Hoest monkeys and red colubus monkey of East Africa. To these species of monkeys, one can add black and white colubus; gray cheeked Mangabey, red tailed monkey, bus baby, potto and olive baboon.
As for, mammals, you can see elephant, buffalo, leopard, bush pig and dulker. A good observer can also find reptiles and amphibians. Butterflies, colorful ones are present as well.
Kibale National Park counts 325 bird species and six of them are prevalent to the albetrtine Rift region.
Primate walk (chimpanzee tracking)
Visitors like to seek after chimpanzee and look for the black and white Colobus, gray-cheeked Mangabey and red tailed monkey. You will also find out sunbirds, pitas, and other species. Guides are there to explain for you the use of some plants of the forest. The walk is not exhausting or boring. It normally lasts two or three hours and it is handled in groups of six persons. During peak seasons, it would be better to book in advance. Forest Hike Mid November-February and June- September is a restricted seasonal 12km hike. It explores tropical rain forest, riverine forest, swamp and pampas. Arriving there, you will be allowed to open your eyes and see birds and primates, dulker and bushbuck. It is an enjoyable walk that starts at 8;00 from Kanyanchu and ends at the elephant Wallow around 14;00> No thirst and hunger! Pre-booking is advised!
Are your children willing to accompany you? Do not worry about it. Even though Children of 12 years and below are not allowed to view the chimps or enter the forest, they have their special entertainment! They enjoy educational forest walks of one to two hours, followed by other entertaining, yet creative activities. Parents enjoy their walks in the forest with happy minds that their children are safe and trained by experienced guides.
They are given lessons about ecosystem and its inhabitants through short but interesting walks. They are relieved by some games among which we can cite batik making, photography, cyanotype and pond dipping.
What a sanctuary! Outside the park, in Magombe’s Swamp, there is a peaceful place, which is Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. It is famous because of its wildlife that covers chimpanzee, red and white colobus, red tailed monkey and many other animals like Sitatunga, Mongoose, bushbuck and Otter. The Sanctuary aims at keeping safe the biodiversity and environment of the swamp.
How to reach Chimpanzee’s home
Nine rules are to be taken into account:
1. Do not enter the forest without a park guide
2. Do not scare or attempt to provoke chimps
3. Flash photograph are radically forbidden
4. Follow the instructions of your guide
5. Keep distance of 8m between you and the chimps
6. If you are sick or feel sick, do not enter the forest because chimps can get the disease 7. It is forbidden to defecate in a hole of less than 30cm. Use toilet paper.
8. Do not eat near the chimps
9. Children of 12 years and below are not allowed to view the chimps for safety reasons
Is Kibale a zoo?
It is important to note that Kibale is not a zoo but a natural tropical rain forest. The walk to chimpanzee and other primates depends on many factors namely: time of the day, fruit availability, weather and the life of the group.
During peak rainy seasons, Mornings and evenings are very cold and wet. Thus, you are advised to put on warm clothing and rain equipment. Wear enclosed shoes and bring with you a camera, binoculars, wildlife guidebooks, hat, and insect repellent.
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