SAFARI ATTRACTIONS KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Considering it as the primate capital of the world, Kibale National Park has positioned itself worldwide as an ideal destination for primate walks. The great concentrations of Chimpanzees which have been fully habituated pose a fertile ground for chimpanzee trekking activity for travellers on Uganda safari. The Chimpanzee trekking experience commence in 1993 in the National Park of Kibale which in turn put the chances of encountering chimpanzees to 95% unlike other related destinations like Kyambura gorge and Budongo Forest Reserve. The Chimpanzee trekking experience in Kibale Forest National Park is beyond chimps. There are other 12 species of primates some of which can be encountered during the process of trekking chimps. The amazing forest landscapes fronted by impressive flora present a rich ground to widen the scope of the travellers’ experiences. The Chimpanzee trekking encounter is organized twice a day that is in the morning starting at 8am local time and in the afternoon at 2pm local time and the duration for that activity ranges between 2 – 5 hours. The maximum number of 18 people is allowed per shift and they have one full hour of direct encounter with chimpanzees. The minimum age for trekking chimpanzees is 15 years.
Attractions in Kibale Forest Park, Chimpanzee tracking / habituation safari Uganda, Birding Tours in Uganda
Kibale National Park is a birders haven. Considering its range of 375 species of birds, Kibale National Park is an ideal destination for birders on birding safaris and tours in Uganda. The adjacent Bigodi wetland extension is a habitat to 138 species of birds. The combination of these two habitats derives ultimate birding safari memories for birders on Uganda safari tours. The bird species that can be encountered include; Cassin spine tail, Nahans francolin, masked apalis and Red Winged Francolin, blue-headed blue eater, White-napped Pigeon, Crested fly catcher, Red- chested fluff tail, Green- breasted Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Yellow-billed Barbet, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey winged Robbin, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Western Nicator, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Grey-winged Robin-chat, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Black Bishop, White-breasted Negrofinch, Black-crowned Waxbill and Bocage’s Bush-shrike among other birds.
Always referred as the primate capital of the world, Kibale National Park has great primate concentrations that can be encountered while on safaris and tours in Uganda. Kibale National Park has 13 species of primates including; the common Chimpanzees, the endangered red colobus monkey, black and white colobus monkey, the vulnerable L’Hoest’s Monkey, red tailed monkey, blue monkey, vervet monkey, and olive baboon, grey cheeked Mangabey. Nocturnal species like pottos and bush babies also exist in the park.
Besides Primates, Kibale National Park is also a habitat for a range of wildlife species that can be encountered by travellers on Uganda safari tour. The wildlife species in Kibale include; elephants, buffaloes, bushbuck, Peter’s and Harvey duikers and bush pig.
A range of 60 mammal species thrive in Kibale national Park including; Ichneumon, banded and Marsh Mongooses, African Palm Civet, Ratel (Honey Badger), Alexander’s Cusimanse and Swamp Otter. Other wildlife species that have been recorded in the park but rarely seen include; Golden Cat, Serval cat, Lion, Leopard, Warthog, Giant Hog and Hippopotamus. Animals that tend to like swamp environments like elusive Sitatunga exist in the nearby Bigodi wetland extension and can also be encountered on safari tour in Uganda.
Being a prehistoric forest that survived the last ice age, Kibale Forest has got impressive floral diversity that can be encountered while on a safari tour to Uganda. There are 351 species of trees and some of these trees are over 50m tall and are about 200 years old. They are marked by epiphytes, climbers and fern. The luxurious canopy which forms impressive views of the forest and the patches of regenerating vegetation that justify the human settlement in the past centuries form a rich ground where leisure and educational travellers can adjoin their Uganda safari interests.
The Ndali – Kasenda Crater lies close to Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari destination of Kibale National Park and is one of the major crater fields that mark the floor of western Uganda. Along with Bunyaruguru, Katwe and Fort Portal crater fields, Ndali – Kasenda crater field stand as series of various explosion crater hollows that were filled by water to form crater lakes.
The Ndali – Kasenda Crater is estimated to have come to existence about 10,000 years ago and is comprised of 60 stable and periodic fresh water lakes that are spread across Kasenda, Rwihamba, Rweetera and Kabata area which is 20 – 30 km from Fort Portal, the largest town in the region. The crater lakes in this filled are endowed with unique setting from each other and are crowned by lasting beauty marked by a lush flora and impressive birds, butterflies and monkeys with impressive looks of the mystical mountains of the moon – the Rwenzoris with snowcapped peaks. In addition to the scientific explanation regarding its formation which relates to volcanic processes, the formation of Ndali – Kasenda Crater also has a legendary attachment. The locals have it that Ndahura the famous King of the Bachwezi dug these wells which later turned into lakes when he retired to the area after abdicating the throne to his son Wamala. Regardless of the differences in the theories that explain their formation, the Ndali – Kasenda Crater pose a rich scenic encounters which generates lasting memories for travellers on safari tours in Uganda.
Besides Chimpanzee trekking which allows travellers on Uganda safari tour to have one hour with chimps, Kibale National Park also has Chimpanzee habituation experience which allows travellers to have a full day encounter with chimpanzees. The activity commences as early as 6: 00am from the tourism center at Kanyanchu in order to catch up with chimps as they set out of their nests at 6:30am for feeding, socializing, copulating, mating, patrolling, patrolling, make pant hooting calls until they make new nests for the next night’s overnight. This activity tends to come to an end at 7pm local time. Heavy lunch has to be carried along and enough drinking water. The Chimpanzee habituation experience is best done in the months of March, April, May and November which is always a low season and there is less tourist congestion. The maximum of four (4) people and a ranger are allowed for this activity.
The Uganda safari destination of Kibale National Park is a true birders haven. With 375 species of birds and more 138 bird species thriving in the adjacent Bigodi wetland extension, the Kibale National Park and its environs are a rich birding destination that can entice the birders to undertake birding safari tours to Uganda. The birding encounters commence at Kanyanchu and the park has got distinguished ranger birders that are determined to take you through the birding experience or else private bird guides that are well conversant with the forest and its environs can be hired to guide the clients through the activity. The activity commences at 7am from Kanyanchu tourism center and last for half day or the full day depending on the interest of the clients. The birding encounter in Kibale National Park exposes you to a range of bird species including; Cassin spine tail, Nahans francolin, masked apalis and Red Winged Francolin, blue-headed blue eater, White-napped Pigeon, Crested fly catcher, Red- chested fluff tail, Green- breasted Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Yellow-billed Barbet, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey winged Robbin, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Western Nicator, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Grey-winged Robin-chat, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Black Bishop, White-breasted Negrofinch, Black-crowned Waxbill and Bocage’s Bush-shrike among other birds. The birding experience in Kibale National Park is ideally carried out throughout the year though the seasons of March to May and from September to November are ideal. November and April present a rich ground for encountering migratory birds.
The Uganda safari destination of Kibale National Park is surrounded by various trial communities which form the ground for cultural encounters. The communities of the Batooro and the Bakiga have got impressive traditions and cultural practices that can be explored while on safari tour in Uganda. The community tourism initiative of Bigodi is the most successful community tourism initiative in Uganda where the locals gathered under one umbrella the KAFRED to tap the potential of community tourism development. The Bigodi wetland walk is an eco-tour designed to stretch to the local homesteads and schools and the traditional healer which combine to bring the out the heritage of the local people for exploitation. The arts and crafts music dance and drama are also arranged with in the center.
Kibale National Park has got foot trails that are designed to enable Uganda safari undertakes explore its ecological significance on foot. With 351 tree species some of which are 50m tall and about 200 years old, Kibale National Park has amazing things to offer in terms of flora. The range of flowering plants, epiphytes, ferns and figs thriving under the lush canopy of this mature rain forest combine to make the encounter memorable. The range of medicinal plants, trees of ecological importance like Balanitis Wilsonania commonly referred to as elephant tree which makes the elephant drunk as a result of consuming its alcoholic fruits.
The nature walk encounters can be done during both day and Night. The night guided walks commence at 7:30pm local time lasting about 2 hours with an intention of encountering nocturnal species like bush babies, pottos, tree hyrax, cricket, elusive civet, nightjar, and serval cat.
Murchison Falls National Park was established in 1952 and it is Uganda’s largest national park. Located in the north west of Uganda at the tip of the western rift valley also known as the Albertine rift, Murchison Falls National Park is in a distance of 311km about 5 hours’ surface drive from the city of Kampala. The national Park covers a surface landscape of 3,440km2 while the wider Murchison Conservation Area which embeds Karuma and Bugungu wildlife reserves combine to cover 5,308km2. . The Murchison Falls National Park is closer to Masindi town 85km about 2- 3 hours’ of surface drive. The Park is bisected by the River Nile which is the longest river in the world as it makes its way from Lake Victoria to Mediterranean Sea leaving a natural wonder famously known as Murchison falls which is the most powerful waterfall in the whole world. The feature derives its nomenclature after Sir Roderick Murchison who was the president of the Royal geographical society at the time of its discovery by Sir Samuel Baker. This feature is among the hotspots in Murchison National Park thus should not be missed while on safari in Uganda as it squeezes its self to make the way through an 8m ravine before plummeting 43m Read More About Murchison Falls Park
First established as Kazinga National Park in 1952, Queen Elizabeth National Park is situated in the west of Uganda nearing the Rwenzori Mountains with snowcapped peaks towering at 5,109m above sea level. The National Park of Queen Elizabeth covers a cross section of the western rift valley floor stretching for1, 978km2 land coverage. Queen Elizabeth National Park is currently the most visited park in Uganda and is listed as a world biosphere reserve. It has rich biodiversity concentration with 95 species of mammals, 600 species of birds which makes it the first in Uganda regarding the bird populations, ten (10) species of primate and 20 predator species. Queen Elizabeth is also a habitat for the tree climbing lions dwelling in its sector of Ishasha, the famous Kazinga channel stretching to 45km long connecting Lake Edward and Lake George, the amazing Kyambura gorge with counts of Chimpanzees not forgetting the range of explosion craters some of which are salty lakes while others contain sulphur. This conglomerate to make Queen Elizabeth National Park an ideal destination that can be encountered while on safari in Uganda. Read More About Queen Elizabeth Park
Located in the south west of Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park stretches for 321km2 at an altitude of 1,160 – 2,607 m above sea level. The area is among the East African areas with largest tract of Afromontane forest which existed since the pre historic era and endured through the last ice age forming the ground for great biodiversity concentration with highest number of trees in relation to other areas of its altitude stature. The park has enormous numbers of butterfly species some of which are endemic to the park and it is also holding great concentrations of mammal numbers. Containing about 400 out of 880 mountain gorillas that apparently thrive in the wilderness with none existing in captivity, the impenetrable forest of Bwindi holds the mantle as a great gorilla trekking safari destination. Surrounded by high population density with great agricultural attachment, it’s very interesting that Bwindi still has great biodiversity concentration including; 163 species of trees, 104 species of fern alongside other taxa. 16 species of trees are restricted to the Uganda’s south western region including Lavoa swynnertonii which is globally threatened. Read More About Bwindi Impenetrable Park
Gazetted in 1991, the park covers an area of 33.7 Sq.km making it Uganda’s smallest national park. It is a second refigium of the endangered mountain gorillas after Bwindi. It is also known for its golden monkey. The park has a strong cultural attachment to the pygmy community that inhabits the area. It has three conical features of extinct volcanoes which is part of the spectacular Virunga area. It shares boundaries with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mgahinga is located about 15 kilometers, by road, south of the town of Kisoro and approximately 55 kilometers, by road, west of Kabale, the largest city in the sub-region. The entire park is located in Bufumbira County, Kisoro District the extreme south western corner of Uganda thus among the secluded destinations that a traveler can visit while on Uganda Safari. Read More About Mgahinga Gorilla Park
Kibale National Park is found in Western Uganda sharing the districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge, approximately 320 kilometers, by road, west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. Fort Portal in Kabarole District is the nearest large city to the national park. It covers an area of about 795Sq.km and it one of the last surviving tropical forests in Uganda with over 351 tree species some of which are 200 years old and over 55m tall, 70 mammal species, 13 primate species including chimpanzee and over 375 species of birds. The park was gazetted in 1932 and formally established in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logged Forest Reserve. The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park creating a 180 km wildlife corridor. It is a significant eco-tourism and safari destination, well known for its populace of habituated chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates. It also acts as the location of the Makerere University Biological Field Station (MUBFS). The park is surrounded by two major tribes, the Batooro and Bakiga who rely on the park for food, fuel, and other resources with the assistance of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Read More About Kibale Forest Park
Traditionally, two brothers settled on the land that the park currently occupies. These were Mburo and Kigarama. One night, Kigarama dreamt of an area flooding and cautioned his intimate brother to relocate from the area. His brother (Mburo) disregarded the dream and refused to relocate to the adjacent hills like what Kigarama had done. Unfortunately, the dream came true and Mburo was drowned by mass floods the filled the valley to form the lake that was later named Lake Mburo while the adjacent hill was named Kigarama in reference to these two brothers. Before the gazettion of Lake Mburo as National park, the place acted as royal grazing area for king of Ankole vis-à-vis other Bahima pastoralists who refer the area to “Nshara – ensinungyi erikwera”. Lake Mburo National Park is located in Kiruhura District in Western Uganda. The park is situated about 30 kilometers, by road, east of Mbarara, the largest city in the sub-region. This location is approximately 240 kilometers, by road, west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. At 260 square kilometers, the park is the smallest of Uganda’s Savannah national parks underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more Read More About Lake Mburo National Park
The fabled mountains of the moon as described by Ptolemy in 150AD present the most exciting treasure that a visitor on a Uganda Safari would live to remember in his journey memoir. Gazetted as a national park in 1991 covering an area of about 996 Sq.km, received a designation status by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1994 because of its outstanding natural beauty with Margarita peak standing over 5,109m above sea level and without forgetting its coverage by snow throughout the year despite its closeness to the world latitude (Equator) makes it an attraction worth of encountering. Being a mountain range, it was once described as one of the challenging mountains to climb in the Africa travel magazine. The glaciers like Nyamwamba add spice to its scenic view and the park status assures the wild life of their safety making it their closest habitat. The park shelters 70 mammal species, 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation that differ in its five zones including; montane forest zone, bamboo forest zone, tree heath vegetation zone and Afro-alpine moorland zone. Read More About Rwenzori National Park
Kidepo National Park is positioned in the north western part of Uganda in Kaboong district 220km north West of Moroto the biggest town in the sub region and 700 km from Kampala – the Uganda’s capital city. Kidepo National Park was established in 1962 and it covers 1,442km2 of land surface providing habitat to 77 mammal species along with 475 bird species which makes the second in ranking after Queen Elizabeth National Park. Interestingly to note is that 60 of these bird species are endemic to Kidepo on Ugandan standards. Besides Birds, Kidepo also contain 5 primate species including the including the localized patas monkeys; 20 predator species which include the Kidepo endemics such as the aardwolf, bat eared fox, black-backed jackal, caracal and cheetah. Kidepo National Park has 12 species of Antelope which include the Kidepo endemics namely; lesser kudu, greater kudu, mountain reedbuck and Guenther’s dik-dik. Other wildlife also exist in the park including; elephant, lions, buffaloes, lions, bush duiker, leopard among other wildlife. Formerly, the area where Kidepo National Park belonged to Dodoth pastoralists and indigenous Karimojong who practiced cultivation before the establishment of wildlife reserve in 1958 to ensure the protection of wild animals from poaching. The park is the most remote of all Uganda National Parks which Read More About Kidepo Valley Park
The park covers an area of over 1,121 Sq.km with the fourth tall mountain in East Africa which was the once the highest mountain in Africa far from Kilimanjaro but only to be reduced to 4,321m due to denudation forces. With the last eruption occurring 24 Million years ago, Mt. Elgon can be considered oldest and largest solitary volcano not only in Uganda but East Africa in general. It houses one of the world’s intact largest caldera stretching to over 42Sq.km supported by 4,000 Sq. km base which is the largest volcanic base in the whole world.It was first gazetted as a Forest Reserve in 1929 and in 1940 the area became the Mt. Elgon Crown Forest while in 1951 it became a Central Forest Reserve. Due to encroachment by the Benet-Ndorobo people, the government alloweda 6000 hectare portion of the Reserve for settlement in 1983 though more 1500 hectares were settled illegally and in 1993 the area received a national park status thus can currently be incorporated in your itinerary while planning your Safari to Uganda. Read More About Mount Elgon Park
Semuliki National Park Uganda is located in Bwamba County, a remote part of the Bundibugyo District in western part of Uganda. Semliki National Park was recognized as a Uganda safari destination national park in the month of October 1993, and it happens to be one of smallest and newest national parks. Semuliki National Park lies on border between Uganda and Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Rwenzori Mountains National Park boarders Semuliki park Uganda on the south-eastern part and Lake Albert on the northern extreme. The park is found within the Albertine Rift and in the western arm of the East African Rift. It is lying on a gently flat land escape which ranges from 670 to 760 m (2,200 to 2,490 Ft.) above sea level. Historically from year 1932 to year 1993 when this Uganda safari park was gazzetted, the area current occupied by Semuliki National Park was protected and managed as a forest reserve by the colonial government before being taken over by the Ugandan government’s Forest Department. It created and gazzetted into a national park by the Ugandan government in October 1993 and the main aim was to protect the forests as an integral part of the protected areas of the Western Rift Valley. The park receives an estimated average rainfall of 1,250 mm (49 in) with its rainy season being from the month of May and from September to December. During this rainy season various areas in the park are un accessible due to the floods and the temperatures at the park keep changing from 18 degrees to 30 degrees. Semiliki National Park is located in the boarders of the two rivers i.e. Semuliki and Lamia rivers, These Rivers are have for so long acted as watering places for the various fauna and flora in the park.