tourist activities Kibale National Park

This article will provide you with a list of major tourist activities around Kibale National Park, frequently called the primate capital of the world.

Here are some of the major tourist activities around Kibale National Park that you could participate in. The park, often referred to as the primate capital, is located in the western section of Uganda, in the Kabarole and Kamwenge districts.

With a total area of 766 square kilometers, it’s made up of tropical rainforest and Afromontane forest. 

It provides a home to 13 primate species, including over 1500 chimpanzees, as well as other white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, bush babies, elephants and buffalo.

This article explores major tourist activities around Kibale National Park, which is often known as the primate capital of the world.

Activities to do in Kibale National Park

Chimpanzee Trekking

tourist activities around Kibale National Park

One of the most preferred tourist activities around Kibale National Park is Chimpanzee Trekking. Most people visit the Kibale Forest to trek with chimpanzees. About 1,500 of them call the national park home. 

For this activity, the trekking begins early in the morning with training at the Kanyachu visitors center.

Here participants are briefed about the norms and regulations to follow while walking. Following this briefing, a park guide with chimpanzee expertise will be assigned to you. At this point you will begin a trek into the jungle that can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on where the chimps are.

You can see additional primate species while hiking, including black and white colobus monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, and l’hoest monkeys, as well as several plants and animal species. Once the chimpanzees are located, you are given an hour to spend with them in their natural environment. 

During this time, you can observe them feeding, nursing, playing, hunting, mating, fighting, and resting. It’s also a perfect opportunity to learn about their habits and behaviors. You can also take pictures and document the breathtaking moments to share with others once the trip is over.

Chimpanzee habituation

Chimpanzee habituation

One of the most thrilling tourist activities around Kibale National Park is watching chimpanzees get trained to become accustomed to human presence. This is done so they can go hiking with us, humans. 

Similar to chimpanzee trekking, the chimpanzee habituation process takes two years to complete. 

The experience begins very early in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters, after which you will join a team of researchers, trackers, and park guides and venture into the forest in search of the chimpanzees under habituation.

After the chimpanzees are sited, you will have the opportunity to spend four hours with them in their natural habitat. During this time, you will be able to observe them as they leave their nests, feed, nurse, hunt, mate, rest, and play. 

You will also watch them as they construct their nighttime nests, providing you with fascinating and unforgettable experiences.

Hiking the Kibale Forest/Nature Walk

Hiking the Kibale Forest

It all starts with a briefing at the Kanyachu visitors center or Sebitoli. Then, the intriguing and challenging activity of a nature walk in Kibale National Park can proceed. 

You will begin a hike through the forest with a trained park ranger, passing through grasslands and swamplands. 

You will see a variety of wildlife, including forest elephants, duikers, bushbucks, and primates like blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, and red-tailed monkeys. 

You will also see various bird species, plant and tree species, listen to the sweet sounds of bird species, and take in the cool.

Night/Nocturnal Walks in the Kibale Forest

Nocturnal Walks in the Kibale Forest

Tourist Activities around Kibale National Park such as night walks allow visitors to explore the area at night in the company of a knowledgeable ranger guide. 

With the use of spotlight torches, you’ll be able to see nocturnal monkeys. You will get the opportunity to see nocturnal creatures such as bush babies, pottos, galagos, tree hyraxes, crickets, and nightjars during the guided nocturnal forest walk. It begins at around 7:00 p.m.

Birding in Kibale National Park

Birding in Kibale National Park

More than 375 different bird species have been recorded in Kibale National Park. They include migratory birds, forest birds, and endemic birds that have not been found in other national parks in Uganda. This makes it a great place to go bird-watching.

Early in the morning or late at night are the best times to go bird-watching in Kibale National Park. It is best to go with an expert bird guide who can help you identify various bird species.

They include the great blue turaco, black billed turaco, yellow spotted barbet, purple headed starling, black bee-eater, white bellied crested flycatcher, grey throated tit flycatcher, tiny sunbird, white collared olive back, green breasted pitta, and white naped pig.

How to get to Kibale National Park

A sure way to get to the Kibale National Park is to drive through the Mubende-Fort Portal Road or the Mbarara-Kamwenge Road. This is so especially if you’re coming from Kampala. 

It takes around 5 to 6 hours in a 4WD safari vehicle. Remember, Kibale National Park is found in the western region of Uganda.

Chimpanzees can also be found in Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park, Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, and the United States’ Mahale Mountains National Park, in addition to the Kibale Forest National Park.

The best time to visit the Park

Kibale National Park is Chimpanzee Trekking

Kibale National Park is open year-round. But, the best time to come is between June and September and between December and February, when it’s the dry season, also known as the peak season. 

As a result of the park receiving less rainfall during the dry season, the foliage will be sparse. This will allow you to see chimpanzees and other wildlife up close. 

In addition, hiking and chimpanzee trekking trails are more accessible during the dry season than they are during the wet season. Wet seasons make the place muddy and slippery and difficult to navigate.

The greatest time to go birding is from March through May and November when migratory bird species move. 


To experience a real safari in Uganda, visit the Kibale National Park. We’ve shared the best and major tourist activities around Kibale National Park

Also important is if you’ve always heard of chimpanzee habituation and have never participated, here’s your chance. It’s an experience that’s worth everything. For tourists planning to go trekking around Kibale National Park, remember to get a gorilla trekking permit because it’s required. 

A tour operator or safari company can get permits on your behalf after buying them from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in Uganda and the RDB in Rwanda. A gorilla permit costs $1500 in Rwanda and UGX 2,701,937 in Uganda.