Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park is a primatologist’s dream. It hosts a population of more than 1,000 chimpanzees, of which one 80-strong community has been habituated to tourist visits, as well as half-a-dozen readily observed monkey species, including the acrobatic red colobus and black-and-white colobus, and the handsome L’Hoest’s monkey.
The most accessible of Uganda's major rainforests, Kibale is home to a remarkable 13 primate species, including the very localised red colobus and L'Hoest's monkey.
Kibale's major attraction, however, is the opportunity to track habituated chimps - these delightful apes, more closely related to humans than to any other living creature, are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees.
A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight botanists and butterfly lovers, while birders are in for a treat with 335 species recorded including the endemic Prirogrine's ground thrush.
The elusive forest elephant, smaller and hairier than its savannah counterpart, moves seasonally into the developed part of the park, while other terrestrial mammals include buffalo, giant forest hog and a half dozen antelope species.
776 sq km
In the west, near Fort Portal
Fort Portal lies 320km from Kampala along a mostly surfaced direct road, or an hour's drive from Kasese (near QENP). Kanyanchu Visitors Centre, 35km from Fort Portal, is reached via a dirt road and is accessible on public transport..
What to do
Chimp tracking and other guided forest walks, even night walks. Birders shouldn't miss Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a superb community development fringing the park. A field of beautiful crater lakes lies between Fort Portal and Kibale Forest.
When to visit
Any time of year
Where to stay
Affordable bandas and campsites at Kanyanchu, with a luxury tented camp and upmarket lodge nearby. Budget lodges at Bigodi, the crater lakes, and Fort Portal.