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Kibale Forest National Park

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Kibale Forest National Park

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Kibale Forest National Park [1] is situated in Western Uganda, near the town of Fort Portal, and is famed for its chimpanzees.

Understand[edit]

The park is famous for its chimpanzees, and many people come here for chimp tracking. Some of the best birding in central Africa is here too. The Kasese Crater Lakes are in the area.

History[edit]

Landscape[edit]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Climate[edit]

Get in[edit]

The closest major town (that's well connected to Kampala) is Fort Portal. It's the last stop for an ATM and any major shopping/markets/restaurants.

From Fort Portal well paved road splits the park in two. There is no fee to pass on this road. But it's not a road where there are lots of places to pull off and explore.

The entry fee (Jan 2019) is $40. The fee is waived if you do the chimpanzee trekking ($150).

Fees/Permits[edit]

As of January 2019:

Entrance to the park - $40

Chimpanzee Tracking - $150 (entrance fee is waived)

Nature walk - $30 (plus entrance fee)

Night walk - $80 ($40 if added on to chimp tracking)

All Ugandan National Park Tariffs - http://www.uwa.or.ug/tariffs.htm

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

North of the Park are several volcanic crater lakes. Your hotel can arrange a guide to the "To of the World" for a 360 degree view. The walk will take you through tea plantations and farms. Costs around 50,000 per person, 3hrs.

Do[edit][add listing]

The hotels warn that if you are caught without a guide, you can be fine up to $150. But that does not mean you have to visit the park with a tour group, only that you must coordinate you activities with a UWA office. They will issue you a guide as part of the activity fee.

  • Chimp Tracking: $150, 3-4 hrs of jungle bushwhacking. Requires a guide, but one is provided as part of the fee. Kibale has over 1100 chimps, and the rangers claim a 90-95% success rate in tracking them. In low season it is possible to get a Permit day of, but beware they are limited. Treks leave from the Kanyachu Gate Visitor Center near the park's SE entrance. As of January 2019, there was at least one tour per day leaving at 2pm, but you have to get there an hour early. There may also be a morning trek. If you can arrange your own transportation, it is possible to do the trek without a tour operator.
  • Night Walk $80. Departs from the Kanyachu Gate Visitor Center (same as the chimp walk) at 7pm. If you can arrange your own transportation, it is possible to do the trek without a tour operator.
  • Nature Walk $30 plus $40 entrance fee.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Lodging[edit]

  • Treehouse in Kibale Forest is part of the UWA accommodations at Kibale and is literally on poles some ten metres up overlooking a mud wallow and seasonal watering hole. Great opportunity to see rare forest elephants. Secluded. If you are willing to climb the ladder to the room, this is a real treat.

Camping[edit]

Lots of lodges have space for tents. It is relatively safe as the only thing you really have to worry about are baboons, or hippos if you are on a lake. Good budget option.

A good option to stay is around one of the crater lakes just outside of the park (for a day you can get a boda to the entrance for app. 7-10 ths. UGX). All of the campsites also have lodging ranging from simple bandas, dorms or nicer cottages, and the proceeds go to finance community activities like primary schools and orphanages.

  • Lake Lyantonde Community Camp (tel. +256705755010 Mr. Steven) - community campsite about 15 km from the park entry. It is run by two orphaned kids who managed to build-up the lodgings and even a small primary school for other orphans in the area. The campsite includes simple accommodation overlooking the beautiful Lyantonde lake - self-contained cottage (80 ths. UGX), non-self-contained room (40 ths. UGX), dorm beds (30 ths. UGX) and camping sites (10 ths. UGX). All earnings help the kids survive and run the orphanage. If you can, bringing educational material, notebooks, pens, blankets and mattresses helps a lot. The guys know how to cook so local food is available on spot for 5-15 ths. UGX.

Backcountry[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

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