Kibale Forest Primate Reserve in Western Uganda
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Kibale Forest Primate Reserve contains vast tracts of equatorial rainforests. This park contains the world's highest concentration of primates in the world.
Kibale Forest Primate Reserve is located 35 kilometers south of Fort Portal, it also shelters Uganda's third largest population of elephants. For visitors, the major attraction in the park is the 500-strong population of chimpanzees - one of man's closest relatives. Visitors can opt for 4-hour guided forest walks to catch a glimpse of some of the chimps.
Kibale equatorial rainforest contains the highest concentration of primates in the world, including about 500 chimpanzees. This enchanting park is full of lakes, marshes and grasslands and its slopes contain several distinct types of forests (lowland tropical rainforest, deciduous forest and montane forests), perfect for its arboreal inhabitants. Out of the 12 primate species living in Kibale, the chimpanzees attract the most attention.
Eleven different species of primates have been recorded in the park. This includes the Black and White and Red Colobus, L'Hoest's Monkeys and Galagos. The reserve is also home to a large population of elephants, buffaloes, antelopes and a large variety of butterflies and birds.
Some of the more "popular" birds are the Hornbills and Turacos. For the nature lover, the rainforests themselves are a wonder - the trees grow very high and their circumferences are enormous. There is dense undergrowth, through which small streams make their way and occasionally create swamps in open areas where buffaloes and antelopes graze.
Kibale Forest Primate Reserve Animals & Birds
Kibale Forest Primate Reserve chimps are habituated to human visitors, as a sustainable eco-tourism initiative allowing people to visit has been running since 1992. You can be sure to find chimps when the sticky fruit of the huge fig trees ripen, at other times your guide will know where to find them.
However, once they decide to move on at high speed through the branches, keeping up with them can be quite a challenge. As you walk through the ancient, pristine forests the extraordinary diversity and abundance of life in an exotic tropical rainforest is revealed. Trees stretch up to 170 feet high (52 metres), held in place by broad buttress roots and in places the undergrowth is extremely dense.
Other mammals are present, though rarely seen. These include forest elephant, buffalo, leopard, bush pig and duiker. A keen observer may also spot reptiles and amphibians as well as a colorful variety of butterflies .Primates include the black and white callous, blue monkey, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkey, olive baboon, bush baby and potto.
Birds are abundant with at least 325 species such as colorful turacos and noisy hornbills who squawk loudly as they fly. The buzz of life is audible here, but a silent encounter to take your breath away is standing amongst clouds of fluttering butterflies, of which this park boasts 144 different species!
Kibale Forest Primate Reserve swampy clearings and grasslands are home to buffaloes and antelopes, while the shady wooded inclines slopes hide the elusive forest elephant - smaller and hairier than its savannah counterpart.
Kibale Forest Primate Reserve Seasons
June to September is the driest time when most animals remain near water, but be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms at any time. The hot dry time is January to February and is a good time to visit. Dry season temperatures average 80°F (25°C).
It rains anytime from October to December and March to May when many roads become impassible.
Kibale Forest Primate Reserve Highlights
• Habituated chimpanzees
• 12 different primates
• Clouds of butterflies
• Ancient forests
• Tropical birds
Kibale Forest Primate Reserve Facts
This park is located in the west of Uganda covering an area of 296 miles² (766 km²)