Kibale Forest National Park, 320 kms/5 hrs from Kampala, is Uganda’s primates’ paradise, her 776 km² of moist evergreen rain forest home to the highest concentration of primates in the world – 13 species, including the very ‘local-ized’ Red Colobus as well as L’Hoest’s monkey.
The elusive forest elephant, smaller and hairier than its bush counterpart, moves seasonally into the park while other terrestrial mammals include buffalo, giant forest hog, leopard and half a dozen antelope species. Bird life is also prolific with 335 species including hornbills, pittas, turacos, the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush and African Grey Parrots.
But the park’s principal attraction remains the opportunity to track her 500 habituated Chimpanzees. These delightful apes, genetically the closest living relatives of man, are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees. Tracking usually takes about 4 hrs.
One other unique experience in Kibale forest national park: join the habituation team that goes out in the morning to study the chimpanzees and habituate them to humans.