The extensive Kibale Forest, near Fort Portal in the West, is thought to have the greatest variety and concentration of primates in Africa. Thirteen species have been recorded including the red colobus, the black and white colobus, the vervet and of course the chimpanzee. As a moist forest Kibale is unique, with an extraordinary high diversity of wildlife and flora. Taking a forest walk from Kanyanchu provides a high chance of encountering chimpanzees, several families of which have been habituated.
Over 300 bird species have been recorded and experienced guides help to locate specials such as green-breasted pitta, black bee eater, white headed wood hoopoe and the tiny chestnut wattle-eye. Under the ecosystem of a tropical rain forest, as well as its flora and fauna. Dawn walks to watch the chimps waking are quite exciting and noisy. Night walks are good for seeing nocturnals, such as bush baby and potto. The adjacent Bigodi Wetland, also called Magombe Swamp, offers an unusual habitat for seeing wildlife and birds that live in and around swamps. It is considered to be one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa.
The climate in Kibale is moist and temperate. The temperatures stay the same, almost year-round since it’s close to the equator. During the day temperatures are nearly 27°C/81°F, cooling off nightly to about 15°C/59°F. In the south, the altitude level drops down to the rift valley floor, and forest gives way to open grassland. As a result, rainfall is lower, and temperatures are higher.
Kibale lacks a real Dry season, so rain is possible anytime, although the months of December through February are typically drier. June and July also experience wet weather. Two Wet seasons exist: March to May and August through November. It is recommended to bring waterproof clothing and shoes.
320km from Kampala to Fort Portal and/or an hour's drive from Kasese, accessible by public transport. The drive can take about 5 hours, for public means, bus companies operate the route to Fort Portal these buses include; Link, Kalita and Post Bus. It is important to check for the travel times, as these vary based on the number of people traveling on a particular day. There is an alternative route to Kibale forest although not often used but runs north from Mbarara via Ibanda and Kamwenge.
The major activity in Kibale is; Chimpanzee tracking with a limited number of permits in the morning and afternoon per day – Permits must be booked before since they are on a very high demand all year round. You can do this by getting in touch with Uganda wildlife Authority or contacting your local Uganda safari Operator for advice. Bird watching, forest walk and game viewing over an expanse of beautiful crater lakes lying between Fort Portal and Kibale Forest.
Best Time to Visit
Uganda is suitable for travel any time of the year, but not advisable during rainy seasons. Uganda is sunny most of the year with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees (84 degrees Fahrenheit). The average annual temperature is about 26 degrees Celsius (78° Fahrenheit). The rainy season is from March till May and October till November. Light rain season falls in November and December. Dry seasons are from December to February and June to August. The best time, the best months of the year would be December to late February and from June to September, but rain is possible due to unpredictable seasonal changes.