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Kibale National Park Tours

  • Red Colobus Monkey, Kibale National Park
 

About 35 km south of Fort Portal, Kibale Forest provides a rich and unique habitat for more than 250 species of animal, 300 types of bird and 140 species of butterfly. The animal species include 11 primates, including chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and baboons, the highest concentration of primate species in East Africa. Monkeys can often be spotted from the road to the forest and the viewing of chimpanzees in their natural environment is the main attraction. The forest’s emblem is a black and white colobus monkey designed by Lysa Leyland, a researcher and photographer who, with her husband Tom Strusaker, worked in Kibale for many years, long before it became popular.

Kibale Forest National Park covers an area of about 760 sq km and is divided into seven zones for management purposes: research, natural reserve, civic-cultural, recreation, harvest, community and protection. There is an emphasis on conservation, sustainable utilization and non-consumptive use of the forest. Nature trails into the forest have been created and, quite apart from the chimps, the walks are wonderful.

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Tracking the habituated chimp troops is conducted by trained guides, who will also be able to tell you about the forest generally. There are organized trips to see the chimps twice daily. A maximum of three groups of six people can track the chimpanzees in a morning or afternoon. The morning walk is reported to offer a better opportunity to see the primates, usually found in the fig trees. The group of chimps in the Kanyanchu community is probably the largest in the Kibale Forest, numbering about 45. Other animals found in the forest include elephants, buffaloes, bush pigs and duikers. However, many of these are very reclusive and you will be lucky to see them.

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