KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Kibale National Park is a national park in southern Uganda, protecting moist evergreen rain forest. It is 766 square kilometres (296 sq mi) in size and is located between 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) to 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) in elevation. Despite encompassing primarily moist evergreen forest, it contains a diverse array of landscapes.
The park covers the districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge with Fort Portal as the largest town nearest town.
Kibale National Park is run and managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority often aided by various international organizations such as the USAID. Various research projects have been done in the park to study the effects of logging to the bio-diversity of the park.
The park has a recorded 351 tree species rising to over 55meter from the ground and are over 200 years. The park is bordered by vast tea estates in the districts of Kabarole.
Kibale’s varied altitude supports different types of habitat, ranging from wet tropical forest on the Fort Portal plateau to woodland and savannah on the rift valley floor.
The park was established in 1932 by the British Colonial government and later was formally upgraded to a National Park in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logged forest reserve.
The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park creating a 110mile Wildlife corridor stretching as far as the Ishasha Sector of Q.E.N.P near the Congo border making it an important eco-tourism and safari destination, popular for its population of habituated chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates.
Kibale Forest National Park protects one of the highest concentrations of diversity of primate Fauna in Africa
The park has a well-studied habituated communities of common chimpanzee, as well as several species of Central African monkey including the Uganda mangabey, the Uganda red colobus and the L'Hoest's monkey. Other primates include the Olive Baboons often sighted in the park section of the main highway of Kampala – Fortportal, black-and-white colobus and the blue monkey. Other terrestrial mammals that are found within Kibale National Park include Forest elephants, red and blue duikers, bushbucks, sitatungas, bushpigs, giant forest hogs, warthogs, and African buffalo.
The carnivores that are protected include leopards, African golden cats, servals, different mongooses and two species of otter and lions visit the park occasionally from Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The park also boasts a prolific Bird life with over 325 sighted species of birds, including the olive long-tailed cuckoo, western tinker bird, two species of pittas (African and green-breasted) grey parrot, ground thrush and among others.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
The Kibale-Fort Portal area is one of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to explore. The park lies close to the tranquil Ndali - Kasenda volcanic crater area and within half a day’s drive of the Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National Parks, as well as the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.
Crater lakes in Fort Portal include Lake Kyaninga Crater, Nkuruba Crater Lake