13 Reasons Why Primatologists Should Visit Kibale Forest
Have you been looking for a stunning encounter with man’s closest wild relatives? Well, you can now officially call off the search for a befitting destination for this encounter, take a seat and enjoy a hot cup of coffee because I have got you covered with this Uganda safari to Kibale National Park Uganda. Located in Uganda which is found in the East African region on the African continent on the geographical coordinates of 00o30’ N 30o24’ E. Getting to Kibale National Park shouldn’t be a hustle because it lies only about 312 km or a 4-5-hour drive from Kampala city Uganda’s capital in the western district of Kibale. Kibale national park is bordered by Queen Elizabeth National Park in the south, Kasese, and Kabarole district in the west and the rest of Kamwenge district in the east and parts of Rugombe Sub County in the north. Kibale National Park is located in areas that are covering the rift valley floor and the plateau areas on the eastern escarpment of the western arm of the great east African rift valley. The highest point of Kibale national park is found in the north at an elevation of 1,590m while its lowest elevation is 1,100m located on the rift valley basin.
The Primate Capital Of The World
The world is full of primates but some places are more endowed with these distant relatives of ours than other places. Kibale forest national park Uganda is one of those places that is really endowed because it home 13 primate species, a number which can’t easily be thought to be co-existing in a place that’s merely about 795sqkm. This, therefore, tells why this place is commonly referred to us the primate capital of the world. Let’s share some of these primates that you will encounter on a visit to Kibale National PARK
Chimpanzees – Yes, Kibale isn’t called the primate capital of the world for nothing, its home to quite a sizeable number of primates 13 species to be precise. However, what makes a Uganda safari to Kibale an irresistible Uganda safari tour adventure is chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are the biggest tourist attractions in Kibale National Park and a Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari to Kibale gives you an opportunity to have an encounter with these magical beings whom we are closely related to as we share 99% of our DNA with these humans of the wild. There are two species of chimpanzees, Common chimpanzee species and the Bonobo species and Kibale national park has the common chimpanzee species with an estimated population of about 5000 chimpanzees of which 80 communities of chimpanzees have been habituated for tourism purposes and this makes Kibale national forest a sanctuary with the highest number of chimpanzees in the world.
Black and white colobus monkeys- These monkeys constitute some of the widely encountered Uganda safari attractions in Kibale National Park while on a tour Uganda to this place. These monkeys have a black color with a strip of white color on the side of their body, limbs and around their face and also at their tail ending and these strips are called the mantle, these monkeys live in groups of 5-15 members led by a male, their weight ranges between 4-14 kg, they have a body length of up to 75 cm or 30 inches. The black and white colobus are herbivores primates and mostly eat young and fresh leaves at the top of tree canopies. They have a gestation period of 4-6 months giving birth to completely white babies which will turn to resemble its parents when its 3 months old, with a lifespan of about 22 years.
L’Hoest monkeys- These monkeys have a short, dark brown coat with a chestnut color across its back and a dark underbelly. They have a pale moustache with light grey cheeks. Their body length ranges between 32-69 cm, with a long hooked like tail that has a length of 48-99 cm, adult males weigh up to 6 kg while adult females can weigh up to 3.5 kg. the L’Hoest monkeys live in groups with many females and only one male which stays temporary with the group for mating. They have a gestation period of about 5 months and they maintain a herbivorous diet.
Grey cheeked mangabey- The grey-cheeked mangabey can also be referred to as the white-cheeked mangabey. This monkey is dark due to its thick brown coat that is almost black in its natural habitat the montane forest. This monkey is small in size and hairy like a baboon. The males usually have an average weight of 4.3kg and length of 1.1m and the females weigh in at2.9kg and body length of 99cm. these monkeys are dark in color with white or grey cheeks. The mangabeys have a gestation period of about 183 days and can live up to 30 years. They can live both in forests and swamp or primary forests, these monkeys live in groups of 5-30 individuals with no dominant male. The female mangabeys will always stay in their birth group while the males will live their birth group when they become sexually mature and join other groups.
Blue monkey-Blue Unlike what its name suggests, the blue monkey isn’t entirely blue but rather it has little hairs on its face with a bluish color and these led to naming this monkey species blue monkey. The blue monkey in actual sense is mainly grey or olive but its face is dark with a pale or yellowish patch on the forehead. Its feet, front legs and cap are blackish while its mantle may be brown, olive or grey. The blue monkey as a body length of between 50-65cm with the tail included and an adult male weighs about 8kg while an adult female weighs about 4kg hence exhibiting sexual dimorphism. These monkeys live in groups of 10-40 individuals and the females will stay in their natal groups throughout their lifetime while males live their parent group when they mature. The family is usually led by an adult female and it consists of many other females, babies and juveniles and one adult male. These monkeys practice allomothering with many females monkeys usually juveniles looking after the babies. Their gestation period is about 5 months while their diet consists of mainly fruits during periods of abundance but they can also feed on flowers twigs and insects, figs and leaves.
Ugandan red colobus monkey- The Ugandan red colobus monkey has a rust-red cap a dark grey to blackface. The male Ugandan red colobus is larger than its female counterpart weighing in at 10.5kg while female weighs in at 7.5kg. This species of monkeys is purely herbivores with a diet dominated by leaves. These monkeys live in groups with many males and they consist of 3-85 individuals. The size of the group is majorly determined by the number of males available in it and female Ugandan red colobus will easily leave a group with few males and join another one with many males. The Ugandan red colobus female monkeys groom all other monkeys in the group. These monkeys have exhibited a strange character of associating with other species of monkeys mainly for protection purpose from predators like the crown eagle and chimpanzees.
What Else Is Does Kibale Have To Offer?
If you thought that Kibale as only primates to offer as tourist attractions in Kibale National park, well, I am sorry that I am about to give you a sweet disappointment because a Uganda safari tour to Kibale is like opening a pandora’s box because you never really know what surprises awaits you. Kibale still has other tourist attractions up its sleeves that will surprise when you decide to make a Uganda tour here and these include 350 bird species with sights of the great blue turaco and the African green pitta being the highlights of a Uganda birding safari excursion to Kibale. For Africa safari-goers who are into the flora, kibale offers over 300 tree species for you to get lost into. Cultural enthusiasts shouldn’t dare shy away from a safari to Kibale because just on the fringes are the Batooro people and the Bakiga who give you an epic Uganda cultural safari experience.
Now with all these Uganda safari attractions in Kibale national park, you can expect a visit Uganda experience to Kibale Forest National Park to be a funfair event only related to a child’s visit to Disney land given the numerous Uganda safari activities in Kibale national park you can engage in. Some of these activities include an epic Uganda chimpanzee safari given the 5000 chimpanzees that await you on this Uganda wildlife safari to Kibale. A chimpanzee safari to Kibale can be likened to a Rwanda chimpanzee trekking safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park because as this park constitute quite a remarkable number of chimpanzees which will definitely give you a good time on your tour Rwanda to Nyugwe. Usually, tourists who visit the chimpanzees of Rwanda also make a Rwanda gorilla trekking safari to Volcanoes National Park which is home to 10 gorilla families. However if you can’t afford the gorilla safari Rwanda permit, yet you would still want to see the gorillas, a Uganda gorilla safari is one other option you can take advantage of since Uganda s also home to these magical beings and the cost of gorilla trekking Uganda safari permits is quite affordable being USD800 cheaper than that of Rwanda, however if you think this is still too much for you to afford then a Congo gorilla safari to Virunga National park or Kahuzi Biega National Park is here for your rescue as a Congo gorilla trekking safari permit only costs USD 500.
Back to Kibale National Park, other tourist activities in Kibale Park for you to engage in include a Uganda birding safari which gives you unlimited access to magnificent sightings of several of the 350 bird species with the great blue turaco and African green breasted pitta being the highlight of a bird-watching Uganda safari trip to Kibale national park. Because Kibale is such a beautiful place to be with numerous marvellous Uganda safari tourist activities in Kibale for you to engage in, you will definitely need a place to make an overnight stay in Kibale in order to give yourself a better chance to experience Kibale’s beauty and splendour to the fullest. If this is your viewpoint as well, then you should not worry a lot because there are a lot of Uganda safari lodges in Kibale National Park that will definitely cater for your all your accommodation needs while here. Many of the Uganda hotels in Kibale national park are ranked as luxury, midrange and budget hence making it easy for anyone to find a suitable lodge to stay in regardless of their budget levels. Some of the luxury lodges in Kibale include crater safari lodge, Ndali lodge, Primate Lodge Kibale and Kyaninga lodge. If you are interested in midrange lodges in kibale some of the options you should think of include Crater Safari Lodge, Kibale Forest Guest House, Kibale Forest Camp and budget lodges in Kibale include Rweteera Safari Camp, Kibale Guest Cottages, and Kibale Safari Camp. Because Kibale is such a beautiful destination to visit given the various attractions and activities you can do while here, many tour operators in Uganda offer both short Uganda safaris and long Uganda safaris to Kibale. Some of these safaris companies in Uganda that can offer your Uganda tours to Kibale include Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd, Wild Gorilla Safaris and many others.