Nocturnal Walks In Kibale Forest
Can i do Nocturnal Walks In Kibale Forest? Kibale National Park is located in the western part of Uganda next to Fort Portal district, the national park was established in 1993 to protect the wetland and Kibale forest with its animals. The Park is managed and controlled by the Uganda wildlife authority, it famous for chimpanzees although it has more than 12 other primates, 70 species of mammal, and over 375 different bird species.
Yes, nocturnal walks in Kibale forest national park start at around 7:30 pm in the night with a help of an armed ranger guide. nocturnal walks give you an opportunity to explore the dark forest and spot some of the wildlife you might have missed out on during your chimpanzee trekking during the daytime.
To have a clear view of nocturnal animals, you will have to move with a very bright ad clear torch to help you look for the animals. Some of the nocturnal animals you’re most likely to see in the Kibale forest during night walks include bush babies, galagos, giant forest hog, bushbaby, tree hyrax, pottos, and night owls. You might also get an opportunity of coming across predators such as serval cats and the occasional civet. You have an opportunity of seeing nocturnal birds such as owls and nightjars to mention but a few.
Nocturnal walks in Kibale forest national park can take 1-2 hours and this always starts after a briefing from Uganda wildlife authority headquarters.
Apart from night walks in Kibale forest national park, there are also day walks that can be taken using different trails which lead you to unique beautiful destinations that take 1-8 hours to reach.
Chimpanzee trekking is the main activity done in Kibale forest national park. The Park has the highest number of chimpanzees in the whole world so there are higher chances of seeing chimpanzees here than in any other place in the whole world. The cost of a chimpanzee trekking permit in Kibale forest national park is $200 per person per trek and this can be done in the morning or the evening. The chimpanzee permit allows you to stay with these primates for one hour but the trekking comes along with opportunities of seeing different birds, plant species, and different mammals.
The other activity that can be done in Kibale forest national park is chimpanzee habituation which is a process of making chimpanzees get used to human presence in their natural habitat. Chimpanzee habituation permits cost $250 per person and the permits are sold to people ages 15 and above. Chimpanzee habituation is done by researchers in their daily habituation process of chimpanzees. Chimpanzee habituation gives visitors an opportunity of spending more time with chimpanzees as you learn about their behaviors and habits while taking photos.
What to bring for nocturnal walks
Nocturnal walks just like daytime walks will need you to be well prepared and even more, you must come along with a rain jacket, warm and long-sleeved clothes, bright torch, insect repellents, garden gloves, and waterproof hiking boots.
Best time to visit Kibale Forest for Nocturnal Walks
Kibale forest national park can be visited at any time of the year but some months are better than the rest and these are dry season months of June to September and December to February when the roads leading to the park are in good condition and the chimpanzee trekking trails are also passable. Other places where you can see chimpanzees in Uganda are Budongo forest near Murchison falls national park, Kalinzu forest reserve, and Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park.
Things to do in Kibale national park apart from nocturnal walks
Kibale forest national park is a major destination in Uganda with lots of activities to do besides the amazing nocturnal walks. Below is a list of things to do in the park;
Chimpanzee habituation experience.
Chimpanzee habituation is a process of making chimpanzees get used to human beings around them which can take around two years according to wildlife conservation society. This is only done in Kibale National Park in Uganda and the price of chimpanzee habituation experience is slightly higher. Kibale national park has the most exciting chimpanzee habituation experience in Uganda this usually takes half a day or full day giving you ample time to stay with chimpanzees as you watch them breast feed, copulate, patrol, hunt and rest.
Chimpanzee habituation experience is done by 4 people accompanied by a well-trained guide and researchers and starts with 6:30am and to get involved in habituation you must have a chimpanzee habituation permit which can be got from Uganda wildlife authority. Fully day habituation goes for USD 200 foreign nonresidents and foreign residents then east African community residents UGX 150,000 while half day is USD 100 foreign nonresidents and foreign residents while UGX 75,000 for east African residents. Price is subject to change
Kibale national park has got the biggest number of chimpanzees in Uganda over 1450 chimpanzee individuals. Chimpanzee tracking activity takes you through thick forests using demarcated trails in the forest while searching for chimpanzees. Chimpanzee tracking is done in the morning at 6:00am giving you a chance see chimpanzees get out of their nest, breast feed, copulate, hunt, and patrol and wake up in the nests. But as you walk through the forest you can spot other primates like the central African monkey, black and white colobus monkey, L’hoest’s monkey, grey checked mangabey, red colobus monkey and blue monkey. But to get involved in chimpanzee tracking you must have a permit from Uganda wildlife authority which goes for USD 150 for foreign nonresidents, USD 100 for foreign residents and UGX 100,000 for East African residents
Kibale national park is a home of 375 bird species making it a good place for bird watching. While on nature walks and chimpanzee tracking you can see many beautiful birds i.e. yellow rumped tinker bird, brown crested athele, red chested owlet, black bee eater, little green bul, yellow spotted nicator, African pitta, purple- breasted sun bird, white naped pigeon and black bishop among others.
Cultural tours in Kibale National Park takes you to local communities around the park., you get to visit the Batooro and Bakiga and witness their traditional art pieces, houses, traditional dances as you get entertained by local people in local dances and drama grouped in rural environment development association. You can also get to interact with elder people who get to share with you interesting stories.