Kibale is special. Sure, there are lots of forest buffaloes, duikers and elephants here, so they say….and even forest leopards and bushbuck, but seriously, who cares…in Kibale it’s all about the 13 primate species to which its home, especially the chimpanzee!
Looking at these sentient beings is just like staring at a wild version of yourself in the mirror considering they share 98.7% common DNA with man. The chimpanzee trek is a magical and surreal experience that unfolds deep in thick forest, where you will observe a habituated family group going about their business; lolling around in the sun, grooming each other, playing, fighting and snacking. One of the main highlights of the adventure is when their alpha male allows your group of eight privileged tourists to sit quietly in their presence. Even though I’ve trekked to see the chimpanzees on numerous occasions, you’ll be in awe. If it is your lucky day, a cute baby furball might surprise you by coming to play with your legs.
In terms of duration, it takes averagely 4 hours to find the family of chimpanzees that your group has been allocated for tracking. However, there are times it takes a little longer or shorter. It all depends on their movements in the previous 24 hours.
Kibale’s terrain has a much gentler gradient compared to other forest parks in western Uganda. It is relatively flat while that of Bwindi is largely mountainous.