Kibale is an evergreen forest covering an area of 766 sq. km in Uganda. There are various landscapes seen here and there in the forest. The park is close to the town of Fort Portal. It was declared a protected region in the year 1993. The region is known for its diverse and rich ecosystem in the whole of Africa. It is a beautiful place for nature lovers. Apart from natural beauty, the forest is also known for its beautiful trekking trails and for nearby crater lakes. The forest can be visited at any point of the year. It has a pleasant climate in spite of being close to the Equator.
WHAT TO SEE
Uganda is home to several tribes of Africa. The Bantu speaking people, however, dominate the region. The majority of the population is Christian followed by Muslims. Here are a sizeable number of Hindu and other religious groups. The traditions of the ancient days still are there in the region. The national dress for men is Kanzu and for women its gomesi, suuka and busuuti. The music and dance in the region is a mix of all tribe. Every community has its own genre of music, type of musical instruments and complex dances of their own.
Flora and Fauna
There are around 250 species of plants in the region. These include evergreen species of plants which are not found almost anywhere else in Africa. Here the endangered species of Timber can be found. There are trees, shrubs, herbs, ferns spread in length and breadth of the forest. The wildlife of the region is equally as fascinating as the flora. The park is home to several species of apes including monkeys, chimpanzees and others. There are bushbucks, forest hogs, warthogs, buffalos, cats, mongooses etc. the region is inhabited by 325 sited species and many hidden species of birds. One can find several species of reptiles and amphibians wandering about.
Chimpanzee trekking is the activity that makes the National Park a popular tourist place. This is a trek in the region where chimpanzees reside. Unlike other parks where safari is the only way to go through the jungle Kibale provide an altogether different experience of walking or rather trekking with the chimps.
This s the nearest town and the gateway to the Park. It is a small settlement which mainly gives accommodation and other services to the visitors of the national park.
There are few crater lakes near the National Park. Kasenda – Ndali lakes near the town of Fort Portal are prime attractions in the region after the forest. The formation of the lakes dates back to over 10,000 years. These group of lakes includes both permanent and seasonal lakes. The lakes and surroundings are a mesmerising view. The lakes area home to several species of butterflies and also the monkeys.
Amabere caves is another popular tourist place near the park. These are age-old caves with rock painting telling stories of ancient culture and traditions. Hiking is the way up to the caves. There is a beautiful waterfall near the cave. These are very close to Crater Lake and can be seen on the same day as the lakes.
It is 13 sq. km valley near the national park. It is surrounded by tea plantations. The view is mesmerising and one can spend hours just by looking at the valley. There are over 200 species of birds here including the rare white-spotted flufftail.
The cuisine in Uganda is influenced by Asian and English cuisines while maintaining traditional tastes. Yams, potatoes, pork, chicken and fish constitute major ingredients of the food here. There are Chinese, Italian and Indian restaurants in major towns and cities of the state. The traditional dishes include Millet bread, Chapati, Simsim, Mandazi, Pombe, Matoke and Posho etc.
Reaching Kibale National Park
The only way to reach the park is via road from the nearest town of Fort Portal which is said to be the gateway to the national park. A cab or minibus can be taken to reach the park.
The nearest airport is Entebbe International Airport. From here cab can be taken to reach Fort Portal. A bus might also be available.