An overview of Kibale national park
Beautifully laid in western Uganda, Kibale national park is 795 sq km of the Albertine rift valley with varying altitudes of the tropical rainforest. The national park is close to the tranquil Ndali- Kasenda crater area within 2 hours drive from Queen Elizabeth National park. Kibale national park is a paradise for wildlife species with over 375 bird species, a total of 60 mammal species, and most famously 13 species of primates including; the rarest L’Hoest monkey, Colobus monkey, Black and white Colobus, Grey-cheeked mangabeys and popularly known for chimpanzees. Although the park is most popular for Chimpanzee tracking and Habituation experience where guests take on the adventure to view Man’s closest relatives, it is also an ideal place for a night walking adventures in Uganda.
What is a night walk?
A night walk is an exciting hike through the heart of either a national park or a forest among others conducted at night whose purpose is to view the nocturnal wild. Just like other nature walks, night walks are usually guided by two or more armed rangers and guides from the park to ensure guests safety in the jungle. A night walk is a thrilling adventure usually enjoyed in forested parks after nightfall to view nocturnal animals and birds in Uganda. In my opinion, a night walk is to a forested park walk a night game drive is to a savannah park.
What wildlife species to look out for while on a night walk at Kibale national park?
There is plenty of wildlife species which a visitor should look out for while on a night walk at Kibale national park. These mainly include the nocturnal animals found at the park such as; the potto, bush baby, nightjar, cricket, tree hyrax with its chilling shriek, the occasional civet, and so much more.
How is a night walk done in Kibale national park?
Night walks at the park usually begin at 19:30hrs when tourists leave the park headquarters. The night walk begins with a briefing from the park rangers/guides after which, the tourists head to the trails in the forest. While exploring the park, the tourists may come across the nocturnal creatures both animals and birds moving around their habitat especially bush babies, serval cat, the potto and many more. The 1-2 hours adventure is an unusual way of walking into the silent capital of primates and capturing the lords of the night at the park. After the walk, tourists move back to the park headquarters, then to their respective lodges to rest and plan for the next day’s activities.
How long does a night walk last at Kibale national park?
A night walk at Kibale national park lasts between 60 to 120 minutes where tourists are taken through sightseeing of the nocturnal wild, one of the most thrilling safari adventures in Uganda.
How many people are allowed to go for a night walk in Kibale national park?
Only a maximum of 6 people is allowed to go for a night walk in Kibale national park. These are usually guided by the game rangers/guides to ensure one’s safety in the jungle at night.
Are there persons who are restricted to go for night walks in Kibale national park?
Yes, there are some restricted persons who may not be accepted to go for night walks in Kibale. Although there have been developments to help persons with disability to go trekking Uganda’s National Park by improvising stretcher beds which are custom made for adventure, these are usually used for day-activities. It is quite difficult for persons with disabilities to be ferried to and fro in the forest during a night walk while sitting or lying on them.
Similarly, children, as well as sick travellers, are not allowed to go for night walks in the jungle because it may be challenging to their physical fitness to take on such hikes among many other factors.
What is required to enjoy a night walk?
When chimpanzees and other forest residents rest at dusk, a nighttime shift of rarely seen creatures becomes active. The night-walks through the darkened jungle use a number of equipment which includes; Powerful torches, camera, long trousers, solid boots, insect repellent, long-sleeved shirt, garden-gloves among others.
Why you should go for a night walk in Kibale national park?
A night walk in Kibale national park will intrigue you with the first-hand experience of how the park’s eco-system interacts at night. For many visitors who have taken on the night walks at the park affirm that; it is so pleasant and adventurous whereby they get to plunge into the endless verdure as one feels the breath of fresh air, smells the divine fragrance of plant species, as well as walking on winding paths in the dark jungle while listening to the sounds of the night’s wonders. Having been one of the few activities at the park that engages the five human senses, a night walk in Kibale is a must-try for every guest on a Uganda holiday.
The night walk in Kibale national park is a whole experience on its own, completely different from the day safaris. Unlike chimpanzee trekking and habituation, night walks are purposed to reward a guest with the opportunity to search for the forest wildlife in their natural surroundings. The night walk under the starry sky and the cry of the night in the wilderness quickly accelerates a tourists’ night experience at the park, no wonder, it is usually taken to supplement chimpanzee trekking at the park.
Night walks in Uganda’s Kibale national park not only allow visitors to see the nocturnal animals and birds but also an out of the ordinary experience to get your heart pumping from the sheer thrill, call it the excitement of viewing the nocturnal predators as they hunt during the night, especially the leopards as well as other species roaming in the dark.
A guided night walk in Kibale national park is also a perfect way of venturing into the unknown nocturnal world that awaits any lucky tourist who tries it. There is nothing magical than listening to the sounds of nature in the dead of night with no distractions for miles. Unlike most nature walks where guests would expect to see the obvious primate species at the park such as chimpanzees, rarest L’Hoest monkey, Colobus monkey, Black and white Colobus among others. Most tourists’ eyes may be amazed at occasional sightings of serval cats, bush baby, mongoose and many others in the forest. Therefore, to every traveller, if you are planning gorilla safari in Bwindi National Park for which Uganda is mostly known for, never miss a night walk in Kibale national park because this is one of the most exciting adventures which every visitor to the park should try.
When to go for a night walk in Kibale national park?
Night walks in Kibale national park are open throughout the year. Visitors are free to conduct the night walks either during wet seasons or the dry seasons. The best months to go for night walks are often December to February and June to September. During the fore mentioned months, the forest trails are drier making it easier for hiking in the dark.