Located in the west of Uganda, Kibale Forest National Park and Semliki Wildlife Reserve are two small parks, each with a lot to offer. Semliki is the oldest wildlife reserve in the country, while Kibale has the highest concentration and widest variety of primate in East Africa, with 13 different species. Both are home to chimpanzee, as well as a host of other wildlife and bird species.
Kibale Forest National Park is the main area for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, and visitors are able to spend time with chimpanzee researchers in order to learn more about chimp habituation. The park also offers fantastic opportunities to spot L’Hoest’s monkey, red colobus and black-and-white colobus, amongst many other primates. Kibale’s forest paths are easily explored on foot, and lucky visitors will be able to spot lion, leopard, and the smaller forest elephant through the dense vegetation. A visit to the nearby Bigodi wetland sanctuary is also worthwhile for superb bird-spotting opportunities, including the great blue turaco.
Semliki Wildlife Reserve has a wide range of terrains, including acacia woodland and natural hot springs, and its location on the south shore of Lake Albert attracts diverse bird species, over 100 of which are unique to the reserve. A boat trip on the lake is highly recommended, as this is one of the best locations to spot the distinctive and much sought-after shoebill. Forest walks are an exciting way to explore the land, and visitors will have the opportunity to spot rare wildlife such as elephants that are a unique adaptation between savannah and forest elephants.