Only that of mild apprehension matches the feeling of excitement as you wander around the Kibale forest after dark. The eerie silence is only broken from time to time by the sound of swooping bats or the hum of unknown insects.
Kibale is a tropical rainforest in Uganda where the jungle of West and Central Africa meet. Kibale National Park is 795 km² in size and includes 351 species of tree, 375 species of birds, 70 mammal species and most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee. As some of these primates are nocturnal, a night walk is definitely required to increase your chances of ticking off all 13!
Night walks take place after dinner at 7:30pm and last around 90 minutes. Nestled within the forest with beautiful, homely rooms is Primate Lodge, and is an ideal 5-minute walk from the forest entrance. Solar powered torches are used to illuminate the trail and spot animals, birds and other creatures of the night, whilst the reflective glow of tiny eyes light up the trees around you. You’re most likely to see pottos, galagos, bush babies, tree hyrax, birds of the night such as owls and Nightjars, and not to mention insects such as giant moths, glow in the dark spiders, colourful caterpillars and shiny millipedes with endless legs. Kibale is far more famous for its bigger primates – especially chimps, colobus monkeys and mangabeys - but a night visit is a truly rewarding experience, and one you won’t forget.
Top tips: Bring a small backpack with your essentials; bottle of water, insect repellant, torch and a rain jacket just incase. Wear a long sleeved top, snug laced boots and don’t forget to tuck your trousers into your socks should you want any surprise visitors.