Kibale crater lakes are found in the area with in the western rift valley region, famously known as the ndali kasenda crater region. Kibale crater lakes are located in south western uganda, about 350 km from kampala. The crater lakes are accessible by the fort portal- kasese road, almost on the edge of kibale national park. The region is spotted with various craters; explosion craters and crater lakes. The craters provide a stunning and spectacular view and camping ground for the lovers of a real wild experience in Africa. To note, the crater lakes are not found within or inside kibale national park, but are within the premises of the national park premises.
Kibale national park is a lustrous tropical rainforest located in the extreme southwestern side of Uganda. Kibale national park is significant for the vast community of primates that inhabit the forest; most especially the endangered species called the chimpanzees. Kibale national park is even referred to as the primate capital of the world, this is because it harbors the largest community of primates in Africa, and perhaps, the whole world; about 1500 chimpanzees swing in the trees with in the forest and also some are habituated and always ready to receive visitors all the year through.
Besides the chimpanzees, kibale national park harbors about 13 other primate species including the black and white colobus monkeys, the red tailed monkeys, the blue colobus monkeys, and night primates such as the pottos, bush babies and pangolins, elephants, and warthogs among others. kibale national park is also a dream come true for the bird lovers. It harbors about 350 species of birds. Kibale national park is a real deal to quench any birders thirst.
Despite the wildlife in kibale national park, yes it is captivating, but the craters in kibale national park bring out a whole new experience to any primate safari to kibale national park. Not so far away from the significant tourist town of fort portal, between fort portal- kasese highway and kibale forest, is where you will find a best place for your crater lakes tours in uganda.
Formation of kibale crater lakes
The craters of kibale national park were formed by a process called vulcanicity many millions of years ago. Unlike volcanicity that lead to formation of volcanic cones/ mountains, vulcanicity involves strong and violent volcanic eruption which blows off the surface, pouring back the ash, lava and debris around the depression, hence creating an explosion crater bounded by a realm of ash and lava. On the other hand, when the craters are filled with water, they become crater lakes, such as katwe in Queen Elizabeth national park and others found in the volcanic areas of Uganda.
The most popular Crater Lake in kibale national park is called Lake Nyabikere, which is translated as the lake of frogs in the local language. Lake nyabikere is located in the shortest distance from fort portal town, just 3 minutes’ drive over a 100m distance off the main road, nearest to kibale national park. It is possible to walk from nyabikere Crater Lake to nkuruba, passing via nyinabulitwa to Nyamirima Crater Lake. Nyabikere Crater Lake is also a famous base for chimpanzee trekking in kibale national park.
Another crater lake is called nyinambuga Crater Lake, significant in uganda, since it appears in the twenty thousand shillings note of uganda. Nyinambuga crater is characterized with blue green water which provides spectacular views of nature. On the ridge of nyinambuga Crater Lake is where you find the popular ndali logde with the beautiful view if the lake about 100m below.
Nkuruba Crater Lake is yet another stunning crater lake in kibale; it has acted as a nature reserve to help the local community to have progressive education through funding. Nkuruba Crater Lake provides very spectacular ground for camping with tranquility surrounding. Nkuruba also is an access point to the top of the world hike where you can find the mahoma falls and also see quite a number of explosion craters.
Other crater lakes include; nyamasagani, ntambi, mubiro, lyantonde, nyanswiga; are easily accessed. Lake kasenda is associated with fertile soils for agriculture; the fertility around lake kasenda has facilitated the growth of the Arabic coffee type in the area. This is on site where you can enjoy agro tourism through the coffee plantations.
Activities associated with the crater lakes
Many crater lakes are found in the ndali kasenda areas near kibale national park. Ndali – kasenda area is dotted with quite a number of different craters and crater lakes, varying in sizes and character with quite charming developed scenic views of the surrounding areas. Most crater lakes in kibale, some, are bilharzia free and truly safe for swimming, others are quite lucrative for fishing, beautiful for nature walks, cycling, among others. The crater lakes area of kibale national park is a real life opportunity for you to get into intensive bird watching; the crater lakes are associated with quite arrange of beautiful bird species good to watch such as, olive long- tailed cuckoo, western tinker bird, pittas, grey parrot, ground thursting; endemic to kibale national park, and much more.