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Home » African Attractions » Places to Visit in Uganda » Kibale Forest National Park Uganda

Kibale Forest National Park Uganda


Kibale Forest National Park Uganda, Chimpanzee trekking safari Uganda, Chimps Tour in Uganda Kibale Forest Park

Kibale Forest National Park Uganda, Kibale Forest National Park Uganda, Chimpanzee trekking safari Uganda, Chimps Tour in Uganda Kibale Forest Park. Facts about Chimps tours in Uganda, Location of Kibale Forest Park, attractions to see in Kibale Forest Park on a Uganda Chimp safari, activities during a Chimpanzee safari in Uganda, where to stay & how to get there
Kibale Forest National Park lies on an elevation that ranges between 1,100 and 1,600m altitude in western Uganda. Kibale Forest National park is located about 320Km west of Kampala capital indistricts of Fort Portal, Kabarole and Kamwenge. Covering a total area of about 775Km², Kibale forest national park has the largest rain forest in Uganda. It is sub-divided into 7 zones for easy management purposes. The zones include research, natural reserve, civic-cultural, recreation, harvest, community and protection. All the zones were created on grounds of conservation of both wildlife and plant species. Kibale Forest National park was gazzeted in 1932 as a forest reserve to conserve both plant and wildlife species. It was then declared into a National Park in 1993.About 90% of the park has red ferralitic soils; 70% being sandy clay loam soils in the north and 30% clay loams in the south. The rest 10% is eutrophic soils on a base of volcanic ash in the areas of Mpokya and Isunga on the western boundary of the park.The park has two rain seasons. March to May and September to November with an annual rainfall of about 1100-1600mm. It rains more in the northern part than the southern parts. It has one dry season, from December to February with temperatures of ranging from 14° to 15° minimum and 26° to 27°C maximum.

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Attractions In Kibale Forest Nationl Park

Kibale Forest

The Forest is the most distinctive feature in the park as it’s where the park’s name is derived. Kibale forest is a wet moist evergreen tropical rain-forest lying on a plateau. It is characterized by evergreen 351 tree species that that rise over 55m forming a semi closed canopy. The trees are intercepted by shrubs, forest grass, herbs and other vegetation. Some of the tree species include timber such as the cordia milleni, Lovoa swynnertonni and many more.

Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park

8 Days Uganda Safari Wildlife SafariThe chimpanzees are an exclusive African species of extant great Ape. Sometimes referred to as Chimps, the species is classified in the primate’s order and Pan Genus, troglodytes. It shares about 98% DNA with humans, unlike other great Apes like the gorilla and other monkeys which share about 94% DNA with humans They prefer living in dense tropical rainforest; but can also be found in woodlands, bamboo forest, swamps and open savannah land. . The species is omnivorous, eating a wide variety of foods which include fruits, nuts, seeds, insects and others.

Quick Facts about Kibale forest Chimpanzees

  • Their hair is typically black and brown
  • Males and females differ in size and appearance.
  • Adult Males weigh between 40 to 90Kg and grow up to 5ft. Adult females weigh between 30 to 79Kg and grow up to 3ft.
  • They have a life span of up to 70 years.
  • They live in groups of about 30 to 80 individuals, with subgroups of up to 9 members. The sub groups usually have one dominant male and females with infants.
  • A group’s territory can range from 30 to 150 miles.
  • The males usually patrol the boundaries to look out for intruders. Meeting with rival group results into serious injuries and sometimes death.
  • Alpha male protects the group and leads it to a new location or on a patrol.

Communities in Kibale Forest National Park

Toro people

Kibale Forest National ParkAlso known as Batoro, Toro people are part of the dominant Bantu ethnic group in Uganda. Batoro speak the the Rutoro language, which is similar to the Runyoro of Banyoro people. They live between the area of Lakes Albert and Edward. Batoro belong to the Toro Kingdom which covers districts of Fort Portal, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Kyenjojo and Kyegwegwa. Toro Kingdom is believed to have originated from Bunyoro Kingdom. A myth has it that the formation of the Kingdom was as a result of Omukama Kaboyo Kansunsunkwanzi Olimi I rebellion against his father’s Kingdom. Kaboyo’s father was Omukama Kyebambe III, King of Bunyoro. Kaboyo moved to the southern part of his father’s Kingdom and placed a boundary that separated his new Kingdom with that of his father. Kaboyo had visited the current Toro Kingdom area several times as he collected tax and checked on his father’s herds of cattle. He was obsessed by the way the people there treated him with much love. He then organized a group of influential men, who played a big role in the annexation of the current Toro. Kaboyo had two sisters who lived in the area he was planning to take over. Mpanja and Batebe, sisters to Kaboyo got to learn about their brother’s rebellion. They reported to their father Omukama Kyebambe who did not believe what they had told him about his son’s plans. Kaboyo quickly asked his father to grant him permission to return to the area of current Toro in pretense that his wife was going to deliver babies soon and he needed to be there. Kaboyo never returned to his father’s palace, and when Omukama Kyebambe died, the chiefs sent for Kaboyo to make him the new Omukama. However, Kaboyo refused to become the Omukama of Bunyoro saying that he already had his people to take care of hence the formation of Toro Kingdom. Besides language, some of the traditions that Toro shares with Bunyoro include the use of pet names which are locally known as Empaako. The word empaako is derived from the Luo babiito language which means ‘praise’.By addressing a person by their empaako, it is a way of showing positive affirmation of your social ties with them. It is a means of showing respect to one another and can break tension or anger since it sends a strong message of social identity, unity, peace and reconciliation. It is also used as a greeting or declaration of affection. Empaako’s were inscribed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization intangible heritage in 2013. The empaako’s include Amooti, Abwooli, Atwooki, Akiiki, Adyeeri, Apuuli, Ateenyi, Araali, Acaali, Abooki, Bbala and Okaali. Each empaako has a different meaning and is assigned to an individual by a clan head upon birth. For example, Abooki means ‘I have narrated to you’; Abooli means ‘I have lied to you’; Ateenyi means ‘I have left you’ and Adyeeri means ‘I am your friend’. Okaali is the only pet name reserved for the Omukama, not to be used by any other ordinary person. The Batoro are agriculturalists, cultivating crops such as bananas, Irish potatoes, millet (staple food), sorghum, peas and many other crops. The Batoro are also cattle keepers. Cattle is a very important aspect in the Toro community as it determines ones status in the community. It is regarded as wealth, whereby the more cattle one has, the wealthier he is regarded. They believe in Ruhanga, a Rutoro/Runyoro word meaning creator or God.Marriage is also an important aspect among the Batoro. Locally known as ‘okuswera’, marriagewas traditionally arranged by the boy’s father. He sent an informant locally known as ‘Kibonabuko’ (in-law seeker), to go and investigate about the girls behavior, looks, health, family and many other aspects. If the informant was satisfactory with everything about the girl, he would go back to the boy’s father and make a good report about the girl. The boy’s father would then go to the girls family and ask for their daughters hand in marriage on behalf of his son. Upon mutual agreement, bride price preparations would then be made. Locally, bride price is known as ‘Omukaaga’ which literally means six. After bride price was handed over to the bride, the girl would move to the boys residence and was regarded as a slave to her husband. However, before she left her parents’ home, the girl wasrequired to perform a ritual known as okubukara. She has to sit on her parents lap. The ritual was meant to initiate her into an adult and wish her luck in the marriage. Upon reaching the males home, she was to sit on the lapsof the boy’s parents. This ritual meant that she had got new parents. Bride price in form of cattlewas to be paid to the girls family. If the girl is found a virgin duringher first sexual intercourse with her husband locally known as okucwa amagita (breaking the water), an extra cow was given to the her mother thanking her for raising her child well.

Birds in Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale forest National Park is one of the prime Uganda safari bird viewing destinations. It is home to over 375 bird species including 6 endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley region. They include the black-capped apalios, blue-headed sunbird,collared apalis, dusky crimson-wing, purple-breasted sunbird and red faced woodland warbler. Other birds include brown-crowned Tchagra, black bishop, black crowned waxbill and many more.

Black and White Colobus Monkeys in Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National ParkThe word colobus is derived from a Greek word ‘Kolobos’ which means docked .The primate species is an Old World Monkey of the Colobus genus which is native to Africa. They are named Colobus because they don’t have a thumb. The species are herbivorous and have a ruminant kind of digestive system i.e. they feed on leaves, fruit, flowers and twigs. Black and white colobus monkeys are endemic in higher density logged forests. However, they also live in riverine forests and wood grassland. Being herbivorous, black and white colobus monkeys are of importance to their habitant because of seed dispersal which causes germination of seeds into plantations hence expansion of vegetation in the Park. This is because of their sloppy eating habits. The species live in social groups of up to 9 members with a dominant male, females and offspring’s. Newborns are completely white and are taken care of by only the mother.

Wildlife in Kibale Forest National Park

Some of the mammals in Kibale Forest National Park include elephants, warthogs, duiker and many more.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Kibale Forest Park Safari Activities” tab_id=”1542360690457-793115a5-740f”][vc_column_text]

Activities in Kibale Forest National Park

Chimp Tracking in Kibale Forest National Park

10 Days Uganda Gorilla Wildlife and Adventure SafariKibale forest national park has the highest concentration of primate species totaling to 13. Some of the primates include the rare l’hoest monkey, grey cheeked mangabey monkey, red colobus monkey, olive baboon, blue monkey, bush baby and others. The population of chimpanzees in Kibale total to a minimum of 1450 individuals, making chimpanzee safaris to Uganda quite rewarding. Kibale forest National Park has the highest concentration of chimpanzees in the whole of Uganda. The chimps are scattered all over the park. However, the area of Kanyanchu has the highest number of the species in the park. The encounter with chimps is conducted twice a day both in the morning at 8am and in the afternoon at 2pm. Tracking of the species is done in groups of 9 trackers. Chimpanzees are swift climbers and set up their nests high up in the trees. The nests are built in few minutes by just bending branches and inter weaving them to create a platform for resting. They feed on fruits and about 80 diverse plant foods. They supplement the food with meat like that of antelopes and goats. They also eat termites, but using sticks as the folks. This is done as a safety measure of not being bitten by the termites. They use rocks to crash nuts open and use branches as a weapon against enemies. They throw the branches at an enemy or threat that approaches their territories, like leopards.

Tracking Requirments

Nature Walk in Kibale Forest National Park


Nature walks can be donenorth of the park atSebitoli, , 12km east of Fort portal. The area has a number of tree and primate species like the white and black colobus monkey and many others. Nature walks can also be done at the Bigodi Wetland Santuary and Magombe swamp, 3Km past Kibale forest.The wetland and swamp is managed by KAFRED (Kibale Association For Rural Development.) The organization is a community based supporting eco-tourism. Magombe swamp consists of a variety of vegetation which includes ferns, water lilies, flowers such as Ipomea, wetland grass, sedges and reeds. There are also tree species like wild Palm, rubber trees and polita figs. The dominant vegetation is however the papyrus. It has tree species like the wild palm, rubber trees; a number of primates like the red-tailed monkey; about 138 bird species which include the great blue turaco and a large number of butterflies.

Community Encounter in Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National ParkThe activity involves a one on one encounter with the Banyankole people. The Banyankole people have a rich heritage of tradition. The encounter involves activities such as setting out to the grazing land with the large herd of cattle, hand milking locally known as ‘okukama’, playing grazing instruments such as flutes which are locally known as ‘omubanda’ and many other activities associate with cattle keeping of the Bahima. Besides cattle, the cultural encounter will involve agricultural activities with the Bairu. Some of the activities include crop cultivation, weeding and harvesting; depending on the season of the encounter. The encounter will also involve preparation of some of the local dishes of the Banyankole such as Matooke (cooked bananas), millet and other foods using local firewood.

Birding in Kibale Forest National Park

There are around 375 species of birds in Kibale national park. The activity can be done at Bigodi wetland sanctuary which is 3km outside the park. Around 138 of the 375 bird species can be seen at the wetland. Birds like the brown-crowned Tchagra, black bishop, black crowned waxbill and many others.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Where to Stay in Kibale Forest Park ” tab_id=”1542360683508-54899299-23dd”][vc_column_text]

Accommodation in Kibale Forest National Park

Upscale/Luxury Hotels in Kibale Forest National Park

Primate Lodge Kibale


The lodge has 8 en-suite tents and 7 en-suite cottages

US$650 (3 days) US$1130 (4 days)

  • Transport to/from Kampala (min. 2 people)
  • 2 nights in the Sky Tree House
  • Chimp tracking in Kibale National Park
  • Bigodi Swamp Walk
  • Crater Lakes exploration
  • Transport to/from Kampala (min. 2 people)
  • 3 nights in Primate Lodge full board
  • Chimp Habituation Experience
  • Bigodi Swamp Walk
  • Chimp tracking

US$1150 (5 days)

  • Transport to/from Kampala (min. 2 people)
  • 4 nights in Primate Lodge(full board
  • Chimp tracking
  • Crater Lakes exploration


Midrange/Standard hotels-Lodges in Kibale Forest National Park

Nyinabulitwa Country Resort and Safari Camp

The lodge has both terraced cottages and those without terrace; and a campsite

RATE (per person) Bed Breakfast

Cottage with terrace807070
Cottage Without Terrace706060

Lunch US$10 Dinner US$15

Budget/Basic Lodges-Hotels in Kibale Forest National Park


It’s a budget lodge with accommodation varying from bandas to cottages.

ROOMSRATE Ush. (singleRATE Ush (DoubleRATE Ush. Extra bed
Lakeside Cottage61,00021,000
Hill Top Bandas75,00021,000
Rwenzori View Bandas36,00052,00021,000

Campiste rates: -Ush.10, 000 adults

-Ush.6, 000 children (under 10yrs)[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Getting there” tab_id=”1542360683482-cc68fe60-43ad”][vc_column_text]

Getting To Kibale Forest National Park

Kampala – Mityana –Mubende-Fort Portal (via Sebitoli) 320Km 4Hrs 30min

From Kampala to Mityana, the distance is roughly 72Km and lasts for about 1Hr 10min.

Mityana to Mubende, the distance is about 80Km and lasts for approximately 1Hr. You are able to view physical features such as Lake Wamala, a fresh water lake shared by the two districts.

Mubende to Fortportal, drive distance is about 146Km and lasts for about 1Hr 52min. The route takes you through the magnificent, breath taking Matiri Central Forest Reserve in kabarole district.

Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Kasese-Fort Portal 546Km 8Hrs

The distance from Kampala to Masaka is 131Km and Lasts for approximately 2Hrs.

From Masaka to Mbarara (also known as the land of Milk because of high number of cattle in the area); the distance is approximately 138Km and lasts for about 1Hr 50min.

From Mbarara to Kasese, the distance is about 155Km and lasts approximately 2Hrs. While connecting from Mbarara to Kasese, you will be able to view Queen Elizabeth National Park starting at Kichwamba area.

The drive distance between Kasese and Fort Portal is about 77Km and Lasts for about 1Hr 30Min.

Kampala – Mityana – Mubende – Kamwenge325Km (4Hr 40Min)

Quick Facts About Chimpanzee

  • Their hair is typically black and brown
  • Males and females differ in size and appearance.
  • Adult Males weigh between 40 to 90Kg and grow up to 5ft. Adult females weigh between 30 to 79Kg and grow up to 3ft.
  • They have a life span of up to 70 years.
  • They live in groups of about 30 to 80 individuals, with subgroups of up to 9 members. The sub groups usually have one dominant male and females with infants.
  • A group’s territory can range from 30 to 150 miles.
  • The males usually patrol the boundaries to look out for intruders. Meeting with rival group results into serious injuries and sometimes death.
  • Alpha male protects the group and leads it to a new location or on a patrol.

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  • Kibale Forest
  • Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park
  • Communities in Kibale Forest National Park
  • Toro people
  • Birds in Kibale Forest National Park
  • Black and White Colobus Monkeys in Kibale Forest National Park
  • Wildlife in Kibale Forest National Park


  • Chimp Tracking in Kibale Forest National Park
  • Nature Walk in Kibale Forest National Park
  • Community Encounter in Kibale Forest National Park
  • Birding in Kibale Forest National Park

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1 Day Uganda Safari to Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is the closest National Park to Kampala 240km about 3 – 4 hours’ drive and boasts of counts of biodiversity and amazing scenic landscapes. The park is situated in the traditional range lands of the Bahima pastoralist.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

2 days Uganda Safari to Murchison Falls NP

Murchison Falls National Park is the largest savannah park in Uganda with 3,840 Sq.km. It shelters a great deal of African game including the Big 5 of Land animals that include Rhinos in the adjacent Ziwa sanctuary, elephants, lions, leopard and buffaloes[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

2 Days Uganda Safari to Queen Elizabeth NP

The 2 Days Uganda Safari to Queen Elizabeth NP is a short safari that will fit in your weekend break. It takes you to Queen Elizabeth National Park one of the most popular Uganda safari destinations. The safari features a game drive where possibilities[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

3 Days Uganda Safari to Murchison Falls NP

The 3 Days Uganda Safari to Murchison Falls NP allows you to explore the Big five of land animals namely; the Rhinos which exist in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the Buffaloes, elephants, lions and leopards. This comes along with other wild game including Rothschild Giraffes, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Oribis[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

5 Days Uganda Gorilla and Chimpanzee Safari

The 5 Days Uganda Gorilla and Chimpanzee Safari takes you to Kibale National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The prime safari activities include the gorilla tracking and chimpanzee trekking. Encountering the critically endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats and the chimpanzees[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

8 Days Uganda Safari-Uganda Safaris Tours

The 8 Days Uganda Safari features Uganda’s prime safari destinations of Murchison, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The prime activities include wild game viewing where you explore the Big five including Rhinos on Ziwa Sanctuary, elephants, leopards, lions and Buffaloes in Murchison Falls[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

10 Days Uganda Gorilla, Wildlife and Adventure Safari

The 10 Days Uganda Gorilla, Wildlife and Adventure Safari is among our newly introduced packages that feature novelty products on the market. The Safari commences and ends in Kampala featuring cycling in the tea estates of Mpanga, the heritage tours in Amabere caves, adventure hike to the Fort Portal crater lake field and the Rwenzori Mountains, the cultural tours at Rwenzori Art foundation[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

16 Days in the Equator Snow-Uganda Safari Tours

The 3 Days Uganda Safari to Queen Elizabeth NP features wild game viewing, recreational boat cruise and chimpanzee trekking. Queen Elizabeth NP also referred to as the medley of wonders boasts of being the most popular destination in Uganda with a diverse ecosystem that features forested, savannah grassland, water environments and wetlands supporting counts of big game, primates like chimpanzees.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Google Maps of Kibale Park” tab_id=”1542360766911-3e819761-86d1″][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_gmaps link=”#E-8_JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyaHR0cHMlM0ElMkYlMkZ3d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbSUyRm1hcHMlMkZkJTJGZW1iZWQlM0ZtaWQlM0QxbXBwbHJURUV5T1VYeUxaSXZmUVp0YU9fSnViMnZYVE0lMjIlMjB3aWR0aCUzRCUyMjEwMCUyNSUyMiUyMGhlaWdodCUzRCUyMjQ4MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==” title=”OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN UGANDA”][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Other Uganda Safari Destinations” tab_id=”1542975590524-d867842b-6bf5″][vc_column_text]

Uganda Safari Tour Destinations | Uganda Safari Tour Attractions

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Bwindi Impenetrable Park

The name Bwindi is a Runyakitara word meaning Impenetrable. It’s called Bwindi because of the massive stand of bamboo scattered amongst the hardwood forest alongside vines and other plant growth.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Named after the Queen of England, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the National park is found southwest of Uganda. It covers a total area of about 1,978Km²; stretching in districts of Kasese (17%),[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Kampala City – Uganda Safari Tours

Kampala is the capital city and largest urban center of Uganda. The city is the administrative center of the central region and is wholly en-circled by Wakiso district. It lies on a total area of about 200Km²[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga is the Smallest National park in Uganda, covering a total area of about 33.7Km² and lies on an elevation ranging from about 2,227 to 4,127m altitude. However much it is the smallest[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National park is situated in the Ankole Sub-region in Mbarara district. The park lies about 238km Southwest of Kampala capital and covers a total area of about 370Km.It derives its name from the most distinct feature[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Kidepo Valley National Park

Located in the far northeast of Uganda, Kidepo valley National park is one of the hardest parks to visit, but one of the most spectacular prime game viewing destination in Uganda where one gets a real feeling of the wilderness[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Mt.Rwenzori National Park

At an elevation of 5,109m above sea level, stands out Mt.Rwenzori National Park. The Park is located in Western Uganda along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Kasese district. The park lies on the east side of the Western Albertine[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Mt. Elgon National Park

About 228Km (3Hrs 30min), North east of Kampala capital, lies Mt.Elgon National park. The park is situated in the Eastern region of Uganda and spreads along the border with Kenya.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is located in Nakasongola District, about 115Km² north of Kampala capital in Nakitoma Village. It lies near the River Kafu basin and it is strictly a Rhino conservation area.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Semuliki National Park

Situated in the western region of Uganda, along the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, in Bundibugyo district, Bwamba County; Semuliki National Park is one of the newest and smallest park in Uganda.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][vc_column_text][captainform id=”1262443″]