Budongo Forest Reserve.
Budongo Eco forest sits in the north-western part of Uganda at about three – four hours’ drive away from Kampala and is renowned for largest mahogany forest trees in East Africa protecting a large part of the huge chimpanzee and other primates recorded in Uganda.
You can easily get there by road from Kampala and journey is rewarding. If not road, you can board a plane up to Pakuba airstrip in Murchison Falls National Park then from there you can connect to the reserve by car.
It occupies an approximated area of 830 square kilometers of which 55% is forest cover and the remaining percentage is covered by grasslands.
It was declared a forest reserve 1932 and its part of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area, Murchison Falls National Park also inclusive.
Busingiro and Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism sites are part of the reserve and the main hubs for most of activities offered in this protected area. These sites are stunning and photogenic with beautiful views of iron wood and Mahogany trees,
Apart from the varied trees species, Budongo delights travelers with its rich biodiversity of wildlife that includes about nine primate species. There are over 800 chimpanzees in the reserve but few are habituated and open to tourism excursions.
The community used for chimpanzee tracking expeditions in Budongo consists of eight individuals and easily seen in the months when there is plenty of food.
During those months when food is scarce, these primates tend to move deep into the forest, therefore chances of seeing them are very low.
To list more of the primates that inhabit the lush habitats of Budongo Forest, Olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, blue monkeys, Black and White Colobus monkeys can’t miss. Moreover, Budongo Forest Reserve is home to 300 species of butterflies, 470 species of trees and six mammal species.
There is a lot to make your days in Budongo Forest Reserve; some of these include Forest walks, chimpanzee tracking, Chimpanzee habituation experience and more.
Among all, chimpanzee tracking and habituation are the main draws for most of visitors to the forest.
It is near Murchison Falls National Park, this is why it is easy to reach or used as a stopover for visitors to the largest park in Uganda.
You can start with it before Murchison or end with it after breathtaking game driving and launch trip cruise to the bottom of the falls.
Lodging facilities should not be a worry for any visitor to Budongo Forest Reserve; this locale is reserved with numerous accommodation properties for tourists to stay.
They vary from budget, mid-range to luxury facilities. Few of these include Budongo Eco Lodge, Masindi Hotel, Kabalega Resort and more. Some are a few kilometers away from the Forest Reserve.