Located on the northwestern side of Uganda, Budongo forest is one of the most incredible and a few tropical rain forests that still exist in Africa and it straddles the magnificent Murchison Falls National Park. It is credited for the largest number of mahogany trees in entire East Africa and also most of the chimpanzee population in Uganda. This incredible forest features amazing tourist sites like Kaniyo Pabidi ecotourism site and the Busingiro ecotourism site. Kaniyo Pabidi is situated at the border to Murchison Falls National Park and mainly features mahogany and ironwood trees. It expands up to 115 kilometers. This 793 square kilometers tropical rain forest features more than 360 birds, 289 butterflies, 130 months, 465 tree species and shrubs, 24 mammals, and many more.
Below are some of the exciting activities that you shouldn’t miss to participate in Budongo forest.
- Bird watching
Budongo forest is an exceptional bird watchers’ paradise. Over 360 birds thrive within the forest offering visitors a great opportunity to realize their dreams. It features two endemic species of birds and these are not found in any other part in East Africa. It features the unique Guinea Congo forest biome species and it is the second with the largest number after Semuliki forest. The notable birds to sight in the forest include the yellow-footed flycatcher, little green sunbird, grey-headed sunbird, kingfishers, white-spotted fluff tail, Ituri batis, pulvus illadopsis, Cameroon somber, Cassin’s hawk-eagle, crowned eagle, yellow-crested woodpecker, forest Robin, brown twin spot and many more.
- Chimpanzee Habituation experience
This adventure takes primate enthusiasts the entire day looking for chimpanzees, especially during the low season which starts from March to June and October to December. This primate experience is conducted together with researchers and others and the habituation lasts for two years for the chimpanzees to get used to human presence. The Jane Goodall Institute runs and looks after the chimpanzees in Budongo forest. Visitors on safari for this adventure are required to keep a distance of 8 to 10 meters away from the chimpanzees and only people above 15 years are allowed. You will be required to have your packed lunch and enough drinking water.
- Chimpanzee trekking
This is another remarkable tourist activity that you shouldn’t leave out in your travel itinerary. It is conducted in the morning and in the afternoon. This adventure lasts for 2 to 4 hours and the southern community in Budongo features about 45 to 50 members. The hike also rewards visitors with amazing sights of the oldest mahogany trees in East Africa as well as several diurnal primates.
- Guided nature walks
You can also engage in nature walks through Kaniyo Pabidi which takes you via the woodland and savanna terrains. You will therefore have a chance to sight some of the wildlife species at a distance especially mammal species like elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions, and many more.
For visitor stay, Budongo Eco Lodge offers delicious meals and a comfort zone in its Cottages for visitors on safari to Murchison Falls National Park. Budongo Eco Lodge is a budget facility.
You may also explore Murchison falls just a short distance off Budongo forest as well as the park’s wildlife species while you are on game drives, visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will have a complete big five game as well as the Boomu Women’s Group for authentic African experiences.
From the discussion above, Budongo forest reserve forms part of the stunning Murchison Falls National Park. It is one of the best sites for visitors to have their dreams realized with birding, chimpanzee experiences, nature walks, and many more. If you are planning to visit Murchison Falls National Park on your next vacation, never miss making a stopover at Budongo Forest Reserve for amazing forest species that will reward you with amazing encounters while on a Uganda safari.