budongo forest reserve
Budongo forest is located on the escarpment in the northeast of Lake Albert, North West of Kampala capital city of Uganda on the way to Murchison falls national park, budongo forest can be reached with within 3-4 hours from Kampala, budongo’s major sites are Kaniyo ecotourism, Padidi ecotourism and Busingiro ecotourism which are located within the boundaries of Murchison falls national park dominated by iron-wood trees and Mahogany trees that can grow up to 80 meters above the low land.
Budongo forest is a moist, semi-deciduous tropical rainforest managed by national forestry Authority (NFA) the forest got its name from the local bunyoro word meaning ‘’fertile soil’ ’ was protected by Bunyoro king and was finally gazetted in 1932. the forest is the largest natural forest in Uganda covering approximately 825 square kilometers of which 430 square is full of continuous forest sited on top of the Albertine rift, part of the rift valley.budongo also occupies 115 kilometers in a remote chunk of land in isolation,budongo is gifted with river waiga that provides refreshments to different wildlife species in this forest.
Budongo forest is enriched with biodiversity including 280 buffer flies, 9 primates’ species, 24 small mammal species and also the natural habitat to over more than 600 chimpanzees with each family consisting of about 80 individuals, allowing visitors to encounter amazing apes in their natural environment alongside other primates like olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys, Budongo forest is home to buffalos, lions, and leopards among others once in a while.
Activities to enjoy within Budongo forest
Chimpanzee tracking in budongo forest takes 3 hours which includes trekking to the chimpanzee community, taking pictures with the chimpanzees and interacting with the chimpanzees, although during dry seasons food is inadequate so chimpanzees tend to move deep in the forest looking for food, making it so hard to find them sometimes.
Chimpanzee trekking in budongo forest can be done twice a day for example in the morning at 7:00 am and in the afternoon at 15:00 pm, it depends on one’s choice to choose the one that is more suitable for them.
Budongo forest chimpanzee permits are being issued to visitors by Uganda wildlife authority offices and eight people strictly per shift .so only 16 permits are issued daily, chimpanzee permits oscillate in price depending on the season, during peak seasons permits are quite expensive in comparison to low seasons. Devine African safaris can help secure this booking.
NOTE: Chimpanzee habituation permits are higher slightly than chimpanzee tracking permits and chimpanzee is only done in the low season.
Chimpanzee tracking age limit at Budongo Forest
One is only eligible to track chimpanzees in this forest when they are 15 years of age and above
Bird watching at Budongo forest
Budongo Forest has been in the records for having more than 360 bird species that rewards tourists with an amazing birding safari experience, though Budongo is unique because of two bird species that can never be seen anywhere else in East Africa are Puvell’s illadopsis and yellow-footed flycatcher.
Budongo’s best bird-watching destination havens are the royal mile’ at the Busingiro ecotourism site, Kaniyo Padidi offering excellent forest birding and very easy to explore.contact us for more information at www.gorillasafariscompany.com