Budongo Forest is situated approximately 3 hours drive northwest of the capital city Kampala on the way to the prominent Murchison Falls National Park. This is the biggest Mahogany forest found in the whole of East Africa as well as habitat to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. The major tourist sites within this forest are: the Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site, Busingiro Ecotourism site and Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site which are located at boundaries to Murchison Falls National Park and dominated by Mahogany and Iron-wood trees. The 115 kilometer expanse is a remote chunck of the Budongo forest. Its isolation once in a while offers a safe haven for the Lions, Leopards as well as Buffaloes. Early in the morning is the ideal time to set out touring because then you will have an opportunity to find a number of the forest inhabitants licking salt by the forest glades. River Waiga offers refreshment to the various wildlife species within this forest.
Some of the Activities to enjoy within this forest include:
Birding; the forest is among the most ideal places in Uganda to have a guided bird watching tour by the Royal Mile that extends from Nyabyeya Forestry College to the research station.
The Chimpanzee Tracking experience: is the number one priority here. Starting in October up to January, the time when the fruits are shorter in supply, the chimps move a lot covering a wider area so the success of seeing them drops to about 50% rate. Fortunately there is a diversity of Accommodation facilities available from where you can base to enjoy the Chimpanzee trekking as well as the exciting forest walks.
Birding in Budongo Forest
Among the various bird species that have been recorded in this forest are more than 360 species that will certainly reward you with a very amazing birding safari experience in this great forest in Uganda. in addition there are 290 butterflies species, 130 Moths species, 465 tree species, as well as 24 mammals nine of which are actually primates.
The Budongo Forest reserve is among the most significant birding destinations in Uganda, and is located on the escarpment northeast of the stunning Lake Albert. The forest is characterized by a medium altitude damp semi-deciduous verdant forest that covers 42 800 hectares, with patches of Savanna as well as woodland. Kthis forest reserve sits on a gently rolling landscape, with a wide-ranging slope north-northwest towards the great Rift Valley. This forest is drained by 4 tinny rivers which are Waisoke, Sonso, Bubwa, plus Wake that empty into the Lake Albert. the Budongo has 5 major forest types which include: swamp-forest, mixed, Cynometra-mixed, colonizing plus the Cynometra. The greater part of this forest reserve is sheltered by tropical high-forest communities. The Mid altitude semi-deciduous Cynometra-celtis forest occupies close to half of the total site whereas the Combretum savanna is extensive within the drier regions. There are a number of Eco-tourism sites found at Kaniyo Pabidi plus Busingiro.
Because of Murchison falls national park’s biodiversity, the park stands out as the best place for Uganda safaris and short weekend breaks for wildlife and nature lovers.
There are 2 endemic bird species within the Budongo forest which cannot be seen in other parts of East Africa. This forest comes second after the Semliki National Park as the most important forest in Uganda with species of the Guinea Congo forest-Biome. The Yellow-footed Flycatcher, simply known in Budongo within Uganda, was common within mature forest, however today it is extremely rare to see. Illadopsis puveli, a new addition, isn’t seen in another place in East Africa. Additional species that rank Budongo one of the finest bird watching destinations in East Africa include the Zoothers camaronensis, Ceratogymna fistulator, Neafrapus cassini, Batis ituriensis, Smithornis rufolateralis, Sylvietta denti as well as Ixonotus guttatus. These different species are as well seen in just a few additional forests within Uganda. Rare forest birds have recently several times been recorded within the forest and among these are the Pitta reichenowi as well as Parmoptila woodhousei. Within this forest, Bird watching is properly facilitated with a widespread properly maintained 115 kilometer truck system.