Budongo forest is situated in the northwestern part of Uganda near the famous Murchison falls national park, the forest is mostly dominated by ironwood and mahogany trees making it the largest remaining mahogany forest in east Africa. Budongo forest is home to 24 species of mammals 9 of which are primates, 289 species of butterflies, 465 species of trees, 130 species of moth and 280 species of birds. Budongo forest reserve was gazetted in 1932.

Bodongo Forest

Budongo forest covers an area of 435 kilometers squared of mahogany forest, riverine swamps and Savannah grasslands, chimpanzees and other primates. The main tourists activity in the forest is chimpanzee trekking, Budongo forest is home to over 600 Chimpanzees. Chimpanzee habituation experience can also be done in Budongo forest and its quite cheaper than in Kibale forest. Chimpanzee habituation involves joining researchers or scientists in habituating chimpanzees this period normally takes a period of about 2 years then chimpanzees will be opened up for tourism purposes.

The Chimpanzee group living in the river Sonso area near the former saw mill is reserved for research and study purposes therefore cannot be visited by tourists. There are  53 chimpanzees living in this group. Jane Goodall institute took over the Busingiro eco tourism site and Kaniyo pabidi eco tourism site from the National forest authority in 2006, the eco tourism sites for viewing chimpanzees were opened in 1994. River Waiga in Budongo forest provides refreshment to Murchison falls national park animals especially in the dry season when the water sources dry up toy can spot animals like elephants, buffalos, water bucks, bush bucks, forest pigs and so many others quenching thirst or you can view them at the salt glades licking salt.

Budongo forest is also home to about 280 species of birds some of the examples of birds in Budongo forest are; Batis ituris, Neafrapus Cassini, sylvietta denti, yellow footed flycatchers, puvels illadopsis, chocolate backed kingfishers, African dwarf, Sabine’s spine tail, pygmy crake’s, white spotted fluff tail, brown twin spot, little sunbird, green headed sun bird and forest robin among the rest.

Tourists in Budongo forest can also hike up to the Pabidi hill with a packed lunch, the hill commands spectacular views of the unique mahogany forest and Murchison falls national park as well as lots of birds, butterflies, plant species and wildlife species to be seen you will be required to take an armed game ranger. Visiting Kasenene hill is also one of the activities you can do while in Budongo forest, Kasenene hill provides breath taking views of the rolling Congo Mountain and the magnificent lake Albert. If you visit in November you will see lots of locals collecting grass hoppers for frying.

River Waiga is drained by four small rivers of river Wake, river Bubwa, ricer Sonso and river Waisoke. The forest reserve is divided into threeeco systems particularly to protect chimpanzees and other endemic species. Budongo forest has got tourists sites like Busingiro eco tourism site and Kaniyo pabidi eco tourism site. The forest boasts with some tall mahogany trees of up to 80 meters tall.

Tourists visiting Budongo forest can sleep in Budongo forest eco lodge or at the campsites at Kaniyo pabidi forest but there are also various accommodation units in Murchison falls national park like Bakers lodge, Nile safari lodge, Pakuba safari lodge, paraa safari lodge, shoe bill campsite and Boomu women’s camp to mention a few. Budongo forest can be reached within 3-4 hours drive from Kampala.

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