BUDONGO FOREST

Budongo forest is located in the midwestern part of Uganda in Murchison falls conservation area (MFCA) about 300 Kilometres northwest of Uganda’s capital city Kampala.

The forest is located on the escarpment North east of Lake Albert in the districts of Hoima and Kikuube.

It is also known as Budongo Central forest reserve is managed by the National Forestry authority of Uganda (NFA).

The Forest is home to 600-700 individual chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) living in 6 chimpanzee communities 3 of which are habituated chimpanzees for tracking.

The Budongo Forest Conservation Field (BCF) Station situated in Budongo forest is mandated to coordinate the study and conserving local chimpanzee populations.

The BCFS was founded by Professor Vernon Reynolds in 1990. At that time it was called the Budongo Forest Project. Prof. Reynolds had first studied chimpanzees in the this Forest in 1962 and written a book about the forest and its chimpanzees (Reynolds 1965).

The chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest were first studied in the 1960s.

It was famous for its abundance of East African mahogany trees. An exceptionally large mahogany tree which is more than 80 meters tall and some 20 meters in circumference is still found here.

The Budongo Central forest reserve covers 82,530 hectares and is a catchment for Lake Albert

 The forest is a popular destination for chimpanzee tracking safaris, bird watching, research and nature walks.

This is mainly composed of moist, medium altitude, semi-deciduous forests. Its not only a forest but also has different vegetation types like savanna and woodland. It is a beautiful haven with clear water streams that drain through it to Lake Albert in the east, and these are; waisoke, siba, kamirambwa and sonso

Rainfall is mainly received in the wet or rainy seasons from March to May, and rains again in September to November making the tropical rain maxima

NOTE: The dry season from December to February is the best season for the

chimpanzee in budongo forest

WILDLIFE FOUND IN BUDONGO FOREST

More than 360 bird species have been recorded (such as Nahan’s Partridge Ptilopachus nahani), plant species such as Senna spectabilis (white barked senna) tree, 20 species of amphibians some 292 butterflies, 130 moths, 465 trees, and 24 mammals (of which 9 are primates and others include: buffaloes, bush elephants, Uganda kobs, jackals). Over 600 chimpazees are estimated to stay in the forest.

Classified as a moist semi-deciduous medium-altitude forest, Budongo forest supports various species of tree, the most impressive being, large buttressed giant mahoganies that have been left unfelled and now stand up to 60m tall. The bird checklist includes 60 west or central African bird species known from fewer than five locations in East Africa. Yellow-footed flycatcher, often associated with ironwood trees, has not been recorded elsewhere in Uganda, while Ituri batis, lemon-bellied crombec, white-thighed hornbill, black-eared ground thrush and chestnut-capped flycatcher are known from only one other East African forest.

ACTIVITIES AND WHAT TO DO IN BUDONGO FOREST

  1. Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest

Budongo forest offers one of the best exclusive chimpanzee tracking experiences in Uganda with over 600 chimpanzees in the forest and 2 habituated chimpanzee communities to track.

A chimpanzee tracking safari to Budongo forest can be combined with your wildlife safari to Murchison falls national park in Uganda.

A chimpanzee tracking permit for Budongo forest goes for $130 for foreign non residents and $65 for East Africans. The Budongo forest chimpanzee tracking permit fees include entrance fees.

Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest allows you to spend 1 hour with the chimpanzees.

  1. Bird watching in Budongo forest

The forest is home to over 360 bird species, which include the puveli illadopsis and endemic species black headed fly catcher, chocolate backed kingfisher, little green sun bird black headed oride among others.

It also has 280 butterfly species and 26 species of other small mammals

This makes it a good bird watching destinations in its giant forested trees and vegetation.

  1. Research in Budongo Central forest reserve

Research in Budongo forest is coordinated from the Budongo Conservation Field Station. The Camp consists of several buildings for researchers and staff, erected on a large clearing in Budongo Forest, which used to be part of a former sawmill.

  1. Nature walks

Guided nature walks are available in Budongo forest to explore the different vegetation, birds, trees, butterflies and animals in the forest.

Guided nature walks in Budongo forest last 2-3 hours walking in the forest.

  1. Chimpanzee Habituation experience

Budongo forest has2 habituated gorilla families which allow you to enjoy a chimpanzee habituation experience.

Chimpanzee habituation in Budongo forest allows you to spend 2-4 hours with the chimpanzees in close proximity.

The chimpanzee habituation experience can be added to your Uganda safari during your visit to Uganda.

  1. Canopy Walk

Enjoy a canopy walk in Budongo forest

HOW TO GET TO BUDONGO FOREST

Budongo forest is located in the south eastern part of Murchison falls national park, one and a half hours drive from masindi town. Budongo can be reached through kichumbanyobo gate in the southern part of the park, take the main road to paraa and after 8km there is budongo eco lodge sign post, and the forest head quarters are just near the eco lodge

WHERE TO STAY IN BUDONGO FOREST/ACCOMMODATION IN AND AROUND BUDONGO FOREST

Budongo forest has a range of accommodation facilities for tourists, researchers and students visiting Budongo central forest reserve ranging from budget camping facilities to luxury tourist lodges that are within a walk to the forest.

  1. Soso camp at Kaniyo Pabidi
  2. Budongo Eco Lodge

OTHER ACCOMMODATION NEAR BUDONGO FOREST

Budongo forest being located in the Murchison falls conservation area, there is plenty of tourist lodges and accommodation ranging from Luxury accommodation, Mid range accommodation and budget accommodation such as;-

  1. Twiga safari lodge
  2. Nile safari lodge
  3. Baker’s Lodge

Enjoy chimpanzee visit in budongo forest with our 4 days Budongo forest chimpanzee tracking and Murchison falls national park safari  

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