Budongo Forest Reserve in Uganda

Budongo Forest Reserve in Uganda

Budongo Forest Reserve in Uganda : the largest survival natural forest in Uganda, with a total surface of approximately 825 square kilometers, of which 430 square kilometers is a continuous forest. The name Budongo derives from the local Bunyoro word “fertile soil”. According to the history, the forest was protected by the King of Bunyoro and only with his permission local chiefs were allowed to hunt inside it. This forest is also known for its former abundance of East African mahogany trees as well as being home to a population of chimpanzees. The forest is located within the boundaries of Murchison Falls National Park and also on the escarpment northeast of Lake Albert. The major tourist sites within this forest include; the Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site and Busingiro Ecotourism site.   

This pristine forest reserve has an amazing number of plant species whereby over 465 plant species have been recorded. Apart from the giant mahogany trees, other  trees  include; the spiky fagara trees, parasitic strangler figs and iron wood trees. The forest offers an extremely rich biodiversity including over 24 mammals, over 9 primates, over 280 butterfly species and birds species. It is also a natural habitat of more than 600 chimpanzees, of which a small community has been habituated for eco-tourism purposes.  Other primates that can be observed include; Black and white colobus, olive baboons, red-tailed monkey, blue monkeys and grey-checked mangabeys.

What to do in Budongo forest reserve

Chimpanzee tracking

This activity is generally the number one priority in the reserve and led by an experienced ranger. The time when the fruits are shorter in supply, the chimps move a lot covering a wider area. Therefore, the success of seeing them drops to about 50% rate. This activity basically grants you chances of enjoying these apes as they do their daily activities in the forest. While here, you are also free to take photos as well as videography to take back home for remembrance.

Bird watching

The forest is also a home to some of the rarest birds in East Africa. Its a habitat to over 360 bird species both migratory and residential. Some of the birds here include; forest robin, African emerald cuckoo, yellow and grey long bill. Yellow browed camaroptera, black headed flycatcher, chocolate backed kingfisher, white spotted flufftail, lemon bellied crombec, etc.


Throughout the year, maximum daytime temperatures in the forest hover around 31°C/88°F. In the wet season (March to October), the rain eases off a bit during June and July. The precipitation practically disappears in the dry season (November to February), providing a welcome break from the tropical humidity.

Best time to visit

Budongo forest reserve is visited all year around, however, it is at its best in the dry season (November to February). The drier tracks at these times make chimpanzee trekking and birding that much easier.

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