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Budongo Forest Reserve

Budongo Forest Reserve | Murchison Falls National Park contains the Budongo Forest Reserve. The majority of the chimpanzees in Uganda reside there, in a mahogany tree-lined habitat.

Budongo Forest Reserve at a glance.

The terrain in the forest might vary greatly depending on where you are, shifting from savannah, riverine marshlands, and woodland. The ground slopes from the southeast to the northwest, and the forest is located at a medium elevation of 1,100 meters. Famous for its chimpanzee population, the Budongo Forest. It is feasible to go chimp trekking here, and sightings are typically 80%.

The optimum times to travel are between December and February and again from June to September, which are the dry seasons. The year-round average temperature ranges between 19 and 32 °C.

Budongo Forest Reserve is less than a 4-hour drive from Kampala and is located on the southern border of Murchison Falls National Park. Masindi is the town closest to the forest, and a large portion of the territory is home to residences, stores, and educational institutions.

The history of Budongo Forest Reserve.

At 1962, researcher Vernon Reynolds arrived in the Budongo Forest Reserve to begin his chimpanzee research.

Two civil wars broke out across the nation in the 1970s and 1980s. Chimpanzee moms were killed at this time period in order to steal their young and transport them to Entebbe airport. They were then smuggled out to affluent people.

Reynolds was able to go back to the forest in 1990 after raising money. He created a facility to look for chimpanzees with Chris Bakuneeta’s assistance and changed the name of the Budongo Forest Project to Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS). The Jane Goodall Institute provided funding, enabling Reynolds to recruit trail cutters and field assistants to look for any remaining chimps.

At least 50 had been discovered by 1995, but it took time for them to become accustomed to people because they were, understandably, scared of them. Chimpanzee populations have increased steadily since 2000, and in 2005, Edinburgh Zoo provided funds to BCFS.

Travelers are not permitted in the very small number of visitors allowed at the real field stations.

What Can I Do at Budongo Forest Reserve?

Kaniyo Pabidi.

You can go on chimpanzee treks through Kaniyo Pabidi, which is located on the northeastern edge of Budongo Forest Reserve. The majority of the trees in the forest are swan-forest mixed trees, and the primates select a plentiful supply of fruit. In some places, the woodland resembles a savannah. Ironwood and mahogany trees, which the chimpanzees and monkeys use for play, are further distinguishing features.


In a similar vein, you may trek among chimpanzee families in Busingiro. You can see the rift valley escarpment and the blue mountains of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from this woodland.

The ecotourism destination offers local schoolchildren an environmental education program to inform them about their surroundings.


Boomu Women’s Group.

The Boomu Women’s Group was founded in 1999 and now has 40 members. When farms had little to no produce to sell, the group formed. By giving parents the means to pay for their kids’ education expenses, they hoped to combat poverty and malnutrition.

Between Budongo and Murchison Falls, this amazing community tourism project got its start as an artisan collective. You can experience Ugandan culture firsthand while there by taking part in village tours, learning to prepare regional cuisine, and taking basket weaving lessons.

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Wildlife at Budongo Forest.

The woodland is home to the most chimpanzees in Uganda—600–700 of them. Although the chimpanzees are the main draw, you can also occasionally see elephants and buffalo alongside the savannah.

Although they are rarely observed, lions and leopards live in the wild. Down near the lake, antelopes, waterbucks, and duikers are much more prevalent. The fauna is most active in the morning, when you may find various forest creatures licking salt along the forest glades.

Budongo Forest Reserve includes around 360 species of birds if you’re an avid birdwatcher. It’s one of the most important spots in Uganda to watch birds because you might encounter an extremely rare yellow-footed flycatcher or an illadopsis puveli, a new species that is unique to East Africa.

Playing in the treetops can also be seen by black and white monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and olive baboons.

Accommodation at Budongo Forest.

Each of Busingiro’s two African bandas may house up to 5 guests. Since they are situated in a forest, you can doze off to the sounds of the forest.

Similar accommodations, including a campground, are available in Kaniyo Pabidi. You can stay in grass-thatched bandas at the Boomu Women’s group, which are encircled by gardens, butterflies, and weaver birds.

Budongo is typically just a part of a larger exploration of the national park, therefore the majority of visitors opt to spend the night at one of the lodges in Murchison Falls instead.

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