Uganda is gifted with very many gorgeous forests that offer opportunities for several adventure tourist activities. Such activities include forest hikes /nature, walks that are done in several forests. Some of the forest include; Mabira Forest, Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest, Bwindi Forest, Mpanga Forest Reserves,
Mabira Forest is just about54km from Kampala Uganda’s capital and largest city and 20km from Buyikwe District between Lugazi and Jinja and trails the main from Jinja to Kampala road. It has been protected as Mabira Forest Reserve since 1932. It is covering an area of about 306 square kilometers and it’s regarded as one of the last remaining rain forest and biggest in central Uganda. It is home for many endangered species like the primate such as the black and white colobus monkey, the red tailed monkeys, Vervets, grey-cheeked mangabeys not only primates but the forest is also a home to over 315 bird species including the Cassinis hawk eagle, Grey long bill the list is endless, different species of butterflies and tree species. The Mabira Forest offers several activities which are enjoyed by travelers who make it at the forest these; Forest/nature walks. This is regarded as one of the most fascinating activities carried out in the forest reserve, while at the forest walk you cant fail to site very many forest dwellers such as primates like the red tailed monkeys, vertvets, gre-cheeked mangabeys, bird species, butterflies, different tree species, all be spotted out.
birding, the forest houses over 315 species of birds some of which are rare to other forest reserves and national park to mention some of these birds include the Nathan’s francolin, paradise fly catcher, purple-throated cuckoo shrike, sooty boubou , different species of sun birds the list is endless. Other activities carried out the park include; cycle trails, mountain biking, or even relaxing and have a picnic lunch at the forest centre.
The famous Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the richest forests in Africa. Home to nearly half of the total remaining population of the mountain gorillas in the wild, Bwindi is famous for its gorilla safaris; trips that involve walks and treks in search of the endangered mountain gorillas within the wild.
It is a UNESCO heritage site located in south western Uganda. Many travelers visit this park for mountain gorilla trekking, one of the most rewarding treks you will ever take in the wid.
BUDONGO FOREST RESERVE
Budongo forest is located in North western part of Uganda in Masindi district approximately 3-4 hours drive on the way to Murchison falls National Park. It covers an area of about 825sqkms of which only 53% is forest and it has been a forest reserve since 1932.The remaining 479 is grassland forest. This forest type is classified as medium altitude semi deciduous moist forest. Budongo forest offers an extremely rich biodiversity including 24 species of small mammals, and 280 butterflies and over 9 species of primates. It is also the natural habitat of more than 600 chimpanzees, of which a small community has been habituated for eco-tourism purposes. This family consists of 80 individuals, allowing visitors the exceptional opportunity to view these amazing apes in their natural environment. Other primates that can be observed are the Black-and-White Colobus Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys and Grey-cheeked Mangabeys.
Here visitors can enjoy chimpanzee tracking, birding and wonderful accommodation in a beautiful natural setting while Busingiro offers birding and a bush comp .The royal mile is a popular birding sites also managed –by the Jane Goodall institute -Uganda which is accessible with a guide from Busingiro.
Several activities can be carried out at the reserve to mention some include
Chimp Tracking: this is the most sought after activity at the reserve during the guided walk in the green tropical forest. This is done with your guide who will be in position to give you detailed information about the animals and plants species that you meet on your way. Chimp tracking can be experienced daily with two viewing times per day, tracking can go between 2-4 hours depending on the movement of chimps, ounce they are found you strictly allowed spending one hour with them in the wild while enjoying their daily activities such as playing, taking photos and also observing their behaviors. Not only chimps can be seen during the chimp tracking but also other primate species such as black and white colobus monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, and different type of birds, tracks of mammals and much more.
Forest walks: Budongo forest has well developed forest trails give you the perfect opportunity to explore the beauty of the tropical rainforest. While on a forest walk opportunities of seeing more bird species, butterflies species, and some primates in a close range is so high.
Birding: Budongo Forest is some times referred to as a heaven for birders with over 360 species of birds. While in the forest the guide will help you to look out for different types of birds some of are rare to other game reserves. Bird watching safaris are available for a half or full day and guided by keen birders. If you have more than one day in Budongo then a visit to the ‘Royal Mile’ is a must. It is located about 60 km from Budongo Eco Lodge and offers a spectacular wide forest avenue with a high density of birds, including the Chocolate-backed Kingfisher and Paradise Flycatcher.
Other activities include Chimp Habituation Experience. With the Habituation Experience you will spend a full day with our ‘cousins’ and learn about their way of life
KATONGA WILDLIFE RESERVE
Katonga wildlife reserve is located western Uganda, along the banks of River Katonga in the districts of Ibanda and Kamwenge. The reserve was established in 1998 covering an area of about 211sq km. It is just about 4-5 hour’s drive from Kampala up to the reserve. There are over 40animal species such as bush buck, sitatunga, and reedbuck, warthogs, colobus monkey the list is endless and over 150 bird species found within the reserve. The reserve can best explored by canoe or by foot.
MPANGA FOREST RESERVE
This forest reserve is a beautiful forest which has been conserved as a scientific research site since 1953, It is located 37 Kms west from Kampala Uganda’s capital and largest city along the Masaka Rd. the forest has various trails form which visitors can view the plentiful bird life, butterflies, monkeys and so many other attractions. There is a drum making industry at Mpambire village near Mpanga forest. It is a home of the Royal drum makers. The trees for making these drums are got from Mpanga Forest reserve.