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Budongo forest Uganda

Budongo forest

This is a natural mahogany forest positioned in Masindi district, in Murchison falls National Park (largest and most toured park in Uganda). This forest has an area of 825 km 2 and docks wildlife species involving 9 primate species like the chimpanzees, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus among others,24 mammal species,280 butterflies,130 moth,plant species with mahogany trees which can raise up to 80 m long(total of 465),bird species of about 360 in number like the little green sunbird, chocolate backed kingfisher, yellow manted weaver, forest robin, dusky long tailed cuckoo, African emerald cuckoo,etc.

Activities to be done in Budongo forest

Chimpanzee trekking

This is an exciting and venturous activity that several travelers do get involved in in this forest. Here travelers transfer deep into the forest in search for the habituated chimpanzees, with the fact that Budongo forest does shelter a total of about 600 chimpanzees and which ranks it the finest destination for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. Obviously this activity is second to the most famous gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In Budongo forest ,chimpanzee trekking is done or performed in 2 sessions-one being in the morning(begins at 8;00 am) & afternoon session that starts at 2:00 pm.This activity is embarked on but firstly in the morning being updated about the do’s &don’ts of the trekking session at the information center at Budongo eco lodge, then once the briefing is done ,you are then convened into 6 individuals, allotted a chimpanzee family to trek, plus a guide/warden ,then proceed with the trekking activity within the Budongo forest.

Chimpanzee trekking does elapse for about 2-3 hrs or even it can consume a full day basing on the position of these endangered species, because they keep on trafficking deep in the forest in search for food during the peak season, and then once they are spotted you are permitted 1 hr to spend time with in their natural homes, find out about their life style,habits,also take a chance to take photos of them,etc.

In case you are to get involved in the chimpanzee trekking activity, you are necessitated and imperative to have a chimpanzee trekking permit which rates $90 and permits you to strictly spend 1 hr with these threatened chimpanzee species and effective for 1 day. It’s advisable for you to book in advance 3 months prior your tour due to the competition and being sold out quickly.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience.

Simply this means the process where chimpanzees are taught and trained to get used to human presence and this procedure takes a duration 2 years to be accomplished. During the low season (March-May & October –November) is when Budongo forest conducts chimpanzee Habituation Experience. Now with chimpanzee Habituation Experience, travelers/trekkers are granted a chance to go with a team of  scholars, park wardens/guides, trackers so as they find out much about the chimpanzees’ways,behaviours,how they eat and what they eat, their moving tricks and also the act of naming these chimpanzees and those involved in this activity do spend 4 hrs with the chimpanzees in their natural territory, unlike the chimpanzee trekking which is 1 hr given.

Bird watching

Budongo forest docks approximately a total of 360 bird species with some of these not recognized/noticed anywhere in East Africa and then that marks it the finest birding place in Uganda. This activity in the forest is conducted with skilled birding wardens/guides who will take you to the royal mile which is located within the Busingiro area and ranges to a forest college. In the course of this activity you will be able to spot birds like cassin’s hawk eagle, crowned eagle, yellow footed flycatcher, white spotted flufftail, blue throated roller, yellow crested woodpecker, little green sunbird, fire crested alethe, etc. There is also the guided nature walks where you will be able to follow the kaniyo pabidi forest and get a chance to spot the tall mahogany tress that are over 70 years and the wild animals that come to cream the salt from the trees, among the activities and so on.

Where to stay in Budongo forest

This forest has gotten a total of luxury, mid-range and budget accommodations where travelers can stay involving New court view hotel, Budongo eco lodge,Kabalega resort hotel, Masindi hotel,etc.These lodges do offer good services and facilities such as comfortable rooms en-suite bathrooms,bar,conference halls, gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs ,etc.

When to visit Budongo forest

Budongo forest can be toured year in and year out but then the finest time is during the peak season in the months of June-September & December-February. During the peak season the rain amounts are low in the forest therefore access roads to the forest will be travel-able, the trails for trekking chimpanzees, birding and nature walks will be dry and travel-able related to the wet season.

This forest can still be toured in the rainy season in the months of March-May and October to November, much as the forest in this season does receive huge amounts of rain, chimpanzee trekking will be a walk over since food will easily be gotten by these threatened chimpanzee species and thus making the tracking much easier because they will not really traffic deeper into the forest but will be spotted at the information center, and  then chimpanzee trekking permits are less expensive and you can get involved in the chimpanzee habituation experience.

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