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Kalinzu forest reserve

Activities in Kalinzu forest

This forest is positioned in the south-western Uganda in Bushenyi district close to maramagambo forest & Queen Elizabeth National Park, recognized among the natural forest reserves. Kalinzu forest does lie in an altitude of about 1400 m above sea level and docks plentiful of wildlife species involving 6 primate species like chimpanzees,baboons,l’hoest monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus,pottos,bush babies,galagos,vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, a total 379 bid species like sun birds, great blue turaco, a number of 261 butterfly species,98 moths, a total of 414 tree species,reptiles,flowers and some other more animals that reside and transfer from Queen Elizabeth National Park such as warthogs, wild pigs,Elephants,Buffaloes,giant forest hogs,etc.

Chimpanzee trekking

The most venturous activity in this forest where trekkers transfer into the forest in search for the familiarized/habituated chimpanzee families. Kalinzu forest does houses over 300 chimpanzees and it being the 2nd finest terminus after Kibale National park. Now chimpanzee trekking like in any other destination is conducted in 2 sessions-in the morning at around 8:00 am and in the afternoon at about 3:00 pm.This activity in this forest begins with the briefing/updating of trekkers about the rules & regulations about trekking these threatened creatures at the park offices .Then once the updating is done, they will divide you into groups of 8 individuals to trek each familiarized chimpanzee family of which dividing/grouping will base on your age and physical fitness. Once they are through with grouping you, you will be allotted with a park warden/guide who will direct the group and also share about chimpanzees during trekking.

Chimpanzee trekking activity in Kalinzu does cover a period of 3-4 hrs or even more like a full day basing on where these chimpanzees are positioned/located because most times they move deeper into the forest trying to look for what to eat. As you trek chimpanzees you will also get a chance to spot the other primates in this forest like red tailed monkey, black & white colobus, the bird species and when you finally meet these endangered creatures ,you are allowed to spend strictly 1 hr with them in their natural homes, get to know more about their behaviours,character,ways of survival and probably take some photos of these chimpanzees.

Bird watching

Kalinzu forest shelters an approximate total of 378 bird species which highlights this activity therefore in this specific destination. Watching of birds is finely conducted in the morning and also evening ensuing birding trails in the forest and probably the guide who will assist you to view several birds like black and white casket, great blue turaco, sunbirds and many others .In the process of viewing /spotting several birds, you will still spot some animals such as Baboons,Elephants,monkeys,warthogs among the many.

Wildlife viewing

This forest is endowed with a series of wildlife species since its near maramagambo forest & Queen Elizabeth National Park (most toured &2nd largest National park in Uganda).During the wildlife watching you will have to get positioned in the spotting area in the forest where you will get a chance to spot wild animals such as leopards, giant forest hogs,Buffaloes,water bucks,to mention but a few, of which others will have transferred from Queen Elizabeth National Park so as to find .food and shelter. Primates like chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons will also be spotted.

Guided nature walk

This activity involves traveler transferring/trafficking on foot within the forest as they discover the lovely settings, waterfalls, butterflies, wildlife, breath fresh air, and so on. This forest does have various nature walk trails like the waterfall trail which consumes /takes 4-6 hrs and you will have to move via high altitude areas & Kilyantama waterfall. Valley trail which goes through forest canopies and it takes 4 hrs to accomplish and plunders you with the finest spots of animals, primates, birds. There is also the palm trail, river trail, etc. While on the nature walk you also take time and hike to the Kishunja hill lookout where you will be stationed right to spot the forest canopy, Rwenzori mountain peaks, Queen Elizabeth National Park and some wild animals like warthogs, leopards,etc.

Camping

This forest has gotten a camping site right in between the forest where travelers can spend a night stay as they do relish the nature, spot animals at a clear distance, hear the sweet sounds made by nocturnal primates and birds which makes the whole venture incredible and more enjoyable.

Travel options to Kalinzu forest

Kalinzu forest is positioned in Bushenyi district about 375 km from the capital city of Uganda-Kampala. Now when departing for this forest you will transfer by road means of transport, from Kampala through Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi and finally to the forest head offices which is approximately 5 hrs drive. Still one can access Kalinzu forest by use of public means of transport, boarding a bus from Kampala bus station to Butare, rent a private taxi at a reasonable rate to the Kalinzu offices. Then again reach this forest via Queen Elizabeth National Park since the forest is close to this park and it barely consumes about one and half hours to arrive the head offices of this forest.

Best time to visit Kalinzu Forest

Best period is the peak season of months June to September & December –February because of the low amounts of rain falling in this season, therefore there will be existence of short shrubs leading to a very clear spotting of animals and primates and more so the chimpanzee trekking trails in the forest will be travel-able.

Even in the rainy season much as there are heavy amounts of rain falling ,travelers will relish bird watching activity due to the fact that there will be several ,bright and wandering bird species in this forest because of the presence of abundancy of food for them (birds).