The forest of Kalinzu has gained the ground to become one of the favorite Uganda safari destinations in the south west of Uganda due its counts of biodiversity and the physical offerings.
The forest which is given as the extension of the Maramagambo forest to
the east and covering a geographical spread of 137km presents a
remarkable forest cover with mature trees that form an impressive forest
canopy ideal to encounter on Uganda safaris and tours.
Like most of the African forests that are verdant in nature, Kalinzu
Forest settles with 414 tree species and shrubs among which include
Parinari, Prunus Africana and Stroboia. The forest presents an ideal
home to six (6) diurnal species of primate including olive baboon,
Chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, L’ Hhoest Monkeys, Blue
and Red tailed monkeys. The forest also supports a range of pottos and
two galago Species which are not explored during night walks not
forgetting the tree hyrax.
Apart from primates and trees, the forest
of Kalinzu supports 378 species of birds including the Great Blue
Turaco, Sun birds, Cockoos, Black and white casket. Butterflies may not
be missed too. Fortunately, Kalinzu supports a count of 263 butterflies
along with 92 moth species and flowers which have increased the vibrancy
of the forest as an ideal tourist destination thus worth encountering
while on safaris in Uganda.
Besides the above, Kalinzu Forest Reserve’s popularity has been
elevated with its pool of chimpanzees. The census that was conducted in
the forest in 2001 gave the total count of chimps at around 200
individuals. However, the forest has two habituated groups of about 70
members which are encountered by researchers and the leisure travelers.
As a result of its close connection to Queen Elizabeth National Park,
other wildlife including duikers, wild pigs and leopards make occasional
visit to the area.
The good network of trails set to traverse the
entire forest and its physical offerings like the crater hollows and the
escarpments of the Albertine rift presents an ideal provision for a
range of activities in the forest. These include; the chimpanzee trekking,
the nature walks exploring the forest landscapes, birding, butterfly
identification, conservation education and small mammal viewing.
Accessing the forest is quite easy depending on where you are located.
From Kampala which is the popular start point for many safaris to
Uganda, it takes you around 6 hours to cover 375km passing along the
Uganda Equators crossing Kayabwe, traditional rangelands of Ankole and
Mbarara town. If in Queen Elizabeth National Park, it takes about 2
hours to connect from Mweya.
Travelers on safari in Uganda
wishing to spend an overnight in Kalinzu Forest can utilize the Nkombe
campsite or the accommodation units in the neighboring Ishaka or
Bushenyi towns. The safari lodges in the adjacent Queen Elizabeth National Park present an alternative overnight stay for Kalinzu forest.
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