Activities in Kalinzu forest

Activities in Kalinzu forest: Kalinzu is one of the natural forest reserves located in southwestern Uganda, Bushenyi district near Maramagambo forest and Queen Elizabeth national park. the forest lies at an altitude of about 1400metres above the sea level and harbors abundant wildlife species including 6 primate species such as the chimpanzees, baboons, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, red tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos, galagos, over 379 bird species such as the great blue turaco, sun birds, 261 butterfly species, 98 moths, 414 tree species, flowers, reptiles and some animals which come from Queen Elizabeth national park for example the elephants, giant forest hogs, warthogs, leopards, wild pigs, buffaloes, waterbucks among others.

Activities in Kalinzu forest    

Chimpanzee trekking, chimpanzees are the second popular attractions in Uganda after the mountain gorillas which are found in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Chimpanzee trekking is an adventurous activity in Kalinzu forest where visitors move in the forest in search of the habituated chimpanzee families. The forest is a home of over 300 chimpanzees and the second best chimpanzee trekking destination after Kibale forest national park. Chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest is done in two phrases that is in the morning at around 8:00am and in the afternoon at around 3:00pm and trekking starts with a briefing about your expectations, rules and regulations at the park headquarters. After the briefing you will be grouped into 8 people to trek each habituated chimpanzee family and grouping is done depending on physical fitness and age. After grouping, each group will be allocated with a park guide who will be leading the group and also sharing information about chimpanzees during trekking.

 

Chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest takes about 3 to 4 hours or even more depending on where the chimpanzees are situated because they like to move deep into the forest in search of food especially during the dry season. During trekking you will also view other primates like the red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, bird species and once the chimpanzees have been found, you will spend one hour with them in their natural habitat as you learn more about their lifestyle, behaviors, habitats, taking plenty of photos and recording the moments which gives you breathtaking and incredible experiences.

Bird watching, Kalinzu forest is a home of over 378 bird species which makes it a birding haven for bird lovers. Bird watching is best done in the morning and evening following birding trails in the forest and a bird guide who will help you to spot various bird species. During birding you will view some animals like the warthogs, baboons, monkeys, giant forest hog, elephants among others and you can look out for bird species like the great blue turaco, sun birds, black and white casket and many others.

Wildlife viewing, Kalinzu forest is blessed with abundant wildlife species especially due to the fact that it’s close to Maramagambo forest and Queen Elizabeth national park which is the most visited and second largest national park in Uganda. During wildlife viewing you will go to a viewing area in the forest where you will be able to view wild animals like leopards, wild pigs, giant forest hogs, warthogs, buffaloes, waterbucks, bushbucks among others which come from Queen Elizabeth national park in search of shelter and food. You will also view some primates like the chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, L’hoest monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons among others.

Guided nature walk, this is a breathtaking and incredible activity in that visitors move on foot with in the forest as they explore beautiful scenery, waterfalls, wildlife, butterflies, breath fresh air among others. Kalinzu forest has various nature walk trails to follow such as waterfall trail which takes you about 4 to 6 hours and you will pass through high altitude areas and Kilyantama waterfall, valley trail which passes through forest canopies, valleys takes about 4 hours to complete it and rewards you with great views of the animals, primates, birds, river trail, palm trail among others. The trails offer beautiful views of the animals, birds, primates, scenery among others.

During the nature walk you can also hike up to Kishunja hill viewpoint where you will be able to view the forest canopy, Queen Elizabeth national park,  Rwenzori mountain peaks and some wild animals such as elephants, leopards, warthogs, wild pigs among others.

Camping, Kalinzu forest has a camping site in the middle of the forest where visitors can sleep as they enjoy nature, views of the animals at a close range, listen to sweat sounds of nocturnal primates, birds among others which gives you unforgettable memories.

When to visit Kalinzu forest   

Kalinzu forest can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the forest therefore there will be short shrubs for clear viewing of the animals and primates, chimpanzee trekking trails in the forest will be passable.

Though there is heavy rainfall in the forest during the wet season, visitors who visit will enjoy bird watching in that there will be various, colorful and migratory bird species in the forest due to plenty of food for bird species.

How to get to Kalinzu forest   

The forest is found in western Uganda in Bushenyi district 375kilometres from Kampala city. When going to Kalinzu forest you will drive from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi and then to the forest headquarters which takes about 5 hours’ drive.

Kalinzu forest can also be accessed from Queen Elizabeth national park and due to the fact that the forest is near the park it takes about one and a half hours drive to reach Kalinzu headquarters.

When accessing Kalinzu forest you can also use public means of transport though not recommended by boarding a bus from Kampala bus station to Butare and then hire a private taxi at an affordable price to the forest headquarters.

Kalinzu forest is a must visit destination for visitors who want to engage in chimpanzee trekking at an affordable price and other thrilling activities like butterfly identification, forest nature walk, birding among others which offer exciting and lifetime experiences.

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