Budongo Forest

Budongo Forest is found in the boundary of  Murchison falls national park in the north-western part of Uganda and is known for chimpanzee trekking tours. The forest is one of the largest survival natural forest in the country covering a total area of about 825 square kilometres and half of the land at around 430 square kilometres is a continuous forest. Above all, it is a famous destination for primitive mostly the endangered chimpanzees, nature walk safaris and it is known for its exceptionally large mahogany trees which can be found here not elsewhere in East African countries, the forest sits at the top of the Albertine Rift, part of the great rift valley and positioned within the boundaries of the park.

Budongo Forest

About the Conservation and Setting of Budongo Forest

Budongo forest has been existing for over years in north-western Uganda with a total area of 825 square kilometres, comprising of the moist, semi-deciduous forest, medium-altitude. To note the forest is perched for savannah and woodland which gently covers with spectacular rolling landscape, sloping down to the East African Great Rift Valley. It has a water haven streams that drain through it and flows into Lake Albert in the east and such streams include Waisoke, Sonso, Siba and Kamirambwa. The forest receives a moderate amount of annual rain fall ranging between 1200 and 2200mm. However, the rainy season mainly occurs from the month of March to May and also September–November.

The dry seasons occur from December to February and these are best periodic months for travellers who wish to engage in tourist activities in the forest without any inconvenience of the rainfalls and such thrilling activities include the most admired Chimpanzee tracking, Guided nature walk where you can encounter the hidden features of the forest, birding and hiking to the top of the fall providing to tourists with rewardable spectacular viewing of waterfalls.    

Historically, Budongo forest was under the protection of the king of Bunyoro and the non-Royal member couldn’t be accepted to trespasses the forest, but only the local chiefs were given permission to hunt inside the forest. The people appreciate a lot the great works of the king because he managed to preserve the flora and fauna of the forest, he never wanted to risk with the poachers until the reserve was officially gazetted in 1932. The word Budongo comes from the local Bunyoro word. To note, budongo forest which is a tropical rainforest is being managed by the National Forestry Authority ‘’NFA’’.  

Wildlife Species of the Forest

Budongo forest is truly naturally a reversed forest extremely rich in biodiversity with over 24 mammal species, more than 360 bird species, 290 beautiful butterflies, 130 moth species, 465 tree species and it is home to over 700 chimpanzees with other 9 small primates among others. Within this forest, Chimpanzee tracking is the most done activity and each group consist of 80 individuals, allowing travellers to meet their cousins in their natural environment. Other primates which can be seen during your nature walk or chimpanzee tracking activity include Olive Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys and Grey Cheeked Mangabeys. Research workers also get a good time to do their research in this forest since it is used by eco-tourists, poachers and forest animals.

However, Budongo forest is large enough to provide tourist activities on its low land in order to encounter its unique species.  Like the tree species because the reserve is famously known for the aged old Mahogany tree species which can grow up to 80 meters.  The forest also harbours with over 360 bird species which are recorded in the area including rare unveil illadopsis, black-headed paradise flycatcher, chocolate backed kingfisher, lemon billed gromet, white spotted fluff tail, forest robin, yellow and grey long bill, little green sunbird, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Western Black-headed Oriole, African Emerald Cuckoo, Yellow mounted weaver, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Crested Mulumba and many more. 

The climatic condition of the forest

Budongo forest is positioned near the equator making the temperature of the day almost the same all year around. Furthermore, the daily maximum temperature of the day reads to be 31 degrees Celsius and this can hinder the distance of budongo forest from the main world latitude ‘’the equator’’. The rainy season in budongo forest receives much amount of rainfall in March to May and September to October and adjoins up to Mid-November. Ideally,budongo activities are best done during dry seasons when there is little rainfall which normally appears from December to February and June to August. And such activities which can be done by the travellers include; nature walk, hiking, Chimpanzee tracking, birding and these happen to become easy because the forest are always dry to allow easy movement without slippery. 


Budongo forest sits in the north-western region of Uganda in the southeastern side of Murchison falls national park which is a few kilometre drive from Masindi the largest busy town nearby approximately 30 kilometres only. Traveller can reach budongo forest from Kichimbanyobo gate the main entrance gate to Murchison falls national park though the park consists of 6 gates. The gate follows the main road to paraa and after about 8 kilometres, continues heading to the forest where you will be welcomed by the signpost of budongo eco-lodge just as the headquarters are near the eco-lodge. From Kampala the capital city of Uganda it is approximately 4 hours on tarmac road while using 4WD to access the forest.

Budongo Forest
Budongo Forest Chimpanzee Trekking

Activities offered in Budongo forest

Birding: The bird watching is one of the tourist activities done in budongo forest which is a home of over 360 bird species include both migratory and residential. Some of the species include unique puvels illadopsis, forest robin, African Emerald Cuckoo, black-headed flycatchers, yellow browed camaroptera, a yellow and grey long bill, chocolate backed kingfisher, white spotted fluff tail, lemon bellied crombec among others.

Chimpanzee tracking: This is the second done activity among Uganda wildlife safaris come along Gorilla trekking in the south-western region of Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable Forest. Budongo forest is one of the surviving forest in Uganda that harbours with great apes, besides that, chimpanzee tracking starts early in the morning after your breakfast, they brief you about the rules of chimpanzees in their natural inhabits given a packed lunch to go with since it may take full day in the midst of the forest, then after the experienced ranger will lead you to the forest trailhead for these endangered chimpanzees, as you trekking you get a chance to spot other species found in the forest. Once chimpanzees are found, you’re given one hour to observe them as you learn about their lifestyle and you’re free to take pictures as many as possible with your clear camera. And if you’re caught out of lunchtime, you can take eat your packed food thus leaving you will an unforgettable story to tell others. 

Guided nature walks: This an amazing experience is done on foot which brings you to hidden features of budongo forest with help of experienced tourist guide who takes you through this natural forest by providing to you the information you’re expecting to know about this forest. Along your nature walk, you will be able to come across a lot of other plant species, wildlife and beautiful butterflies. The nature walk activity can last for about two to three hours. During your nature walk, you can end up enjoying your lunch in the forest canopies.

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