Kalinzu Forest is one of the nature forests in Uganda that has gained ground and also has an impact on Uganda’s tourism industry due to its wide range of biodiversity and physical features. The forest lies in the southwestern part of Uganda in Bushenyi district which connects to the second largest park in Uganda known as Queen Elizabeth national park and it also expands to the Maramangambo forest. Kalinzu forest covers a geographical area of about 147 square kilometers of its land at an average altitude of 1400m above sea level. The forest is under the management of the National Forestry Authority.
Kalinzu forest is a home of 378 species of birds and these include the Cuckoo, black and white casket, great blue turaco and many more, 263 butterflies, 97 moths, 6 small different primates such as black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, velvet monkeys, the rare L’hoest monkeys, 414 tree species, shrubs like stoboia, prunus African and also supports a range of pottos and two gallops species which are not viewed at night walk, all these species have increased on vibrancy of the forest.
Kalinzu forest reserve is popular with an elevated number of chimpanzees of above 300 individuals. The forest being connected with Queen Elizabeth National Park many wild animals like duikers, wild pigs, leopards visit this area because of its thick forest with a variety of fruits and foods.
In 2001 a total number of about 200 chimpanzees were counted in this forest and per now the number has increased to 300 chimpanzees. The forest has got 4 trails where chimpanzee trekking can be carried out from and these include valley trails, palm trail, waterfall trail, river trail among others.
Kalinzu forest has got various activities with lots of experiences and these include the forest walk, Research, conservation education, birding, butterfly identification, chimpanzee trekking, and small mammal viewing.
This is one the best-done activity in Uganda which can be done in trails of the forest and the guide is the one who leads you to these trails which inhabit these unique primates. Chimpanzee trekking can last for over four hours when you are exploring these beautiful chimpanzees. You can as well have a chance to view small mammals like vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys and many more.
This activity is done all day long. After your breakfast, have your packed lunch which you will have in the midst of the forest. You will meet your guide who will first brief you for a short period of time and after he will lead you to where the chimpanzees are located. While you’re in the wildness with these apes you will have a rewarding view of their lifestyle. In the evening you will head back to your lodge for dinner and resting. For a traveler to be part of this amazing activity, all you need to do is to book for your permits in advance with a tour operator you’re in touch with or else you can email us Achieve global safaris for your reservation arrangement and also booking for your hotel.
Essentials for trekking include Long trousers, mineral water, hiking boots, light rain jackets, waterproof backpack, rubber boots, long-sleeved shirts, snacks, insect repellent, and a camera which will take clear photos for you to remember.
Rules to follow before proceeding to the forest trails
- No smoking in the presence of the primates.
- You have to keep a distance of at least 8 meters away between you and the Chimpanzees.
- Visitors who have flue, colds, diarrhea or any other illness are not allowed to be part of this activity because these apes have 98% human genes.
- Flash photography is not allowed in the forest this scares them.
- The minimum age for chimpanzee trekking is 15years.
- Group size for chimpanzee trekking must be 8 people
- A well-trained guide is the one to lead you through the forest trails.
Chimpanzee trekking permits cost USD150 per person per day.
Chimpanzee habituated permits cost USD220 per person per day.
While tourists are at Kalinzu forest they can sleep at Nkombe campsite and you are advised to carry your own camping tents for sleeping in. You can as well sleep Mweya safari lodge, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Kazinga channel View Resort and many more.
The best time to visit Kalinzu forest is in the dry season from the month of July to August and December to February when the forest trails are not slippery.
Kalinzu forest can be accessed depending on where you are located. Since Kampala City is the starting point it can take 6 hours covering a distance of 375 kilometers passing via in Kayabwe at the equator.