Kalinzu forest is one of the key destinations that botanists and nature lovers should try because of its wide range of remarkable flora and fauna species. Much as it is remote and not known to most tourists, the moment you visit it, then you will know what you were missing. The wonders in this Forest will leave you breathless and wanting more. Kalinzu Forest is located in the Western district of Bushenyi and covers an area of 137 square kilometers. Kalinzu forest Reserve is a home to several mammal species including about 6 primate species (such as Chimpanzees, Olive baboons, and Vevert monkeys among others), over 378 bird species, more than 262 butterfly species, about 97 moth species and 414 outstanding tree species. The fact that the forest is near Queen Elizabeth national Park, it occasionally receives visitors like the Leopards and warthogs among others. Other mammal species include Elephants, blue duikers, Red duikers, Giant Forest Hogs, Bushbucks, buffaloes and waterbucks among others.
Attractions and Activities in Kalinzu Forest Reserve
With over 378 bird species that call Kalinzu Forest Reserve home, bird watching is undoubtedly one of the key activities conducted here. Some of the bird species you might encounter include Black and White Casqued hornbill, Cuckoos, Great Blue Turaco and sunbirds among others. With all these bird species in such a small site, this Forest Reserve is a perfect bird watchers paradise.
There are over chimpanzees 250 chimpanzees and 70 of them are habituated for tracking by tourists who visit this Forest reserve. A chimpanzee tracking permit for Kalinzu Forest reserve costs only $30 per person. This cost is the lowest of all the destinations where you can track these primates from, but that doesn’t mean that the experience and satisfaction here is low. You will be surprised that the experience of tracking Chimpanzees from this destination surpasses all the other places. Imagine having the entire forest reserve to yourself because the Reserve receives fewer tourists.
Some of the primate species found in this Forest Reserve include Vevert monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Blue monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, Black and white Colobus monkeys, the nocturnal primates like Galagos and Pottos also call this Forest Reserve home. This makes this Forest Reserve your next destination for a memorable primate walk.
Hiking is definately a must do activity in Kalinzu forest because this forest is a home to various mammal, bird and plant species that are worth exploring some of the trails that are used include the River Trail where you will encounter elephants, and over 9 primate species, the Palm trail where you will sight some unique tree species like “the Flame tree”, the waterfall trail that ventures you to the spectacular Kilyantama waterfall (literally translated as the “sheep eater”) and several tree species and the Valley trail where you will discover riveting forest features including Mutragyne rubrostipuleta (the Viagra tree).
Visit to the “Old man of the hills” is also a must do activity in this forest Reserve.
Where to stay while at Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Some of the accommodation facilities in and around Kalinzu Forest Reserve include Homeland Hotel located about 10 kilometers away from Ishaka Town, campsites including Nkombe situated in the Shady forest glade of Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Other accommodation options exist within the safari Lodges in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bushenyi town.
How to Access Kalinzu Forest
Kalinzu Forest Reserve is about 375 kilometers/6 hours drive from Kampala, and 10kilometers west of Ishaka town on the Mbarara-Kasese Highway. You can use Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Bushenyi then to the Forest Reserve. Tourists are advised to use 4WD vehicles due to the Albertine rough terrain and unwinding roads.
In conclusion, you should not visit a destination because others are visiting it but visit it because of its exceptional biodiversity and outstanding beauty. Because of the remarkable wildlife and bird species in Kalinzu Forest Reserve, make it your next destination and you will achieve a maximum satisfaction and a memorable experience for a lifetime.