The Budongo Forest is located in Uganda, northwest of the city of Kampala, and makes a great stop on the way to Murchison Falls National Park. Budongo is home to a pristine forest reserve and boasts an abundance of flora species, most notably the impressive giant mahogany trees, some of which reach more than 80 metres high. Those opting to visit Budongo can expect to see many primate species such as chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, and the olive baboon. At the night, the forest comes alive with nocturnal species going about their nightly routine. Some species include potto and several galagoes. Located approximately 300 kilometres from Kampala, Budongo is about a four-drive from the capital city. Those wishing to fly can do so. There are scheduled flights to Pakuba Airfield in Murchison Falls National Park, from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala.
More than 360 bird species, 290 butterflies, 130 moths, 465 trees, and 24 mammals, nine of which are primates, have been recorded in Budongo. Budongo is classified as a moist semi-deciduous medium-altitude forest with a diverse range of tree species, the most spectacular of which are massive buttressed giant mahoganies that have been left and now reach up to 80 meters tall. The tree pangolin, a rarely seen animal, is also a resident, and safari-goers should keep an eye out for the forest giant squirrel and the checkered elephant shrew.
Bird lovers can bring along their bucket list and check off some amazing species. About 60 west or central African bird species call the forest home, including the Ituri batis, the lemon-bellied crombec, the white-thighed hornbill and the chestnut-capped flycatcher.
Budongo Forest offers excellent wildlife viewing all year. It is, nevertheless, at its best during the dry season, from December to March, and again in the middle of the year, when the rains momentarily subside, between June and July. Chimpanzee trekking and birdwatching are considerably easier during these seasons due to the drier paths.
Chimpanzee tracking has become a popular eco-tourist activity. Eco-tourists, forest animals, and poachers have all utilized the trails that have been carved through the forest, originally to make it easier for research personnel to get about. The Budongo Forest offers fantastic chimpanzee treks and full-day habituation experiences for safari-goers.
Those visiting Budongo can find accommodation at Kaniyo Pabidi or in the nearby Murchison Falls National Park, making the forest easily accessible for a day's visit.
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