Mpanga Central Forest Reserve is one of the forests in Uganda with established eco-tourism initiatives. The forest features impressive species among which include the Celtis Family Species containing large buttress, Ficus family Species along with Mahogany. The forest is also a habitat to a range of birds including the impressive black and white casqued hornbills along with grey parrot, Weaver birds, cuckoos and owls. Mpanga Forest also shelters counts of primates including the Bush babies, red tailed monkey along with bush babies. There are also impressive butterflies and the famous dragon flies.
Mpanga Central Forest Reserve
Mpanga Eco tourism site offers a range of tourism activities including forest exploration or forest hiking, bird watching, butterfly identification, primate watching and butterfly identification. The forest trails have been specially designed to allow you explore the forest and they include; Baseline Trail, the Butterfly Trail and the Hornbill Trail.
Mpanga ecotourism site is positioned at 37km about 1 – 1.5 hours’ drive south west of Kampala along Masaka Road. From Mpigi town, you drive 6km further before approaching Mpanga Eco tourism site sign post and from the signpost where you branch off from the main road, its 1km to arrive at Mpanga Eco tourism site on a dirt road.
Mpanga Eco tourism site can still be accessed by public transport. You board a taxi from the Kampala Taxi Park normally 14 seater mini bus transferring to Buwama. You alert the conductor or the driver that you will be disembarking at Mpanga Eco tourism site junction. Mpambire is the closest taxi stage where you also have opportunities of seeing the local people crafting drums in a typical traditional style.
Mpanga Eco tourism Campsite
The Mpanga Eco tourism center features an accommodation establishment though with no hot water and electricity. Accommodation is provided in 2 double rooms, 2 twin rooms, 8 bedded dormitory accommodation and provision for camping. Meals and camp fire available though one it is advisable to notice 3 days in advance for proper preparation.
Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve
Kalinzu Forest Reserve is located in the district of Bushenyi in the West of Uganda with a diverse flora and fauna. The forest features 414 tree species along with shrubs among which include; Parinari Ficus, Stroboia, and Prunus Africana among other tree species.
The Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve shelters 378 bird species among which include; Sunbirds, Cuckoos, Black and White Caskets and Great Blue Turaco. A range of six (6) species of primates exist in Kalinzu including; Chimpanzees, Black and White colobus Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys and Blue Monkeys. The Primate Census conducted in 2001 in the forest put the total figure at 240 species of chimpanzees where two groups have been habituated for chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda.
Kalinzu forest also shelters other wildlife including 262 species of butterfly and 97 species of moths. The views of the forest canopy, the savannahs of Queen Elizabeth and the towering Rwenzori Mountains not forgetting the Bunyaruguru crater field derive impressive memories.
Kalinzu forest being close to Queen Elizabeth NP at times receives visiting savanna dwelling Species like leopards, duiker and wild pigs.
Kalinzu Forest Reserve offers a range of tourist activities ranging chimpanzee trekking, forest / nature walks, bird watching, education and research.
Kalinzu is located in Bushenyi district to the south west of Uganda 375km from Kampala about 6 hours’ drive from Kampala. The reserve can be visited en route to or from Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Accommodation in Kalinzu Forest Reserve is conducted on self-camping arrangement at the forest campsite at Nkombe. Uganda safari undertakers are required to carry own camping equipment. There is also accommodation in Ishaka / Bushenyi towns or the safari lodges surrounding Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Kaniyo-Pabidi Eco-Tourism Site
Kaniyo-Pabidi Eco tourism site is positioned in the north east of Budongo Forest Reserve and is well known for its populations of habituated chimpanzees. The section also has other primate species namely blue monkey, red-tailed monkey, baboons and vervet monkey not forgetting Black and white colobus monkey. The section of Kaniyo Pabidi adjoins Murchison Falls National Park which is one of the famous wildlife Uganda safari destinations with great counts of wild game. Also Kaniyo Pabidi forest features open patches on some sections where lions, warthogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, bush bucks, red and blue duikers are occasionally sighted.
Kaniyo Pabidi Forest site also features impressive birding opportunities with possibilities of encountering the chocolate backed Kingfisher, puvelis Illadopsis among others. The section of the forest features impressive tree species including the Celtic family Species and Mahogany. Other natural offerings like moths, Butterflies and tropical flowers are noted to be in abundance.
Kaniyo Pabidi Eco tourism site enables the traveller on safari in Uganda to engage in a range of activities including; chimpanzee trekking and habituation, bird watching and forest walk / hiking.
Kaniyo-Pabidi Ecotourism site is located at 220km distance from Kampala and 29km from Masindi. The Kaniyo Pabidi is positioned along the murram road that connects from Masindi to Paraa and about 5km from the Kichumbayobo gate of Murchison Falls National Park.
Budongo Eco Lodge
Budongo Eco Lodge features accommodation in eco cabins with private veranda, 4 spacious dormitory rooms along with a restaurant, free Wi Fi, craft shop and visitor center presenting a perfect base from where Budongo forest exploration can be conducted.
The Eco cabins are set apart privately enclosed in the forest each with a private deck and well maintained connecting foot paths. The rooms are spacious and feature double and twin beds along with a siting area. They also have an en suite wash room, wash table and detached composite toilet.
These are 4 in number and each room features a double decker bed. The beds have mosquito nets and there all have a common toilet and shower block with both cold and hot running water.
Kasyoha – Kitomi Central Forest Reserve
The Kasyoha – Kitomi Forest is positioned at 35km from the town of Bushenyi stretching over a geographical spread of 433km2. The reserve shelters counts of wildlife species including chimpanzees though not habituated, Red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, Baboons and vervet monkeys. The Kasyoha Kitomi also shelters impressive crater lakes including the twin lakes of Kyema and Kamweru and Kyema not forgetting Lake Kamunzuku which is a very transparent.
The forest reserve is close to Queen Elizabeth National Park and as a result small mammals like antelopes, duikers, Uganda Kob and bush pigs exist. The eco-tourism initiative was developed by Ndekye Women’s Development Association.
The activities offered to Uganda safari undertakers include; the sightseeing, bird watching, conservation education, canoeing and forest walk. There is a 3 hour trail stretching from Magambo Camp site up to Lake Kamunzuku.
Regarding accommodation, there are camping facilities at Magambo parish headquarters with panoramic views of the twin lakes. Guests are required to come along with the camping gear. Four wheel drive (4WD) is recommended.
Lutoboka and Bujanzi Central Forest Reserves
These are positioned in Ssese Islands surrounded by the expanse waters of Victoria Lake and are given as medium altitude moist forests. They appear as a belt stretching along the lower ridges featuring a gentle slope from the Lake Shore to the center.
The forests feature well developed forest trails and the famous one stretches from Lutoboka landing site up to where Henry Morton Stanley one of the great ancient explorers pitched his camp on his Uganda safari. It can be noted that there are thirty one (31) demarcated forest reserves that total to 7,324 ha under the management of National Forestry Authority.
The eighty four (84) Islands of Ssese are impressive to encounter though some of them are not inhabited. The area is rich in bird species and butterflies not forgetting primates in particular monkeys. The combination of the lake environment presents ideal eco-tourism encounters you can ever have on safaris in Uganda
The visiting people can engage in Boating, sailing, Fishing and sun Bathing on the shores of Lake Victoria, forest walks / hiking, primate identification, bird watching and butterfly identification.
Accommodation in Lutoboka is greatly in the hands of private developers and thus there are more established beach resorts and hotel establishments ranging from Luxury to Midrange and Budget. Among them include; the Ssese Island Beach Hotel, Mirembe Resort Hotel, Brovad Sands Lodge, Pearl Gardens Beach, Panorama Campsite among others featuring great white sand beaches that are ideal or relaxation following a forest walk.
One can access See Islands through Nakiwogo Landing site Entebbe where MV Kalangala operates daily.
It can also be accessed through Masaka’s port of Bukatata and transfer by ferry still to Kalangala. Land transportation has to be arranged from the shore to the lodge.
Busingiro Eco-Tourism Site
The Busingiro Eco-Tourism Site is positioned at the south west of Budongo forest and like Kaniyo Pabidi, it contains a range of Primate Species including the common chimpanzees though those of Busingiro are not yet habituated. The site also features monkeys and baboons. In fact, Budongo features 290 species of butterflies, 130 species of Moths, 465 species of trees along with 24 species of mammals if which 9 are actually primates. The count of Stranglers, Fig trees, Mahogany, iron wood and a range of medicinal trees comprise a section of trees in this section of Budongo forest. There diversity of birds, butterflies, reptiles and small mammals combine to derive impressive memories for visiting this site while on Uganda safaris.
The remarkable Royal Mile is a must and makes the Busingiro eco-tourism site unique. The Royal Mile stretches for one mile and features a collective representation of all the tree species in Budongo forest. King Kabalega who is a re-known King of Bunyoro used to connect to the site along with his queen for relaxation. It is also a great birding destination in the whole of Budongo where you have possibilities of encountering the Budongo endemics like yellow-footed Flycatcher and Illadopsis puveli.
There are a range of tourist activities in Busingiro Eco tourism site including the Bird watching education, and research, butterfly identification and forest walks / hiking.
Busingiro Eco tourism site is located to the west of Masindi town 47km from the main town passing through Nyabyeya and Kinyara. You follow the smooth tarmac to Masindi town and then a rough road to Busingiro.
Accommodation at Busingiro ecotourism is provided on camping basis though there are efforts to rehabilitate the guest bandas to house at least ten (10) guests per day.
Bugoma Ecotourism Site
Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is located in the district of Hoima and covers a geographical spread of between 41,142 ha to 65,000ha. The Bugoma Eco- Tourism head by the African Nature Conservation Expeditions which is an international private firm with extensive expertise in the development of tourism though the entire forest is under the custodianship of Uganda National Forestry Authority.
Bugoma forest is noted to be among the extensive lowlands forests lying along the escarpment of the Albertine rift valley thought to have been adjoined with the Ituri forest at one time. The forest features 23 mammal species, 225 bird species and 260 tree species. The trees include among others; Alstonia congensis, Khaya anthotheca, Trichilia prieuriana, Cynometra alexandri and Celtis mildbraedii, Cynometra alexandri, Lasiodiscus mildbraedii, Parinari excels among others
Bugoma forest is accessed by following a dirt road 70km from Hoima town about 200km from Kampala. There is an Aircraft landing ground at Kisaru Tea Estates which is 12km from Bugoma Tourism site.
The Bugoma Eco tourism center features ten (10) tourist bandas that can take a minimum occupancy of ten visitors per day.