CHIMPANZEE TREKKING IN KALINZU FOREST RESERVE UGANDA
Kalinzu Forest Reserve is well known for Chimpanzee trekking as the key attraction for primate lovers. Chimps are found in about 21 African countries and are regarded to be the close relative to human beings because of sharing 98% of their DNA with human beings. Kalinzu Central forest Reserve which is a home to Chimpanzees is found in western Uganda in Bushenyi district, covering an area of 147 sq. km. It is closely located to the famous Queen Elizabeth national park and maramagambo forest.
Kalinzu forest reserve is one of the amazing tourist destination especially for nature lovers. Its unique attractions are based on the abundance of wildlife species recorded. The forest harbors 414 species of trees and also is a home to 6 species of primates including chimpanzees, Blue monkeys, Black and white colobus monkeys, Vervet monkeys and baboons and 262 butterfly species that fly under the thick canopies.
As one of the tourist destination in Uganda, Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve is well known for Chimpanzee trekking activity which most visitors enjoy while on safari. Given that it reserves about 300 chimpanzees and about 40 of them habituated by Japanese researchers.
Visitors stand higher chances of seeing these Chimpanzees in large numbers especially when the weather is conducive and depending on availability of fruiting trees. In comparison to other places that do chimpanzee trekking like Kibale national park, the nearby Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park and Budongo forest in Murchison falls national park, This forest reserve offers the cheapest chimpanzee tracking permits and the experience is reportedly more successful too.
Again Chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest reserve is much favored by most visitors who have both limited time to visit other far places like Kibale forest. This is because the Kalinzu forest, chimp tracking start point is located just next to the road worthwhile stop off as one heads between Queen Elizabeth national Park and Mbarara then Kampala or even between Kabale and Bwindi Forest via Ishaka – Bushenyi town.
This forest reserve is a good bird watching spot with 378 species of birds, these include Black & white Casqued hornbill, different types of Greenbuls, Black bee-eater, Great blue turaco and many more, hence offering excellent birding opportunities to visitors on Uganda birding tours.
While at Kalinzu Central forest reserve, the following are the highlights of the activities offered to visitors;
- Chimpanzee tracking
- Nature walk in the forest
- Research activities
- Conservation activities and Butterfly identification.
During the above walks, visitors mind feels relaxed and exposed to new world of forest life and one gets opportunity to have beautiful views of Rwenzori Mountains.
Furthermore, tourists while at Kalinzi forest reserve will get a chance to visit a fortune teller of Kalinzu hills who gives a lot of information about the ancient uses of Kalinzu forest to the community.