The Top Things to do and see in Budongo Forest – Murchison Falls Park
Chimpanzees – Birding – Wildlife – Nature Walks – Hiking
The Things to do and see in Budongo Forest – Budongo Forest is in just beyond the town of Masindi in the north of Uganda. A Vsit to the Forest is best combined with a Murchison Falls Park Wildlife and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Rhino Tracking Safari of three or four days.
Most visitors to the forest come for Birding or chimpanzee tracking, however, there is more to do and see here, especially if you enjoy hiking.
This is the largest Mahogany Forest in East Africa, though the forest is always under threat by those looking for farm or grazing land, in recent years a real effort has been made to preserve this ecological jewel. One of the main reason for conservation is the increasing numbers of tourist from whom the local community also benefits.
There is one Eco-Lodge inside of the forest with attractive wooden cottages set right into the forest and make it easy to go on a Chimpanzee Trek first thing in the morning.
Budongo Forest also has a past, and during World War ll it was home to a large number of Polish refugees. The evidence can still be seen at the Catholic Church in the forest that is still visited by Poles and is used weekly for Church services for the local population.
Budongo Forest is a majestic Mahogany and Ironwood Forest, one of the best Birding areas in Uganda – a forest where you can track chimpanzees at an affordable price, take guided nature walks through the forest and grasslands, yet most hurry by on the way to the main area of Murchison Falls National Park and its wildlife, the River Nile, the falls and Lake Albert and miss the many Things to do and see in Budongo Forest.
Budongo Forest and the Kaniyo Pabidi are easily accessed from Kampala (along the road to Murchison Falls Park) and can take about 3 1/2 hours from or to Kampala depending on road conditions.
One can spend a day here with the various activities one can partake in. Kaniyo Pabidi is where Chimpanzee Trekking, Nature Walks and Birding are done. (If you enter Budongo on a one day visit – the Wildlife Park Fee is 40 usd a person, plus vehicle fee – this is the same as for Murchison Falls Park.
The Budongo Eco-Lodge provides nice meals and comfortable cottages for those wanting to stay overnight and continue to Murchison Falls Park or to Kampala the following day.
The Top Things to do and see in Budongo Forest:
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience:
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience which is an all-day activity can be done here during off-season months Low season – 1st March – 15th June and 1st October – 15th December.
The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience is done with researchers and others – a process which takes up to two years. The Jane Goodall institute manages and oversees the Chimpanzees in Budongo Forest and has done so for many years.
Thr Chimpanzee Habituation Experience cost is considerably lower here than in it is in Kibale Forest – however there the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) can be done all year long. If you want to do the Chimpanzee Habitution Experience, we recommend an overnight stay at the Budongo Eco-Lodge.
Budongo Forest is an excellent spot to track chimpanzees while visiting Murchison Falls Park. The success rate in seeing Chimpanzees is quite high here and only outdone by Kibale Forest.
There are morning and afternoon chimpanzee tracking times and for those visiting Murchison Falls National Park this can be done on the way to or from Murchison Falls National Park adding another activity to your safari there.
The ideal plan would be to stay overnight and also do a forest walk while at Budongo Forest. Do not forget that you can add on Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you track Rhinos on foot on your return trip to Kampala.
Guided Nature Walks Kaniyo Pabidi:
Guided nature walks can be taken here through woodland and savanna terrain.
Unbeknown to most visitors wildlife can be seen here on Nature walks and Hikes since Budongo Forest is part of the Murchison Falls Wildlife Reserve and animals enter the park, some to live here, others visit and return to their regular habitat.
You can spot wildlife licking salt in in the forest clearings. Large mammals also wander into this part of park such as Elephants, Lions, Buffaloes and Leopards.
A guided nature walk does not endanger you in any way, no one has ever been hurt here and you are with armed rangers.
Guided Birding Walks Kaniyo Pabidi:
Budongo Forest is one of the top areas in Uganda for those interested in birding. Birders will find Budongo literally a paradise with its 360 plus species of birds. Bird watching walks are full or half day in length led by knowledgeable guides.
Certainly one must take the time to go and see the famous for birding “Royal Mile” which is a short distance in the Busingiro area of Budongo
Spot some of the following species to name a few – remember that there are 360 plus species of birds found here – Sabine’s spine tail, Cassins spine tail(rare), Pygmy crakes, Kingfishers( Chocolate backed, blue breasted, dwarf), White spotted fluff Tail, Ituri Batis, Pulvus Illadopsis, Brown twin Spot, Cameroon Somber, Cassins hawk Eagle, Crowned Eagle, Yellow crested Woodpecker, Forest Robin, Little green Sunbird, Grey headed Sunbird.
This is a budget, moderately priced lodge – an eco-friendly establishment with tucked away cabins in forest and dorm rooms for the budget minded traveler.
Food is good here along, occasionally fudge brownies are available for North American Travelers who enjoy them. The service is is good and the main thing is the convenient location.
You are in the Forest, right at the Trailhead for Chimpanzee Tracking, Hikes in the Forest and Birding. Expert Birding Guides are available and we can arrange for it. day safari, staying overnight at Budongo Eco-Lodge, just ask us.
Other Places to Explore from here in the Areas around and near Budongo Forest
- Murchison Falls National Park Uganda’s Best all around Park Murchison Falls itself is a short distance from Budongo Forest and is one of the best all-around wildlife parks in Uganda
- A visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is just a short distance from Budongo Forest and on the way to Murchison Falls Park or back to Kampala and can easily be incorporated into a Safari Itinerary.
- Boomu Women’s Group – Experience an African Village Just a short Distance from Budongo Forest is Boomu Women’s Group where you can spend a day or two in an African Village.
- Murchison Falls Park Safaris: Any of these safaris can include Chimpanzee Trekking in Budongo Forest.
If you like to include Budongo Forest in your Safari with us – please contact us.