Kalinzu forest Reserve | chimpanzee trekking at kalinzu forest .

Location of this Chimpanzee Habitant.

Kalinzu forest reserve is located in Bushenyi district in Western Uganda approximately 375km which is like 5hour drive from the capital city of Uganda Kampala, It is 10kms West of Ishaka on the main Mbarara-Kasese High way, it’s a visitor reception center and conveniently situated for visitors en-route to or from Queen Elizabeth National Park just 40kms on Mbarara Kasese road.

Kalinzu forest Reserve
Kalinzu forest Reserve

It’s a home to 414 species of trees and shrubs, 379species of birds like the Great Blue Turaco, Black and white casket, cuckoos and sun birds among others which is an amazing treasure for Birders, 6 species of primates like the Blue, Vervet, Black and white colobus monkeys and Chimpanzees. There are more than 220 Chimpanzees, 80 of them Habituated and can be tracked in the Kalinzu forest, 262 butterflies, 97 moths, reptiles and flowers can all be seen in this reserve. If you hike up the Kishunja hill view point one can see the entire Forest canopy.

Attractions in Kalinzu forest

It offers visitors a choice of scenery Guided walks along the ridges and valleys of the Rift valley escarpments. The forest trails’ amazing views open up over the Rwenzori Mountains, the Kazinga channel, Lake Edward and Congo. There is an old man in the hills who tells mysteries and learn the folk lore and uses of the forest from a local Guide.

Night expeditions is so beautiful because you get a chance to see Nocturnal primates like pottos and galagos, search for owls and other animals that only emerge under the cover of darkness. The camp site is deep in the forest far away from any settlement.

When it comes to seeing and watching the Chimpanzees in the Wilderness of Western Uganda then look not any further than Kalinzu forest reserve because it is the second best choice after Kibale forest with 95% success rate. Since Kalinzu forest is near to Queen Elizabeth Park, Chimpanzee Trekking here is usually better than in the Kyambura George.

Some rules considered when visiting Kalinzu Forest Reserve

  • The maximum group size of visitors on a walk is not more than 6 persons
  • Children under 12 years are not allowed to attend the monkey walk
  • Keep your voices low while on the trails
  • Do not walk off the fixed tourist Trail
  • Do not stop at one place for more than 15minutes
  • Do not feed primates
  • Do not litter the forest reserve

Accommodation in Kalinzu forest reserve

Presently besides a camping site, there is no lodging available here and you have to take the Drive back to Queen Elizabeth National Park Lodging with the Gorilla Trekking limited Driver. But to those who love camping there is a campsite.

Campsite in the wildness

Its located in a shady forest glade in the heart of the forest reserve. From the station you drive on the marram road for 5½kms in the eucalyptus plantations, you eventually reach a forest clearing and will see the rusting remains of old sawmill machinery and through the trees you find a semi open area which is s camp ground.

Pit latrines and simple wash shelter powered by solar has been provided on the site. Campers need to be self-sufficient, water and firewood is provided by the Forestry authorities and other basic requirements can be purchased at Butare Trading center which is 9kms from the campsite. Vistors not wishing to camp can stay at the homeland Hotel which is just 10kms away from Ishaka.

Activities in Kalinzu forest

  • The forest Trail
  • The Palm Trail
  • The River Trail
  • The Valley trail
  • The Waterfall Trail

The forest Trail

There are four fabulous forest trails that have been developed in Kalinzu for visitors to get a range of exciting options. All these trails involve climbing over hilly terrain so visitors should be advised by the local guides on suitability of each trail for each age and ability.

The Palm Trail

On this Trail that takes the duration of 2hours, it has a flat terrain and visitors will discover some different tree species like the Flame tree with its large, red like flames and believed to activate women with sexual desire, Raphia palms used for making local mats and a spectacular Dragon tree.

The River Trail

The major feature here is the Kajoojo or Elephant river and it gets its name from the Elephants that used to bathe here. This circular trail is 2½kms and takes an hour. The trail goes passed some fine specimens of paripari excelsa. Visitors will get a glance of chimpanzee nests on high tops of trees.

The Valley trail

It’s a 3½km circular trail that may take 3hours and offers a clear view of the terrain and the escarpments that remained due to volcanicity processes. Tourists will trek along a ridge and past a number of forest features. In this trail don’t forget to see a Viagra tree.

The Waterfall Trail

This is a 11km loop trail that takes between 4 to 5 hours over some hilly and other parts wet terrain. It also leads to a magnificent Kilyantaama waterfalls locally known as the Sheep eater. The tourist will discover the tree that cannot be climbed by the baboons and backcloth figs which is used in craft industry to make decorated table cloths, curtains, handbags and ceremonial clothes, therefore the visitor will have chance to buy these crafts for take home.

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