Tours around Budongo forest 2024 : Tours around the Budongo forest can be done when visiting the north western part of Uganda where it is located. One of the major attractions which can be seen when visiting the Budongo forest is the chimpanzees and there are many other primates found at the destination such as red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys among others. Over 600 chimpanzees are said to be found in the forest which is also home to various bird species.

The Murchison falls national park is part of the close attractions that tourists visiting Budongo Forest can go to during their tours in Uganda.  When visiting the park, tourists can engage in game drives, boat safaris, viewing the falls, hiking to the top of the falls, bird watching and also guided nature walks.

Activities to do during tours in Budongo forest

There are various activities which tourists can take part in during their tours in Budongo forest and they include the following;

  • Chimpanzee tracking

The Budongo forest is among the destinations in Uganda where chimpanzee tracking can be done during tours in the country.

Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest takes place in the morning and afternoon and the activity can go for a period of about 4 hours. Ranger guides accompany tourists during the chimpanzee tracking experience in the forest.

A briefing is done at the Kaniyo pabidi headquarters where tourists are told of the dos and don’ts of the chimpanzee trek and later proceed into the forest to begin the search for the chimpanzees. Tourists during this activity enjoy watching the chimpanzees closely while spending time with them in the forest.

The chimpanzees in Budongo forest are easy to see when exploring the forest where different trails lead to where the chimpanzees can be seen in their natural habitat. Chimpanzee permits are required before tourists are allowed to visit the chimpanzees and this document is issued to individuals above the age of 12 years.

The cost of a chimpanzee permit in Budongo forest is about 140 USD per person which allows tourists to have 1 hour of observing the chimpanzees in the forests and during this time tourists can also enjoy taking photos and recording the chimpanzees. It is important to book the chimpanzee permits in advance to avoid missing out on the experience during a safari in Uganda since a few permits are issued out each day for visiting the chimpanzees.

The chimpanzees can be seen around different areas of the Budongo forest during chimpanzee tracking experience such as around Kaniyo Pabidi, Busingiro and Sonso. The chimpanzee tracking experience in Budongo is safe since tourists interact with groups of chimpanzees which are habituated and therefore used to the presence of humans in their natural habitat.

Apart from chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest, tourists can also take part in chimpanzee habituation experiences during their tours around the destination. During this activity, the chimpanzees are introduced to the human presence in their natural habitat and this activity is done by researchers and tourists also engage in the experience.

  • Guided nature walks

Tourists visiting the Budongo forest can also engage in guided nature walks around the forest where different primates and bird species can be spotted.

Ranger guides accompany tourists as they engage in the nature walks in Budongo forest which can take about 2 to 3 hours. The starting point for these nature walks is at Kaniyo Pabidi where a briefing is done by park officials before heading into the forest.

Guided nature walks around the Budongo forest bring tourists closer to nature and they can also earn about the different tree species, primates and bird species at the destination during this activity.

Tourists can also engage in nature walks around Murchison Falls National Park and enjoy seeing different wildlife species around the savannah plains

  • Bird watching

Bird watching is another popular activity that tourists engage in when visiting the Budongo forest which has over 360 bird species.

Some of the birding areas found in Budongo forest include the Royal Mile which is popular among birders. In different parts of the forest including Kaniyo Pabidi, tourists can see birds such as Yellow throated Greenbul, Little Crake, Northern Puffback, Tropical Boubou, Yellow Billed Oxpecker, Lesser Grey Shrike, Black necked Weaver, Lemon-Billed Crombec among others.

The bird watching experience can be done throughout the year and the best time to visit the forest to see many birds is during the rainy season from March to May and in November.

Tours around Budongo forest 2024
Northern Puffback

Best time for tours in Budongo forest

Tours in Budongo forest can be done during the dry season and the rainy season. However, the best time to visit the forest is during the dry season around June to October and in the months of December to February when it is easy to move around the forest.

Activities in Budongo forest such as chimpanzee tracking are best done during the dry season since the trails in the forests are easy to trek through during the search for the chimpanzees.

Where to stay during tours in Budongo forest

There are different lodges found around the Budongo forest and in Murchison falls national park where tourists can spend their nights during the tours around the destination.

Some of the lodges include Budongo ecolodge, Pakuba safari lodge, Paraa safari lodge, Nile safari lodge, Red chilli guest house and many others. These lodges include luxury, midrange and budget accommodations where tourists can stay during the tours in Budongo forest.

How to get to Budongo forest

The Budongo forest reserve is located in north western Uganda and can be accessed by driving along the Kampala-Masindi route which takes about 4 to 5 hours.

Another way to access the Budongo forest is by flying into the airstrips in Murchison falls national park such as Bugungu airstrip, Chobe airstrip and Pakuba airstrip and driving to the forest from there. These flights are scheduled and charter flights offered by domestic airlines such as Aerolink Uganda.

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