Budongo Forest Reserve is located in Murchison Falls Conservation Area – one of the top chimpanzee trekking hotspots in Uganda, covering a total area of approximately 825 square kilometers, 430 square kilometers of the total surface area is continuous forest. The forest is a medium-altitude, moist, semi-deciduous tropical rainforest.
The word Budongo is a local Bunyoro dialect, a word that means “fertile soil”. With 24 species of small animals, 9 primate species, and 280 butterflies, it boasts an incredibly rich biodiversity. Among the primates in the park are chimpanzees, Budongo forest is a natural habitat for about 600 chimpanzees with a small community habituated for Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris.
The habituated chimpanzee family has about 80 individuals that offer a very unique experience of viewing the apes in their natural habitat. Apart from chimpanzees, other primates in the park include the Black-and-white Colobus Monkey, olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys.
For Budongo forest chimpanzee trekking, a well-developed and extensive trail system with a length of 115km in total is found in the forest. The 115km trail enables chimpanzee trekking in the forest as well as other activities like forest walks, and bird watching.
The forest offers a great experience trekking chimpanzees in the reserve and is also famous for the age-old mahogany trees which can grow up to 80 meters. Within the forest is also 465 plant species, all offering a great jungle experience which is a natural habitat for the chimps living in the forest.
Chimp tracking in Budongo forest has two sessions each day which are the morning and afternoon sessions. Tracking begins from the Kaniyo Pabidi eco site where tourists are briefed on chimpanzee trekking. After the briefing, they then head into the forest through the tracking trails along with a tour guide. Chimpanzee trekking takes about three hours with a maximum of one hour of viewing the chimps and taking pictures. In the dry season, it can sometimes get hard to trek the chimps as they move deeper into the forest in search of food.
The Royal Mile, which is a section of the Budongo forest reserve, is one of the best places in Uganda for viewing birds. This area is home to more than 360 different bird species, including the rare and endemic Puval’s Illadopses. The Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Chestnut Crowned Eremomera, Yellow-browned Camaroptera, Forest Robin, Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Little Green Sunbird, African Emerald Cuckoo, Slender-billed Greenbul, Crested Malimbe, and many other bird species can all be seen here.
Cost of Chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda
The cost of Chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda varies depending on the destination you are interested to trek from. Top chimpanzee trekking destinations like Kibale Forest National Park, the chimpanzee trekking permit price goes for $150 per permit per person per trek. During the low season, they can be obtained at $ 100.
Budongo forest chimpanzee permits cost $90 per permit, Kyambura gorge permits cost $50 per permit, and there are no discounts offered on permits the permit price remains the same throughout but during low or high season the prices do not change.
Budongo forest is actually the closes natural chimp habitat in Uganda from the capital Kampala, this makes it convenient for short chimpanzee trekking tours.
Beyond chimpanzee trekking, Uganda safaris also provide gorilla trekking, wildlife safaris, and a variety of adventure sports. Beyond Uganda, Acacia Safaris can provide combined East African tours that include safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda to see gorillas. Contact us and we will help secure the permits for you in advance before your trekking date.