Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve

Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve in Western Uganda

Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve is found in the Southwestern Uganda in Bushenyi district near Queen Elizabeth National Park and Maramagambo Forest. Kalinzu Forest is a home to many primate species including chimps making it an interesting Chimpanzee Trekking destination in western Uganda.

Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve

A Chimp Mother and her baby in Kalinzu Forest

Covering 399 square kilometres, Kalinzu Forest Reserve is at an altitude of about 1400 meters and is known for its 414 species of trees and shrubs such Prunus African Ficus and Parinari among the many. The reserve has got six different primate species like chimpanzees,  blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, L’hoest guenon, vervet monkeys and baboons among others. The forest as well harbours 378 bird species like the sun birds, white and black casket, cuckoos plus the Great Blue Turaco, it also hosts 97 moths species, reptiles, 262 butterflies and flowers.

Because Kalinzu Forest is near Queen Elizabeth National Park, it offers a refuge to Savannah grassland animal species like the  lion, leopard, wild pigs and Duiker, the giant forest hog, water-buck, buffaloes, elephants and many more.

Tourist Activities in in Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve

Chimpanzee Trekking in Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve

The Forest is home to Chimpanzees, meaning chimp safaris are a common activity. Being a neighbour to Queen Elizabeth National Park, Chimpanzee tracking in the reserve is always a supplementary activity to wildlife safaris like game drives and boat cruise on Kazinga Channel. A Chimp safari in Kalinzu is doable before or after a visit to the park.

Nature Walk Trails

While visiting Kalinzu Forest Reserve, one can go on 4 different guided forest trails. These trails include the River Trail, The Waterfall Trail, The Water Valley Trail and the Palm Trail. Whether you choose to take any of the four trails, you will have maximum enjoyment of your time at the forest reserve.

The River Trail

This is a  2 ½ km circular trail that lasts about one hour. The main feature along this path is the River Kajojo also known as elephant river named so because elephants used to bathe around here. The trail passes via some nice specimens of ‘Parinari excelsa’ the tallest tree in the forest with large strangler figure. You will likely find some primate species including Chimpanzees.

The Valley Trail

This three and half kilometre round trail lasts about 2 hours to complete. The trail offers magnificent views into the steep valley. While hiking on this paths, you will move along a ridge and go through interesting forest features like the ‘viagra’ tree or the ‘Mutragyne Rubrostipuleta’.

The Waterfall Trail

It is an 11 kilometre trail lasting between 4 to 5 hours taking a visitor through a hilly, sloppy and wetly terrain. Taking gently this trail leads one to a spectacular Kilyantama Waterfall.

The Palm Trail

This 5 kilometer spherical trail has a duration of 1 to 2 hours on a moderately flat topography. On this walk, tourists will find some amazing forest trees like the ‘Flame tree’ and its huge red, tulip-like flames that is alleged to stimulate sexual desires among women. There are also Raphia Palms that are used for making traditional mats and the mighty Dragon tree.

For tourists visiting Queen Elizabeth Park, Kalinzu is the best alternative to Chimpanzee Trekking in Kyambura Gorge with possibilities of spotting chimps being high.  Japanese researchers have habituated Chimpanzees in this forest for around 2 decades.

And for those interested in birding, this jungle is ab amazing base for seeing numerous bird species. Visitors are at liberty to have full day in the forest and also enjoy some delicious picnic lunch. For full enjoyment, ensure to carry long trousers, strong hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts, a light Rain Jacket, a hat and drinking water.