Kasyoha Kitomi Central Forest Reserve

Kasyoha Kitomi Central Forest Reserve

Kasyoha Kitomi Central Forest Reserve is found in Western Uganda in the South of Kazinga Channel and Lake George in the Albertine Rift eco-region. Covering an area of 433 square kilometres, Kasyoka borders Kanyambogo to the North, Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve and Maramagambo Forest Reserve to the South-east, Kyamuhanga Tea Estate and Ndangaro Parishes to the South, Rwanjere to the East and Kyambura Wildlife Reserve in Queen Elizabeth National Park to the west.

Wildlife at the Forest Reserve

Kasyoha Kitomi Central Forest Reserve is among the tourist attractions in western Uganda and currently located in the administrative districts of Bushenyi, Rubirizi, Ibanda, Buhweju and Kamwenge. The forest has a number of wildlife attractions including several bird species plus primates such as chimpanzees, baboons, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys plus black and white colobus monkeys among others.

The forest, on the list of forest reserves in Uganda is a home to a number of threatened and non-threatened animals such as elephants, chimpanzees, and L’Hoest’s monkeys. The Forest Reserve have several small mammals such as the three rare forest-dependent shrews; northern swamp musk shrew, eastern musk shrew and hero shrew.

During during the dry season, animals from Queen Elizabeth National Park come to the major water spots in the forest reserves to quench their thirst. Among the animals observable include antelopes, bush pigs, Uganda Kobs and duikers and many more which are seen around lake Kamunzuku. The reserve also has Twin Lakes of Kamweru and Kyema, transparent lakes, Waterfalls, Deep Gorges, butterflies and moths, reptiles, and flowers.

Tourists to the Kashoya Kitomi forest reserve may participate different activities like bird watching, boat rides on the lake, primate tracking, sight seeing and community walks and many others.

Birds in Kasyoha Kitomi

At present, Kasyoha Kitomi Central Forest Reserve is a habitat to 308 bird species and more than 276 bird species have been reported from the Forest Reserve. These include the white-naped pigeon (Columba albinucha) and grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) that are considered as Internationally Near-threatened.

One Albertine Rift endemic species, the blue-headed sunbird is also known to live in Kasoha-Kitomi. Other bird species which are biome include Afep pigeon, black bee-eater, blue-throated roller, dusky long-tailed cuckoo, white-collared oliveback, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Shelley’s greenbul, Equatorial akalat, and mountain illadopsis plus many undocumented ones.

Tourist Activities

Kasyoha Kitomi Central Forest Reserve is a home for a number of activities including Forest Walks, Canoeing, Bird Watching, Sightseeing, Conversation Education, Camping and and Community Walks. The Camping Site at Magambo leads to the crystal-clear Lake Kamunzuku taking a three-hour walking trail.

Conservation Status

The reserve is encircled by many communities who impose dangers on the forest resources. In 2004, Nature Uganda began a Participatory Environmental Management project (PEMA Phase 1) to introduce the Collaborative Forest Management Approach.

In 2007, Nature Uganda was offered a grant of USD 1.5m by the Danish Development Agency for the protection and conservation of the forest reserve.

In 2008, National Forest Authority (NFA) entered an agreement with Buzenga Environmental Conservation Association geared towards permitting locals to use the Forest reserve for bee-keeping activities, handcraft making and extraction of herbal medicines.