Budongo Forest is located on the south end of Murchison Falls National Park, protected within the Budongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forest reserve. Budongo forest has a wild untouched place feeling, arguably for the most part having one of the most varied forest fauna in the whole of East Africa. The 790km² forest reserve has over 465plant species recorded, over 250 butterfly species, a large variety of mammals, as well as one of the largest population of chimpanzees in Uganda (Approximately 800 individuals). Other common primates include red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus, blue monkey, patas and various forest galago species. Budongo Forest is a must go to destination for bird lovers as it is of great ornithological significance with more than 366 bird species recorded, including 60 West or Central African birds which inhabit less than 5 locations in East Africa.
Chimpanzee trekking takes place in the Kaniyo Pabidi forest reserve. Chimp habituation started officially in 1992 and guided chimp walks leave at 0800hrs and 1500hrs, however, the guides are extremely accommodating and flexible. The success of sighting the chimps is high, although it depends greatly on the fruiting seasons, with increased likelihood of good viewings of the chimps between the months of May and August. The terrain encountered during the trek through the forest in search of the chimpanzees is fairly tough going with some steep and long inclines to be tackled. However, the beauty of the forest engulfs you entirely as you walk along the well-maintained paths listening to the huge variety of singing birds and animal calls. The informative guide will talk to you about the history of the forest and help you to identify the rich flora and fauna. You will be asked to observe the group in relative quiet and to not use flash photography when capturing this breathtaking moment on film.
Murchison Falls National Park is said to be the best game park in Uganda. During a typical game drive, you can be expected to see a large number of antelope species, including the bush buck, the water buck, Thomson’s gazelle and the dik dik to name but a few. Larger herbivores, such as giraffe and elephant are present in the park in great numbers and often the lumbering giraffe will cross the roads right in front of you. MFNP is the most accessible park in Uganda to see the giraffe.
Watch this short film about how the Uganda Conservation Foundation and Uganda Wildlife Authority are working together to protect the critically endangered Rothschild giraffe in Murchison Falls National Park:
Huge groups of buffalo are a common sight whilst exploring the park on a game drive. Primates, such as the baboon and the patas monkey, stare at you as you pass by and if you are a bird lover then Murchison Falls National Park will not disappoint.
Our Classic driver/guides comment that Murchison is the best park in Uganda to see the big cats (Uganda has only lion and leopard) and these are spotted with increasing frequency.
Boat Launch Trip
The launch trip to the base of the falls is not to be missed. Cruising down the Nile provides a great opportunity to observe the animals as they come down to the water’s edge to drink. The Nile supports the largest concentration of hippos and crocodiles in Africa and a dazzling variety of water-birds. The views of the falls as you approach by boat are spectacular. The Nile first heads down 80km of white-water rapids and then at the falls it plunges 40m across the remnant rift barricade at Murchison falls. The launch trip lasts about 3 hours.
Top of Falls visit
A short drive on twisting, dirt road takes you to the top of the falls, where you can hear the thunder and feel the spray as the water forces itself through the rock. Views from the top of the falls are stunning and offer excellent photo opportunities.
A boat trip down Victoria Nile to where it engorges into the Lake Albert, leads you through papyrus swamps filled with wildlife. This trip takes about 4-5 hours and is a must for bird lovers. The Delta is the best place in Uganda to see the rare shoebill.