Kalinzu Forest Reserve is a typical tropical forest featuring a range of 414 tree species and the shrubs among which include the Prunus Africana, Ficus, the Parinari and Stroboia and among others which makes it an ecological vibrant destination worth encountering on Uganda safaris.
Kalinzu Forest is near to Queen Elizabeth Park and chimpanzee trekking here is usually better than in the Kyambura Gorge and you can make Kalinzu Forest Reserve an all-day outing by hitting the excellent hiking trails and birding that are found here in Kalinzu Forest once your primate lover and wish to explore the forest in depth .
Kalinzu Forest Reserve is a natural tropical forest and it’s managed by NFA (National Forestry Authority). It lies in the altitude of between 1000-1500 meters above sea level and it covers an area of 137km.
The forest is known for its biodiversity; it has 414 tree species and shrubs like Parinari, Prunus Africana and Stroboia. 379 bird species like the Great blue Turaco, cuckoos, sunbirds. 262 species of butterflies, 97 moths, reptiles and also flowers.
The forest has 6 primate species like the blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest’s, olive baboon and chimpanzees.
The forests has a population about 220 chimpanzee individuals and of which 70 individuals are habituated, the 70 members are divided into 2 groups. Making the chances of seeing them very high. All of these attractions make the forest one of the destinations to be included in your Uganda tour.
There are also some animals like elephants, duiker, buffaloes, waterbucks, wild pigs which visit the forest reserve, they come from Queen Elizabeth national park. The animals cross with ease to the forest because the park is near the forest.
The forest is located in the south-western region of Uganda in Bushenyi district along the Kasese-Mbarara highway. It’s near Queen Elizabeth national park.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kalinzu forest reserve can be a wonderful experience to include Mountain gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking in Africa can be done within three national parks in Volcanoes national park Rwanda, Bwindi forest national park, Mgahinga National Park & Virunga National park in Democratic republic of Congo.
There are four hiking trails in the forest and hikes are from an hour to all day in length.
The Forest Trails
Four fabulous forest trails have been developed at Kalinzu offering visitors a range of exciting options. All the trails involve some clambering over hilly terrain so visitors should be advised by the local guides on the suitability of each trail for each age and ability.
The River Trail
This short 2 ½ km circular trail takes approximately 1 hour. The major feature along this walk is the River Kajojo or ‘elephant river’ so called because elephants used to bathe here.
The trail goes past some fine specimens of ‘Parinari excelsa’ the climax tree in the forest and a huge strangler figure. Visitors will see signs of the nine forest primate species including chimpanzee nests high in the tree tops.
The Palm Trail
A 5 km circular trail taking between 1 ½ – 2 hours over relatively flat terrain. Visitors will discover some fascinating forest trees along this trail including the ‘Flame tree’ with its large, red, tulip-like flames which supposedly activates sexual desire in women, ‘Raphia Palms’ used for making local mats, a spectacular ‘Dragon tree’.
The Valley Trail
This 3 ½ km circular trail takes approximately 2 hours and offers spectacular views over valley. Visitors will trek along a ridge and past a number of interesting forest features. A forest favourite is the ‘Mutragyne rubrostipuleta’ or ‘viagra’ tree.
The Waterfall Trail
An 11 km loop trail taking between 4 and 5 hours over some hilly and, in parts, wet terrain. This trail leads to a magnificent waterfall ‘kilyantama’ locally known as ‘the sheep eater’.
Visitors will discover the tree that “baboons cannot climb” and barkcloth figs which are used in the craft industry to make beautifully decorated table cloths, curtains, handbags and ceremonial clothes