Budongo forest

Budongo Forest is among one of the largest forests in Uganda and the East African region. The forest spans over an 825 square kilometer radius and is well known for having a large collection of mahogany forests.

This forest is located in the northwestern region of Uganda, within Murchison falls national park. The forest consists of woodland, and grassland vegetation, and is divided into three distinct tourism sites which include; Sonso, Kaniyo Pabidi and Busingiro.

Budongo forest is among one of the best eco-tourism destinations in Uganda and is famous for chimpanzee trekking activities given its high numbers of chimpanzees, after Kibale forest national park. The forest is a habitat for various wildlife species including 360 species of birds, 24 mammal species, 250 butterfly species, 450 tree species, 130 moth and primate species including blue monkeys, olive baboons, chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and the grey-checked mangabey to mention but a few.

The forest is a birder’s haven and the ideal spot to be for any bird lovers out there. Bird watching activities in the forest give visitors an opportunity to sight unique bird species such as; the blue throated roller, the African shrike flycatcher, the speckled tinker bird, and the yellow spotted barbet among others. This forest is also a great place for birders to view the high sought-after and rare shoebill stork.

What to do in Budongo Forest.

Chimpanzee Trekking:

Budongo Forest shelters over 600 chimpanzees thus making it one of the best places for visitors to trek chimpanzees while on holiday in Uganda. Quite a large number of chimpanzees in this forest have been habituated and therefore can be tracked by visitors. This activity marks the highlight of any visit to Budongo Forest. Chimpanzee trekking activities in Budongo last between 3-5 hours, with one hour inclusive, once the chimpanzees have been located.

Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest is done in two phases which include morning and afternoon sessions. Visitors trekking chimpanzees in the morning will have to begin at 7:00am and those doing it in the afternoon will have to start at 2:00pm.

Budongo forest
Chimpanzee Trekking in Budongo Forest


Visitors are briefed first before going to trek chimpanzees, and are later placed in tracking groups with a maximum of 8 members per group. Once trekkers have located a chimpanzee group, you are given only a one to spend with the chimpanzees. Visitors can take pictures with the apes at this point, however, you are advised to disable the flash light on you camera/phone. Chimpanzee trekking permits to the forest cost USD 85 dollars per person.


Budongo Forest is home to over 360 bird species inclusive of species that are only endemic to the forest. Birding expeditions take place at the royal mile which is situated within the Busingiro area. Visitors on a birding trip in Budongo forest have the chance to see bird species such as; the Ituri Batis, the Illadopsis Puveli, the Crowned Eagle, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, the Yellow Crested Woodpecker, the Yellow Long Bill, and the Little Green Sunbird to mention but a few.

Birding in budongo forest


Nature Walks:

Visitors in the forest can also opt to embark on a guided nature walk in the forest. Visitors are accompanied by knowledgeable and armed rangers, who take visitors through known trails with beautiful attractions. During these guided nature walks in the forest, visitors can view amazing wildlife animals such as; buffaloes, elephants, monkeys, and leopards among others.

Best Time to Visit Budongo Forest

It be visited at any time of the year. However, the best time for visitors to visit the forest is between the months of June to September and December to February. These months happen to be dry and it is much easier for visitors to hike in the forest and view the various wildlife species in the forest.

Accommodation in Budongo Forest.

Visitors looking to spend two or more nights in the forest can find accommodation in the following facilities; Budongo Eco Lodge, New Court View Hotel and other hotels and lodges near the forest such as; Pakuba Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge and Red Chilli Rest Camp in Murchison Falls National Park.

How to get to Budongo Forest.

Visitors can access Budongo Forest from Kampala City. The forest is located about 3 hours’ drive northwest from Kampala city. Visitors can also visit the forest after a game drive in Murchison Falls National Park, and this can take about an hour’s drive, covering a distance of approximately 42.7km.

Book with us a Chimpanzee trekking tour in Budongo Forest and get a chance to explore this amazing and beautiful forest.

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