Kalinzu Forest Reserve ; Chimpanzee Trekking & Camping Safaris in Kalinzu Forest

Kalinzu forest reserve is found in the western Uganda Bushenyi district. It is closer to Queen Elizabeth national park and the Maramagambo forest. It has over 414 tree species, 6 different primates including chimpanzees, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, approximately 380 bird species, reptiles butterflies, etc. The reverse can be accessed via the Kampala-Masaka- Mbarara-Bushenyi route which is 375km taking approximately 5 hours. It is about 10km from Bushenyi. the reserve offices are located near the road and hence easily seen by passing visitors from Queen Elizabeth national park

Chimpanzees are the major attractions in Kalinzu Forest. Chimpanzees are interesting creatures because they look and behave like human beings since they share 98% of their DNA with us. Chimps give birth after every 5 years and look after their young ones until they are about 12 years old. They live in large communities each with a different culture. Chimpanzees are very intelligent, and known for a variety of tools and tricks to hunt insects, smaller primates and antelopes. Unlike gorillas, chimp communities are always evolving with female adolescents in particular living in the group to join others.

Besides being hunted for meat and sold as pets, the main danger to chimpanzees is the loss of home due to the increased cutting of trees. Uganda government together with Uganda wildlife authority declared killing chimpanzees illegal

However, there are other chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda namely; Kibale national park, Budongo forest kanpyo Pabidi  eco-tourism in Murchison falls national park and tambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park

Chimpanzee Tracking

Over 5000 chimpanzees in the country living in Kalinzu forest, Kibale forest, Bwindi forest, Budongo forest and others parks

Bird Watching

About 1100 bird species are found in Uganda. a huge number of birds in found in the western region of the country due to its forestry.

Reptile Tracking

Reptile tracking in Kalinzu Forest Reserve tracking for reptiles like snakes, lizards, chameleons and so much

Golden Monkey Tracking

.this is one of the fast growing tourism activity in the country, the tracking is done in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Forest Camping

Book your camping safari in the Kalinzu Forest Reserve, picnic lunch and nature walks in the reserve


Eco tourism in Uganda is carried out in Mabira forest, Kalinzu Forest, Bwindi forest, Mgahinga forest and many other destinations in the country.
Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu Forest reserve
Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu Forest Reserve

Chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest reserve

chimpanzee trekking is the main activity in Kalinzu forest thus the second-best location for chimpanzee trekking after Kibale forest national park in Uganda. The forest reserve is home to over 300 chimpanzees with 40 chimpanzee-habituated families. since the reserve is close to Queen Elizabeth national park and Bwindi’s impenetrable national park, Kalinzu Forest is a must stop over giving the visitor a great experience.

chimpanzee trekking in the Kalinzu forest is done in two sessions, namely the morning (8 am) and afternoon (2 pm) sessions both with different experiences. Tourists meet at the reverse headquarters for a briefing, group with other 5 tourists, be assigned a guide, and park ranger and then start the trek to the forest. Locating the chimpanzees may take some hours since the chimpanzees move to different parts searching for food and also the trail used matters. On spotting them, only one hour is used to take pictures, see their behaviours as they jump from one tree branch to another, communicate, groom each other, feed, play, and rest among other

In addition to less congestion and the cheap chimpanzee trekking permits at $50 than in other parks such as Kibale forest national park which costs $200, the chances of spotting chimpanzees in Kalinzu Forest are high thus a great but affordable experience

Cost of Chimpanzee Trekking in Kalinzu forest reserve

Kalinzu forest is home to over 300 chimpanzees with about 40 habituated ones. The park’s main activity is chimpanzee trekking where tourists trek into the forest to search for the chimpanzees on locating them, they spend one hour with them studying their different behaviours, watching them eat, rest, breastfeed and as well as taking pictures

Chimpanzee trekking permits for Kalinzu forest can be got directly from the park headquarters, Uganda wildlife authority or through trusted tour operators to whom you provide your details, check for availabilities on the stated dates, confirm the booking and then send you a scanned copy of the permits

The chimpanzee trekking permit costs $50 thus the source of foreign exchange and as well as supporting the society through the park entrance fee

Chimpanzee & Gorilla Trekking Prices in Uganda

These are the prices paid for both Gorilla and Chimpanzee permits in tracking or Habituation in Uganda.

Chimpanzee Trekking Rules and Regulations in Kalinzu Forest Reserve

There are rules and guidelines that you need to follow during the chimpanzee trekking experience in Kalinzu Forest. These regulations were set up by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to protect both the primates and the visitors. Below are some of the regulations that you must follow during chimpanzee trekking include the following:

  • You’re not allowed to trek if you’re sick, especially with flu and cough.
  • You’re to always keep a distance of 8 meters between you and the chimpanzees.
  • You should always follow all the guidelines that are given by the park ranger.
  • You’re not allowed to feed the chimpanzees
  • Visitors are not allowed to eat or drink near the chimpanzees.
  • Do not urinate and poop in the park as this might cause the animals to fall sick. If you want to poop, dig up a hole about 30cm deep and then bury everything, including the toilet paper.
  • The minimum age for chimpanzee trekking is 15 years.
  • The only people who can help you gain access to the Park for trekking are the tour guides
  • Make sure that the camera you are using does not have the flashlight setting on
  • Do not make noise while trekking because this irritates the chimps and they end up migrating to another place.
Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu Forest Reserve

Other Activities to Experience in Kalinzu Forest Reserve

  • Nature Walks: Guided Nature walks in Kalinzu forest are truly distinctive. You’ll get to see a completely new world of dense forests, beautiful sceneries, waterfalls, singing birds and primate calls. You can walk up to Kishunja Hill viewpoint to see the forest from the top as well as the Rwenzori Mountains and Queen Elizabeth National Park. You can also be led outside the forest to sight the beautiful plantations from above. The guide will share the history of the forest, its ancient myths and its creatures.


  • Birdwatching: Kalinzu Forest is a paradise for birders. The forest reserve is one of Uganda’s best places for bird watching. The bird species found in the forest include the Black and White Casket, Cuckoos, Great Blue Turaco, Sunbirds and many more. As you’re in Kalinzu Forest searching for the birds, expect to encounter other forest creatures like primates, and insects and sight amazing scenery. Birdwatching in Kalinzu forest is best done in the morning hours.
  • Camping: Kalinzu Forest camping site is set up in the middle of the forest, where visitors can sleep next to nature while enjoying the beautiful African night in the wild while listening to the amazing sounds of nocturnal wildlife.

Other activities include; Tree plantation, Reptile searching, Tea planting, Butterfly identifying and other primates tracking.

Accommodation in Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve.

For now, there are no standard accommodation facilities within Kalinzu forest yet. Clients interested in camping will need to come with their bedding, food supplies and tents. The Kalinzu Forest main camping site is close to the forest offices at Nkombe forest station but with basic facilities like solar-powered showers and Pit latrines. Firewood and Water can be picked up at the station or purchased in the nearby trading Centre along the highway.

The closest standard accommodation facility to Kalinzu forest reserve is the Homeland hotel in Ishaka. For more accommodation facility options which are more comfortable, you can choose one of the various lodges in Queen Elizabeth National Park, for example, Engiri game lodge, Jacana lodge, Katara lodge, Mweya hostels, Mweya safari lodge, Park View Safari Lodge and Queen Elizabeth Pvt lodge. These facilities offer budget, mid-range and Luxury accommodation. Secure a room in one of the above lodges, and then go to Kalinzu forest for either early morning or afternoon activities and return for dinner and overnight.

Why Choose Kalinzu Forest

Some of the services Kalinzu provides to clients

Chimpanzee Permit Booking

Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Or Visit Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park

Hotel/Accommodation Booking

We offer accommodation bookings for clients as they get ready for their safari in the country at the discounted prices

Oraginise Trips

We make the best tailor-made and customized safari packages in Uganda and Rwanda fitting your travel schedule, needs and budget

We Offer Other Services

We offer services like organising Gorilla tours in Rwanda and Uganda. Wildlife Safaris. Car Rental Services.