Kalinzu forest reserve

Kalinzu forest reserve is found in the western Uganda bushenyi district. It is closer to queen Elizabeth national park and maramagambo forest. It has over 414 tree species, 6 different primates including chimpanzees, blue monkey, black and white colobus monkey, red tailed monkeys, approximately 380 bird species, and reptiles butterflies and so on. The reverse can be accessed via kampala-masaka- mbarara-bushenyi route which 375km taking approximately 5 hours. It is about 10km from bushenyi. the reserve offices are located near the road hence easily seen by passing by visitor from queen Elizabeth national park

Chimpanzees are the major attractions on 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, look after their young ones until they are about 12 years old. They live in large communities each with a different culture. Chimps are very intelligent, 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 the group to join others.

Besides being hunted for meat and sold as pets, the main danger to chimpanzees is 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 kaniyo pabidi  eco tourism in murchison falls national park and kyambura gorge in queen elizabeth national park

Chimpanzee trekking in kalinzu forest reserve

chimpanzee trekking is the main activity in kalinzu forest thus the second-best locations for chimp trekking after Kibale forest national park in uganda. The forest reserve is a home to over 300 chimpanzee with 40 chimpanzee habituated familes. since the reserve is close to queen elizabeth national park and bwindi impenetrable national park, kalinzu is a must stop over giving the visitor a great experince.

chimpanzee trekking in kalinzu forest is done in two sessions, namely the morning (8am) and afternoon (2pm) session both with different experience.  Tourist meet at the reverse headquarters for a briefing, grouped with other 5 tourists, be assigned with a guide, 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 behaviors as they jump from one tree branch to another, communicate, groom each other, feed, play, 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 are high thus a great but affordable experience

Cost of chimpanzee trekking in kalinzu forest reserve

Kalinzu forest is a 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 and on locating them, they spend one hour with them studying their different behavors, watch them eat, rest, breast feed 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 you details, check for availabilities on the stated dates, confirm booking and then send you a scanned copy of the permits

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

Other interesting attractions

monkeys

reptiles

insects

trees

Dos and don’ts while in the reserve

Chimpanzee trekking is done by only six people

Visitors above 12 years are allowed to participate in the tacking process

Visitors with infections such as flue, cough is not allowed to participate in the tracking activity as the animals can easily get the diseases

Do not provoke the chimpanzees

Keep a distance of 8 meters while in their presence

Do not eat in front of them

Do not use loud voices while in the forest

Do not take your own way that is stay with the group during the tacking

Do not use flash cameras while taking pictures

Wear water proof hiking shoes as you may use muddy trails, long sleeved shirts and trousers, hat, sunglasses, binoculars among others

Other interesting parks

murchison falls naional park

kibaale national park

rwenzori national park

queen elizabeth national park

bwindi impenatrable national park

mghinga national park

lake mburo national park

mt elgon national park

kidepo national park