Attractions & Activities in Kalinzu Forest | Queen Elizabeth National Park
There are quite a number of Attractions & Activities in Kalinzu Forest which is located in Queen Elizabeth National Park and these will keep the travelers busy. Kalinzu forest is one of the beautiful natural forest situated in Uganda proudly known for harboring the habituated chimpanzees available for trekking. Kalinzu forest is located in the western park of Uganda in Bushenyi district near the magnificent Queen Elizabeth national park
Attractions in Kalinzu Forest
Several wildlife call Kalinzu forest their home including primate species such as chimpanzees, and monkey species, several mammals such as Forest elephant, duikers, wild pigs, buffalos, over 370 bird species, over 260 species of butterflies, over 400 different tree species, moth, reptiles and many more all making the forest very beautiful to explore for an adventurous experience
Attractions in Kalinzu Forest
The strategic location of Kalinzu forest in close vicinity to Queen Elizabeth National Park attracts several visitors from different corners of the world to explore the beauty of this natural forest. The major activity carried out in Kalinzu forest is the chimpanzee trekking and then other activities follow the queue. Let’s discuss some of the major activities carried out within this beautiful forest;
Chimpanzee trekking in kalinzu forest
This is a dream activity for every traveler into Uganda the pearl of Africa as it enables trekkers to hike up in the forest and really trail in different trails in search of the chimpanzees. And once a certain group of habituated chimpanzees is allocated, trekkers are allowed just one hour in the presence of almighty chimpanzees learning about their different behaviors. Kalinzu forest harbors a good number of chimpanzees including the habituated and none habituated ones thus a trek into the wilderness of the forest alongside armed rangers and guides enables you to encounter the habituated chimpanzees. During the trek, trekkers are on a greater advantage of encountering other different primates which include Baboons, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, L’Hoests, and black and white colobus monkeys, several mammals encountered in the forest during chimpanzee trekking include; forest elephants, buffalos, warthogs, duikers, wild pig among others. There is a higher chance of encountering the chimpanzees in this forest and surprisingly, the trekking permit goes for as low as $30 per permit exclusive of the entrance fee. This makes it very cheap as compared to the same trekking permit in Kibale forest national park that goes for $150 and the permit is issued out to people above 12 years of age implying that children below 12 years are not entitled to trek the chimpanzees.
Birding in kalinzu forest
Kalinzu forest is also considered amongst the best birding destinations in Uganda thus trekkers can also opt for birding in the forest to have an awesome experience. The forest is home to 370 species of birds which are worth a visit. Birding in most forests in Uganda is done early in the morning or late in the evening with the possibility of encountering early birds and in the evening when they are returning to their nests. most of the bird species in Kalinzu forest seen during birding include; sunbirds, black and white casket, blue turaco and some other common bird that are seen in different parts of Uganda during birding tours. Since birding is carried out in the same forest, birders have an opportunity of viewing other wildlife that inhabits the park
Hiking in kalinzu forest
There are different Hiking trails used by different hikers with in Kalinzu forest and each of the trails leads to different destinations offering different sightings along the way such as different tree species, rivers, waterfalls, beautiful vegetation cover, wildlife and many more. These trails include;
The river trail: For hikers interested in short hikes, this is the best option for you taking about one hour to make a complete circuit of to and fro. The trail is about 2.5km. The hikers trail via the forest towards Kajojo River which was the bathing spot for the forest elephants. During the walk, hiker are in a position to encounter different plant species and different wildlife. Hikers also view the chimpanzee nest in the trees which indicates that they were sleeping there the previous night
The waterfall tail: This is the longest trail amongst all the four trails within Kalinzu forest leading hikers via hilly and muddy terrains within the forest and takes hikers up to the Kilyantama waterfalls. There are other thing sighted along the trail which includes the Fig trees that locals obtain raw materials to make some beautiful handcrafts such table cloth, traditional attire for different traditional ceremonies, handbags, and finally don’t forget to look out for the tree that baboons failed to climb. This trail takes roughly 4-5 hours to complete an 11km circuit
The palm trail: This is the third shortest trail that is easy to trail after the river trail that lasts for just an hour and the valley trail that covers 3.5km within one and a half to two hours. The palm trail is a 5km loop that takes approximately 2 hours to make a complete circuit .this trail has a lot of interesting things to encounter along the way including a tree best known as the fire or flame tree whose red tulips are best known for increasing the sexual libido in women and the palms are used in making some handcrafts including mats.
The Valley Trail: This is the second shortest trail just after the river trail. The valley trail covers 3.5km which can be hiked in less than two hours to make a complete circuit through the ridge in the forest towards the valley. This trail offers a clear view of the entire valley with in the forest and sighting of different plant species which include the Viagra tree that enhances erection in men.
The best time to visit Kalinzu forest
Kalinzu forest can be visited at any given time depending on the activity intended to perform with in the forest.
For instance, Dry months are always the best to visit and have maximum exploration of kalinzu forest since the forest is easy to penetrate and the hiking trails are less muddy and with fewer terrains for easy walks during the chimpanzee trekking and hiking. However, since the climatic conditions in Uganda are average, it implies that even in the rainy months, some visitors are in a position to visit the forest but expect some slippery trails. Thus the best recommended months are the months of January, February, June, July, August, September, October and December.
On the other hand, the best month for birding in Kalinzu forest is during the rainy months when the forest has a lot of food for the birds including fruits, insects and many more that even attract migratory birds into the forest.
Getting to Kalinzu forest is the same as getting to Queen Elizabeth National park. This implies that visitors can opt for either road transport or flight
By road: The journey from Kampala to Kalinzu forest takes about 6-7 hours’ drive via Kampala- Masaka- Mbarara- Bushenyi road and finally to Kalinzu forest. On the other hand, visitors who are in Queen Elizabeth national park just take a 45 minutes’ drive to get to Kalinzu forest
By air: Visitors especially those connecting Queen Elizabeth National park with Kalinzu forest can just take a flight to Mweya airstrip within mweya peninsular, do the park activities and then drive to Kalinzu forest for other activities.
Most visitors interested in a full exploration of kalinzu forest have to know that currently there are no lodges in the forest. However, visitors have a wide range of accommodation facilities within close vicinity to the forest and most of these lodges are situated in Queen Elizabeth National Park. These lodges range from luxury, mid-range, and budget which makes it easy for any visitor to have the desired rest during the tour. Some of these accommodations include; Mweya safari lodge, jacana lodge, park view safari lodge, Engiri game lodge, Enganzi game lodge, kingfisher lodge and many more all with different Amenities
Conclusion: If you are planning a tour to Queen Elizabeth National Park for the tree climbing lions in Ishasha sector, boat cruise on the magnificent Kazinga channel, and game drive in the kasenyi plains, add a visit to Kalinzu forest to spend ample time with the primates in the wild, watch different bird species, tree species, among others and grab an overall experience within the wilderness of Uganda and as always “Achieve Global Safaris” is always here to make you fulfill your dream.