The Kalinzu rainforest, also known as the Kalinzu jungle, is a wet broadleaf tropical rainforest. Above all, it is located in the western region of Uganda in the district of Bushenyi. Firstly, it is one of the best thick canopy forests in Uganda for chimpanzee tracking. Kalinzu forest covers an area of 137 square kilometres of various tree species. The forest is in an altitude range of 1000 – 1300 meters above sea level. Secondly, it is located 81kms from Queen Elizabeth national park and 44kms from Kyambura gorge.
There is no factual archaeological evidence that shows any human inhabitation in the Kalinzu rainforest. However, local people leaving in the communities around and close to the forest. Usually, have claimed they used to hunt and wild plant gathering as patterns of excursions. Subsequent induced alterations by the Uganda wildlife authority through the ministry of tourism. Therefore, under the directive of the government, this forest was gazetted.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Unparalleled biodiversity of 400 species of trees occurs in this fairly small Kalinzu rainforest. A composition of 378 bird species, 262 butterflies and 97 moth species. One in ten known species in the world lives in the Kalinzu rainforest, the chimpanzee. This constitutes a substantial collection of living plants and animal species in Africa.
Animals such as the pygmy antelope and 28 amphibians. Also, 34 reptiles have been scientifically classified in the forest. Other animals that occur include leopards, forest buffaloes, and elephants. Primates such as Blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, the rare L’Hoest Monkeys, olive baboons, and black and white colobus monkeys. Nocturnal primates like the pottos, bush babies, and two species of galagos.
The Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve to go Chimpanzee Trekking.
We met up at 8 am at the office of the Forest Reserve, and I can’t comment on the public toilets here as I did not need to go.
Our guide was excellent; she did all she could to educate us on the chimps and explained clearly to us as we went along the various fauna, etc. The route thru the jungle was manageable though the ground was wet from rain in the wee hours of that morning.
I had on a pair of knee guards, and I would recommend these guards for those with weak knees. Do not bring a walking pole, the staff will have wooden poles, which they will offer to those who need them.
As it is a canopied forest, it is shady throughout, which is nice. Our trek into the chimps took no more than an hour, and there they were, a family of chimps up in the tree tops. Honestly, gorilla trekking at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park was more satisfying than chimp trekking, albeit more costly.
Here’s why. Gorillas are easier to spot in terms of size and less fidgety for one. The chimps we saw were high up in the trees, and none happened to be on the ground, which can be quite the norm.
Thou I would rather see chimps in their natural environment than in a zoo, it became quite apparent that if we did get lucky to spot some chimps on the ground, they would scurry up a tree fast. Thus it was wishful thinking to see the chimpanzees with the naked eye as the thick foliage of the jungle covers much!
To enjoy this activity, bring along a pair of binoculars and a long lens if you want better pictures. It proved almost impossible to get a good shot of the chimps without.
At least you would get a close-up view to see how adorable these chimps are, especially the young ones!
Overall we were happy with the crew and felt that they did their best to offer a good experience. We enjoyed the jungle trekking and all else the jungle had to offer.