Budongo forest is situated on an escarpment at Lake Albert in the north western part of Uganda, the forest was founded in 1990 by professor Vernon Reynolds after reading a story from a news paper that Chimpanzees in Budongo forests were being captured and taken to Entebbe international airport where they were smuggled abroad as pets.
The permanent sample plots exhibited in the 1930s within Budongo forest are also probably the oldest tropical rain-forests samples in the world that have offered great opportunities to understanding the dynamics of tropical rain forests. Budongo forest has got the largest number of chimpanzees in Uganda endowed with about 800 chimpanzees found in the wild. The forest covers an area of about 435 kilometers squared composed of semi deciduous forests.
Chimpanzee tracking is the commonly done activity in Budongo forest; the activity will always depend on chimpanzees movements but can roughly take 2-4 hours. Once the group finds the chimpanzees they are a given a period of one hour for observation.
Budongo forest is a birders paradise boasting with about 360 species of birds and 60 of which are considered to be central and east African species, some f the examples of birds found around Budongo forest include; paradise flycatcher, chocolate backed kingfisher, yellow footed flycatcher, Puvel’s illadopsis, African pied wagtail, black kite, olive breasted greenbul, fork tailed drongo, crested guinea fowl, black eared ground thrush, crowned eagle, grey headed sunbird, sabine’s spine tail, yellow crested woodpecker, white thighed hornbill, chest nut capped flycatcher, plain greenbul, lemon bellied crombec, African dwarf kingfisher, ituri batis and Cassin’s hawk eagle among the rest. The best time for watching birds in budongo is from april to may and in November when migratory birds from north Africa and Europe are present.
Budongo forest is found in the south western part of Murchison falls national park that is one of the best wild viewing destinations in Uganda, tourists can combine their safari to Budongo forest with Murchison falls national park. The forest is also home to other primate species such as; red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, tree pangolin, olive baboons, forest galago, potto and forest giant squirrels among the rest.
Budongo forest can be accessed from Murchison falls national park through Kichumbanyobo gate within 30 minutes drive, the park can be reached within 5-6 hours drive from Kampala. Budongo forest can be visited all year round.