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Kalinzu Forest Reserve, Uganda



Checkout other National Forestry Authority locations in Uganda
Mabira Forest Reserve - Mpanga Forest Reserve - Kalinzu Forest Reserve

Entrance Fees:
Foreign Tourists 1 Day: Ushs6,000-
Foreign Tourists 2 Days: Ushs9,000-
Guide Fee - Day Walks: Ushs5,000-
Guide Fee - Night Walks: Ushs6,000-
Camping 1 Night: Ushs2,500- p/p
Camping 2 Nights: Ushs4,000- p/p

Reduced rates are available for Foreign residents and Ugandan Nationals.

Contact Information: Forest Department Nkombe Forest Station, P.O Box 01 Bushenyi

How to get there
Kalinzu forest is 10 km west of Ishaka on the main Mbarara to Kasese highway. The Vistor reception centre is very conveniently situated for visitors en-route to or from Queen Elizabeth National Park only 40 kms distant on the Mbarara-Kasese road.

By public transport from Kampala, take a Kasese bus from the bus park opposite the new taxi park in Kampala. They leave early in the morning about 7 a.m. It takes 5 hours to reach Butare and costs between Ushs8,000- and Ushs12,000- (depending on time of year). Get off at the Kalinzu vistor reception centre just after Butare and ask for information about the ecotourism site from the resident tourism staff. A boda boda to the Forest Station will cost about Ushs1,000-. or more pleasent is to walk.

To reach the eco-tourism site travel 4 km along a marrum road to the Forestry Station from the Visitor reception centre on the Mbarara-Kasese road.

Road to the Old Saw Mill - Eco tourism site

Forest Information

Key attractions
Kalinzu forest offers visitors a choice of scenic guided walks along the ridges and valleys of the Rift Valley escarpment. From the forest trails amazing views open up over the Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Edward, the Kazinga Channel and the Congo.

Visit the "old man of the hills". Kalinzu forest is steeped in mysteries and rich with local legends. Learn about the folk lore and uses of the forest from a local guide.

Experience the forest at night. See nocturnal primates like pottos and galagos. Search for owls and other animals that only emerge under the cover of darkness and listen to the errie shrieking of the tree hyrax.

Get away from it all at the campsite retreat. The camping site is set deep into the forest far away from any settlements and although basic, offers visitors a tranquil ‘back to nature’ experience .

A few rules and observations to consider when visiting Kalinzu Forest Reserve
The maximum group size of visitors that may participate on the Monkey Walk is not more than 6 persons.
Children under 12 years of age cannot attend the Monkey Walk
Do not speak loudly when walking the trails
Do not walk off the fixed tourist trail
Do not stop at one place for more than 15 minutes
Please do not leave any garbage behind and most certainly do not feed the animals.

Facilities at the Reserve:
Visitor reception
First stop at the Forestry Station which you pass through on the way to the site. Here ask for any of the eco-tourism staff who will explain more about the project and help you plan an itinerary to suit your needs.

The campsite is located in a shady forest glade in the heart of the forest reserve. From the forestry station you follow the murram track for 5 ½ km, bearing right after some eucalyptus plantations. You eventually reach a forest clearing and will see the rusting remains of old sawmill machinery. Park in the clearing on the left and through the trees you will find a semi-open area that provides an idyllic camp ground.

Pit latrines and a simple wash shelter housing solar powered showers have been provided on site.

Campers need to be self sufficient. Water and firewood may be organised at the Forestry station and basic supplies can be purchased at Butare Trading Centre 9 km from the campsite on the Mbarara to Kasese highway.

Other accommodation
Visitor not wishing to camp can stay at the Homeland Hotel 10 km away from Ishaka. Contact: Homeland Hotel, P.O. Box 290, Bushenyi. Tel: (0)485 42226.

Activities in the forest
The Forest Trails
Four fabulous forest trails have been developed at Kalinzu offering visitors a range of exciting options. All the trails involve some clambering over hilly terrain so visitors should be advised by the local guides on the suitability of each trail for each age and ability.

The River Trail
This short 2 ½ km circular trail takes approximately 1 hour. The major feature along this walk is the River Kajojo or ‘elephant river’ so called because elephants used to bathe here. The trail goes past some fine specimens of ‘Parinari excelsa’ the climax tree in the forest and a huge strangler figure. Visitors will see signs of the nine forest primate species including chimpanzee nests high in the tree tops.

The Palm Trail
A 5 km circular trail taking between 1 ½ - 2 hours over relatively flat terrain. Visitors will discover some fascinating forest trees along this trail including the ‘Flame tree’ with its large, red, tulip-like flames which supposedly activates sexual desire in women, ‘Raphia Palms’ used for making local mats, a spectacular ‘Dragon tree’.

The Valley Trail
This 3 ½ km circular trail takes approximately 2 hours and offers spectacular views over valley. Visitors will trek along a ridge and past a number of interesting forest features. A forest favourite is the ‘Mutragyne rubrostipuleta’ or ‘viagra’ tree.

The Waterfall Trail
An 11 km loop trail taking between 4 and 5 hours over some hilly and ,in parts, wet terrain. This trail leads to a magnificent waterfall ‘kilyantama’ locally known as ‘the sheep eater’. Visitors will discover the tree that "baboons cannot climb" and barkcloth figs which are used in the craft industry to make beautifully decorated table cloths, curtains, handbags and ceremonial clothes.

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