Overview – Budongo

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert and frequently visits Uganda. She and her husband are a travel photography/writing team with many Africa guidebooks under their belt, including the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Ariadne and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda

Budongo Forest is home to two ecotourism sites: Kaniyo Pabidi and Busingiro. Kaniyo Pabidi is en route to Murchison Falls and offers excellent chimpanzee trekking. Busingiro is home to the Royal Mile, one of the top bird-watching tracks in the country. The forest is also a good place to see other primates including black-and-white colobus and red-tailed monkey. Birds and butterflies are abundant.

Best Time to Go Dec to March and June to July (Easy chimp trekking)
High Season June to September (Peak time for Uganda)
Size 790km² / 305mi²
Altitude 728-1,145m / 2,388-3,757ft

Pros and Cons

  • Chimpanzee trekking and full day habituation experience available
  • Accommodation available at Kaniyo Pabidi or nearby Murchison Falls NP
  • Lower fees for chimp trekking than in the more popular Kibale NP
  • Excellent birding available
  • Pristine forest
  • Busingiro is remote and has no accommodation facilities or activities available

Budongo Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Many primate species are easily encountered. Aside from chimpanzees, red-tailed monkey, blue monkey, black-and-white colobus and olive baboon can be seen. Nocturnal creatures include potto and several galago species. Also of interest are the high number of birds and butterflies recorded. Herds of buffalo and elephant also visit the park from neighboring savannah reserve, Murchison Falls. Although you might see their tracks, they are seldom encountered.

Scenery

This pristine forest reserve has an amazing number (465 in total) of plant species recorded. Most notable are the impressive giant mahogany trees up to 60m high. Other beautiful trees to look out for are the spiky Fagara trees, parasitic strangler figs and iron wood trees. The latter is regularly used by chimpanzees for communication by drumming on their trunks.

Weather & Climate

Throughout the year, maximum daytime temperatures in Budongo Forest hover around 31°C/88°F, thanks to its position near the equator. In the Wet season (March to October), the rain eases off a bit during June and July. The precipitation practically disappears in the Dry season (November to February), providing a welcome break from the tropical humidity.

Best Time to Visit

The wildlife watching is good in Budongo year-round. However, it is at its best in the Dry season (November to February), and in the middle of the year when the Wet season rains temporarily lighten (June and July). The drier tracks at these times make chimpanzee trekking and birding that much easier.

Want to Visit Budongo?

Budongo Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
to habituated chimpanzees, this is an excellent Murchison Falls add-on
2/5

Though the Budongo Forest is rarely a destination on its own, it makes an excellent add-on to Murchison Falls National Park. You probably won’t see any safari species on a forest walk here; rather people come for the troop of habituated...

Latest User Review
5/5

There is so much to see and learn about the local vegetation. Plenty of chimpanzees and all sorts of monkeys to marvel over.