Kalinzu forest reserve is situated in Bushenyi district of western Uganda, the forest is perched on top of the great Albertine rift valley escarpment covering an area of around 147 kilometers squared. Kalinzu forest is one of the most visited areas for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.
The Kalinzu forest has got different well established forest trails where tourists can take walks on and every trail offers great exploring opportunities some of the trails are;
The water fall trail that leads t a magnificent water fall called Kilyantama to mean “sheep eater” in the local language. The trail passes through the bark clothe fig trees d the tree Chimpanzees can not climb. Hiking on this trail takes about 4-5 hours.
The river trail also offers striking views of river Kajojo also known as Elephants River. It’s known as Elephant River because elephants used to play in this river, in this trail tourists can see chimpanzees nest on top of trees.
The valley trail is also unique offering a lot in the way and good for sight seeing it covers about 2 and half kilometers which take about an hour to trail.
The palm trail takes tourists through rhapia palms tress used for making local mats, this tree also passes via a dragon tree and a flame tree believed by the locals to arouse sexual desire in women.
Kalinzu forest is very rich in bio diversity with dramatic forest canopy with glorious different types of flowers that will offer you a thrilling experience the Kalinzu forest boasts with over 400 species of trees and six diurnal species, 263 species of butterflies, over 300 species of birds and 90 species of moth.
Kalinzu forest offers a chimpanzee trekking experience that can only be done within the Virunga massif area in the world, there are also other primates that can be seen like different types of monkeys like L’Hoest guenon, colobus monkeys, baboons, vervet monkeys and the night forest walk expose you to nocturnal animals like galago and potto, listen to the hyrax tree.
The Kalinzu forest is also a birders destination with over 300 species of birds to be seen like owls, great blue turaco, casqued hornbill, sun bird and black casket to mention a few.
Nature guide walks can be taken while at Kalinzu forest to the rift valley escarpments and valleys and have sightseeing of the forests Flora and fauna. The forest lies on an altitude of about 1,400 meters above sea level.
The Kalinzu forest is rich with local legends, tourists can visit the people and listen to different folk lore stories from a local guide and also learn about how people live in this communities, tourists can also acquire some hand made crafts to take back home for remembrance or to their loved ones.
Kalinzu forest can be reached from the Ishaka sector of Queen Elizabeth national park via Mbarara-Kasese highway. It’s approximately 10 kilometers off the main road and about 40 kilometers from Queen Elizabeth national park.
Kalinzu forest has got limited accommodation but tourists can camp at the public campsite which is not far from the forests headquarters with basic camping facilities. Other accommodation units like Homeland hotel can be found outside the reserve in Ishaka.