This forest is found in Bushenyi district in Western Uganda. The forest is well known for 414 species of tree and shrubs for example the stroboia, parirari ficus, prunus and Africana among others . Bird species include ; 378 species of birds like cuckoos, sunbirds, the great blue Turaco , black and white caskets. There are 6 different species of primates that can be recognised in Kalinzu, black and white colobus monkeys, vevet monkeys and thechimpanzees. other species include reptiles, flowers, 262 butterflies and 96 moths. Kalinzu forest reserve occasionally provides refuge of savannah grassland because of its proximity to the Queen Elizabeth National Park species like the Duikers , leopards and wild pigs.
Uganda is endowed with more than 16 species of primates with the stars of the show being Mountain gorillas and Chimpanzees although the latter have always appeared in the shadows of the former. However, Chimpanzees are very interesting creatures to see, the fact that they are mankind’s closest relatives sharing over 98.7% of their DNA with humans.
On top of participating in chimpanzee tracking and the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience, filming of these primates is conducted in different locations, one of which is Kalinzu Forest Reserve.
Kalinzu Forest Reserve is one of the country’s ecotourism sites situated in south-western Uganda within Rubirizi/Bushenyi district and is considered an extension of the popular Maramagambo Forest. Due to its strategic location, you can actually stop-by this destination on your way to Queen Elizabeth National Park. There are over 200 Chimpanzees in this destination, out of which two communities were habituated using funds from the Japanese Government thus are available for tracking and filming. Any tourists interested in filming within this site have to therefore choose from any of the two communities-one features 70 members while the other has about 40 members.
Much as the community can be large (70 members), it is sometimes easy to sight all of these primates at once because of the fact that chimpanzees live in communities (troops) but may breakup into smaller communities of at least 10 members or less during day to reduce on any likely competition for resources (such as food) but get back together in the evenings for nesting.
Chimpanzee filming Permits for Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Due to the fact that Kalinzu Forest is under National Forestry Authority (NFA), all tourists intending to participate chimpanzee filming have to first get permission from the Management of NFA. You can actually use the services of credible tour operators to make it easier to acquire permits and organize logistical support inform of accommodation, transport and location scouting among others.
Unlike other places under the Uganda Wildlife Authority (like Kibale Forest National Park) that are charged highly ($1000 per group per day in addition to a monitoring fee and paying an extra for the Chimpanzee tracking permit), you will need to pay only $100 per person per day (group of 4 crew members) only and nothing more for tourists planning to film from Kalinzu Forest. Therefore, this site is the perfect chimpanzee filming destination for budget travelers.
However just like other destinations, you have to be accredited by Uganda Media House to allow you import your filming equipments in addition to booking for accommodation and transport much as these can be done by a tour operator.
Besides chimpanzee filming, Kalinzu Forest is known for other interesting activities such as nature walks/hiking, chimpanzee tracking, bird watching and game viewing among others.
Accommodation is still informal with only do-it yourself camping site at the forest station at Nkombe.
The forest reserve is situated in Bushenyi district in Western Uganda. From the capital city kampala. It is about 375km a five hours drive. A four wheel drive vehicle is recommended due to Albertine Terrain with old logging and winding roads.
OTHER SERVICES IN KALINZU
Kalinzu forest reserve has got experienced , knowledgeable , local and professional guides who are able to make the visit a thrilling experience.
It has got primates like black and white colobus, vevet monkeys and baboons.