Welcome to Kalinzu Forest resource guide featuring information about the rain forest that hosts the Chimpanzees and other primates in Uganda, How to Get there, Things to do , Where to stay and the cost for Chimpanzee tracking.
Location of Kalinzu
Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve is found in southwestern Uganda in the district of Bushenyi. The forest reserve is close to Maramagambo forest and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kalinzu forest reserve has abundant wildlife. Over 379 species of birds exist in the forest.
Primates in Kalinzu Forest
There are six species of primates which include chimpanzees, baboons, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, Vervet monkeys, black and white Colobus monkeys. The forest also has night creatures like bush babies, Pottos and Galagos. Those interested in butterflies can expect to spot over 261 species. The forest reserve has 414 species of trees, 98 of moths, flowers and reptiles. The close proximity to two major wildlife conservation areas as earlier noted helps draw large mammals like Lions, wild pigs, antelopes, leopards and buffaloes to the forest from time to time.
Chimpanzees in Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve are the key attraction on Kalinzu Forest. Chimps are currently only found in 21 African countries (from 25). Researchers and conservationists believe that in 10 years’ time, Chimpanzees will become extinct in 10 more countries. Although 5,000 or so chimps can be found in Uganda, 90% of the chimpanzee population has been lost in the last 80 years.
Chimpanzees are fascinating because they look and behave like we humans. In fact, they share at least 98% of their DNA with us. Chimps give birth after every 5 years and take care of their young ones until they are about 12 years old. They live in large communities each with a different culture. Chimps are very intelligent and are known to use a variety of tools and tricks to hunt insects, smaller primates and antelopes. Unlike gorillas, chimp communities are always evolving with female adolescents in particular living the group to join others.
The greatest threat to chimpanzees in Africa is loss of habitat through deforestation. Chimpanzees are also hunted for their meat among tribes in the Congo or sold as pets to illegal animal collectors. Uganda has lost thousands of chimps in the last century because of snares and other traps set up for other animals like antelopes and sadly the chimps end up falling in them.
Conservation of Primates.
The government has taken action and declared killing of chimps illegal and has partnered with wildlife conservation Agencies like the Chimpanzee sanctuary in Ngamba Island to protect the chimps. Strict measures are in place in all major national parks and forest reserves like Budongo to protect the primates and the law will be applied on anyone caught killing a chimpanzee.