Are you interested in watching forest wildlife and bird species, then at the Rabongo and Kaniyo-Pabidi Forests, you are at the right place. Kaniyo-Pabidi Forest stretches through an extensive area of about 8 square kilometers within the center of Kichumbayobo Park entrance (of Murchison Falls National Park-the largest and oldest National Park in Uganda. This tract of forest offers tourists with the chance to meet face to face with the fascinating Chimpanzees besides the other riveting primate species which call the forest comprised of mainly Mahogany and Ironwood trees home. The Chimpanzees can be tracked from the Kaniyo-Pabidi Forest site and is currently under the Jane Goodall Institute.
Kaniyo-Pabidi Forest is also haven to plentiful forest bird species that include the Rufous-sided broadbill, Zoothers camaronensis, Little green sunbird, the Grey-headed sunbird, White spotted flufftail, Yellow-footed flycatcher, Sabine’s Spine tail, the exceptional Ituri batis, the White-thighed hornbill, Blue-breasted Kingfishers, the Pygmy Crakes, the Green-breasted Pitta, Spotted greenbul, Woodhouse’s antpecker, Cassin hawk eagle, the Dwarf Kingfishers, the Yellow-crested woodpecker, Brown twin spot, Chocolate-backed kingfishers, the Cassin’s Spinetail, Crowned Eagle, the Cameroon Somber, Lemon-bellied Crombec, the Puvel’s Illadopsis (only found within this Forest and no other place in the whole of East Africa) in addition to the Piping hornbill among others.
Rabongo Forest on the other hand is surrounded by savannah plains, sits as an Island covering only 4 square kilometers dominated by Tropical Riverine forest with a vast land of incredible savannah grasslands in the South-eastern side of the Conservation Area. This small Forest is just one and a half hour’s drive from the Luxury Paraa Safari Lodge. This luxuriant Forest can be explored on both foot and be vehicle and offers tourists with the golden opportunity to venture into the forest in search of the impressive occasional Chimpanzees-close relative to human kind sharing 98.7% of DNA. Besides the chimpanzees that are the stars of the show, other primate species can be sighted and they include the Olive baboons, the Red Colobus monkeys, the Red-tailed monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabeys, Vervet monkeys, Black and white Colobus monkeys in additions to the Patas monkeys. Other mammal species sheltered within the Forest include Forest Elephants, Leopards, Warthogs, Cape Buffaloes and duikers among others. Rabongo Forest is a perfect bird watcher’s paradise because it is a home of breathtaking endangered bird species, There are also several other attractions worth exploring within Rabongo Forest and they include the stunning butterfly species in addition to the riveting tree and plant species with some of the them being of medicinal significance. Some of the activities that are worth trying within these two forests are Chimpanzee tracking, relaxation, nature walks/hiking, bird watching, camping and sightseeing among others.
Instead of longer safaris, you can choose to visit the forests for picnics and camp that will bring you closer to nature. Camping around the shores of the striking River Wairingo will provide you will spectacular views of the river and the surrounding areas. The two forests (Kaniyo-Pabidi and Rabongo) are also perfect destinations for students (school or educational tours) among others.
How to Reach Rabongo and Kaniyo – Pabidi Forests
These Forests are found South of Paraa and can be reached en-route via Masindi. The most commonly used route is Kampala-Masindi to the Kichumbayobo Park entrance. Visiting the Forests is one of the best decisions a tourist can make while on a Safari in Uganda
In conclusion, Rabongo and Kaniyo-Pabidi Forests are must-visit destinations for tourists interested in Chimpanzee tracking that allows them to meet face to face with the primates that share 98.7% of their DNA with humans.