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Kaniyo Pabidi forest

Kaniyo Pabidi forest is one of the remaining mahogany forests in East Africa and is part of the Murchison falls park and a habitat of wildlife species

Kaniyo Pabidi forest

Kaniyo Pabidi forest is one of the remaining mahogany forests in East Africa and it’s found in the northwestern part of Uganda. Kaniyo Pabidi forest is part of the Murchison falls national park the country’s biggest national park and is found just 8km from Kichumbanyobo gate.

Kaniyo Pabidi forest is a habitat of so many wildlife species of Murchison falls national park with the famous being primates. The forest is a habit to over 120 chimpanzees and other primates like the red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys and bleu monkeys to mention but a few.

The chimpanzees in Kaniyo Papidi forest have not been habituated and therefore there is no chimpanzee trekking as an activity in this area. Tourists that want to trek chimpanzees will have to visit Budongo forest which is in the southwest of Kaniyo Pabidi. Tourists will always meet the chimpanzees during nature walks and birding activities.

Kaniyo Pabidi forest is also home to a few mammal species and these include forest elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, waterbucks, topis, duikers, Uganda kobs, bushbucks, giant forest hogs, warthogs, and hyenas among others. There are no game drives in this forest to see these mammals but tourists can always see them during nature walks.

Kaniyo Pabidi forest is one of the habitats for birds in Murchison falls national park with over 360 bird species that have been recorded in this forest. Bird watching is possibly the main activity done in Kaniyo Pabidi forest and it’s done in form of nature walks guided by armed ranger guides.

The mahogany forest harbors birds such as veracious dove, white-rumped seedeater, long-tailed nightjar, bar-breasted firefinch, standard-winged nightjar, red-throated bee-eater, northern spotted morning thrush, Vaseline masked weaver, blue napped moosebird, northern shoveler, secretary bird, and denhams’s bustard.

Other bird species living in this forest include chestnut-crowned sparrow weaver, speckle-fronted weaver, black crake, white-fronted black chat, spur-winger geese, black-billed barbet, African darter, Abyssinian ground hornbill, martial eagle, whistling cisticola, yellow-billed stork, rock pratincole, abdmin’s stork, double toothed barbet, white-faced whistling duck, osprey, and dark chanting goshawk.

More notable bird species in the forest include hugli’s francolin, African shrike flycatcher, black-lored babbler, chocolate-backed kingfisher, spotted thick-knee, lemon-bellied crombec sulfur-breasted bush shrike, Senegal thick-knee, black-faced waxbill, black-headed plover, giant kingfisher, long-toed plover, African jacana, black pilled wood dove, and grey crowned crane to mention but a few.

Accessing Kaniyo Pabidi forest

Kaniyo Pabidi forest is located in northwestern Uganda in Masindi district and it can be accessed by both air transport and road transport. Air transport is the quickest way to access this forest is by flying from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Bugugu airstrip which is the nearest to the forest and this takes 1 hour.

Tourists can use road transport to the park by driving from Kampala through Luwero, Nakasongola, to Masindi, and access the forest using Kichumbanyobo gate. The journey takes 4-6 hours of great views of the surrounding areas such as Karuma falls and tourists are able to take a visit to Ziwa rhino sanctuary which is the only home of rhinos.

Best time to visit Kaniyo Pabidi forest

Kaniyo Pabidi forest can be visited at any time of the year however there are periods better than the rest. The dry months are the best to visit this forest and these happen from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall which makes the trekking trails dry, the vegetation inside the forest is short and thin and the roads leading to the park are passable.

Tourists especially budget travelers can visit the forest during the rainy season if they want discounted lodges and tour packages because everything is at a discount. The rainy season happens from March to May and October to November and it’s characterized by too much rainfall which makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the forest animals.

Where to stay on a visit to Kaniyo Pabidi forest

Tourists visiting Kaniyo Pabidi forest and would love to spend a night or more don’t worry about where they will there because there are several accommodation facilities available. The forest has camping sites where tourists can stay protected by armed ranger guides but there are also accommodation facilities of Murchison falls where they can stay in the southern sector of the park e.g., Shoebill Campsite, Boomu Women’s Camp, Nile Safari Lodge, and Bakers Lodge, Kabalega Wilderness lodge among others.

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