A Captivating Chimpanzee Trekking Experience

Uganda’s Bugoma Forest Reserve Under Threat: Urgent Call for Protection

Uganda stands proudly as one of Africa’s prime destinations for trekking chimpanzees, our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. With the highest population of chimpanzees on the continent, Uganda offers a unique opportunity to witness these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. Sharing an astonishing 98.7% of DNA with humans, chimpanzees display remarkable similarities in their social behaviors and responsibilities, setting them apart from other primates.

Nestled within the Kaniyo Pabidi segment of Murchison Falls National Park lies the enchanting Budongo Forest, a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Renowned for its captivating chimpanzee trekking experiences, Budongo Forest boasts the largest population of these remarkable primates in Uganda. However, it is essential to note that only a select few chimpanzees have been habituated for tourism purposes, ensuring minimal disruption to their natural habitat.

The Rich Biodiversity of Budongo Forest

Spanning across vast expanses, Budongo Forest stands as Uganda’s largest mahogany forest, a testament to its rich ecological diversity. Within its verdant embrace thrive an impressive array of flora and fauna, with a staggering 465 tree species adorning its canopy. Beyond its towering mahogany trees, Budongo Forest is a sanctuary to over 24 mammal species, offering glimpses into the lives of Uganda’s diverse wildlife.

The Bugoma Forest Reserve in Uganda, home to around 500 chimpanzees, faces a grave threat. A company has started cutting down trees in this protected area to make space for a sugar plantation. People who care about conservation and local residents are working hard to stop this destruction. It’s crucial to urge the Ugandan government to intervene and ensure that such valuable land doesn’t fall into the hands of questionable investors.

The Danger to Bugoma Forest Reserve: A Call to Action

Bugoma Forest Reserve, a vital habitat for 500 chimpanzees, is in peril. A company’s actions to clear trees for a sugar plantation pose a significant threat to this protected area. Conservationists and local communities are rallying to halt this destruction. It’s imperative to urge the Ugandan government to safeguard this precious land from being unlawfully exploited by investors.

The Decline of Uganda’s Forests: A Looming Crisis

Uganda, once hailed as the “Pearl of Africa,” faces a profound environmental crisis. Over the past few decades, the country has witnessed a drastic decline in its forest cover. Twenty-five years ago, half of Uganda was blanketed by forests; today, that figure has dwindled to a mere eleven percent. Environmentalists warn that at this rate, Uganda’s forests could vanish entirely within the next decade, taking with them the habitat of the country’s remaining 5,000 chimpanzees.

Deforestation Threatens Protected Areas

Even places meant to be protected from harm, like forests set aside as reserves, aren’t always safe from destruction. Sometimes, companies cut down trees in these areas to make room for things like oil palm or sugar plantations. For instance, back in August 2016, the Bunyoro Kingdom decided to lease out 8,000 hectares of land in the Bugoma Forest Reserve. They gave this land to Hoima Sugar Limited for a really long time—99 years! This decision could mean that about one fifth of the protected forest might get destroyed. The kingdom got permission to use this land from the government just days before.

Right after that, workers started to cut a long path into the forest. They made a trail that was several kilometers long. A newspaper wrote about it, saying that journalists who tried to take pictures of the cutting were in danger. The workers had machetes, bows, and arrows, and they threatened the journalists. The forest supervisor, Robert Busiku, said the workers knew they were doing something wrong, so they were ready to hurt anyone who tried to stop them.

Some good news came when the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) took legal action. They fought to cancel the deal with Hoima Sugar. But even with that victory, the forest isn’t completely safe. Joan Akiiza from NAPE says that the people living near the forest need help to make sure it stays safe. The forest is really important to their lives, and they want to keep it for their kids and grandkids


In conclusion, Budongo Forest emerges as a treasure trove of natural wonders, offering a myriad of experiences for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. From exhilarating chimpanzee trekking expeditions to serene nature walks, the forest beckons visitors to immerse themselves in its splendor. As we reflect on the majesty of Budongo Forest, let us embrace our role as stewards of this precious ecosystem, ensuring its protection for generations to come.