It is known for its former abundance of East African mahogany trees as well as being home to a population of chimpanzees.
An exceptionally large mahogany tree is still found here, and is more than 80 meters tall and some 20 meters in circumference.
Budongo forest is reached from kichimbanyobo gate. A one and a half hour drive over a 30km distance from masindi town.
The area, situated between 1° 37 N – 2° 03 N and 31° 22 – 31° 46 E, is 435 km² in extent and is composed mainly of moist, medium-altitude, semi-deciduous forest, with patches of savanna and woodland.
It covers a gently rolling landscape, sloping down to the East African Rift. Four streams, Waisoke, Sonso, Kamirambwa and Siba, drain the forest and flow into Lake Albert.
Annual rainfall in the area is between 1200 and 2200 mm, the rainy season being from March – May and again from September – November, the dry season being December – February.
Much of the land around the forest is given over to crops, dwellings and villages, placing continuous pressure on the forest margins, and leading to exploitation for building materials and bushmeat, the snares set by poachers causing mutilation of the chimpanzees and other animals.
The mahogany trees that still remain are cut and removed by itinerant pit sawyers.
Recorded from Budongo are more than 360 bird species, some 290 butterflies, 130 moths, 465 trees, and 24 mammals, of which 9 are primates.
Chimpanzee tracking has become an activity popular with Eco-tourists, necessitating behavioral guidelines for visitors in order to avoid undue disturbance of both animals and the forest.
Trails have been cut criss-crossing the forest, initially to ease access for research workers and since then used by Eco-tourists, forest animals and poachers.
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