Mpanga Forest: For The Love Of Nature
Mpanga forest stretches to 45 sq. km and it lies near the small town of Mpigi, roughly 36 km from Kampala along the Masaka road, makes for wonderful countryside substitute to remaining in the capital. The reserve shields a broad cover of medium elevation rainforest, remnant feature of the vegetation that once stretched over much of the northern Lake Victoria hinterland but has largely been cleared over the past century because of Mans influence.
Mpanga forest reserve is by no means an ordinary site gazetted in the 1950s – it has a network of foot paths formerly mad and used by researchers before they were opened to public. In relation to other safari sites in Uganda, Mpanga has a less varied fauna but there is still quite to encounter and its accessibility and proximity to Kampala provide more than enough justification to visit it on Your nexy safari.
The common mammal is the red tailed monkey, though bush buck, flying squirrels and bush pig also exist. 180 bird species have been identified in this Uganda birding safari area including; black and white casqued hornbill, Blue-breasted king fisher, African pied horn bill, great blue turaco and African grey parrot. Uganda’s endemics also exist including; spotted greenbul, blue kingfisher, Uganda woodland warbler, Frazer’s ant-thrush, , green crombec, grey – green bush shrike, pink footed puff back and Weyn’s weaver.
Butterflies are also among the offers on safari. With the establishment of an ecotourism site in 1999, forest walks and accommodation are arranged. The walks on this Uganda eco-safari run through 3 km Base line trail that head to the west through the forest crossing two streams before it emerges at Nakyetema swamp, where sitatunga and shoe bill are resident though hardly seen, 5km Hornbill loop covering more undulating terrain and involves crossing several streams along minor footpaths, passing a striking tree root arch along the way, I km Butterfly trail for 1 hour trek for seeing monkeys and common forest birds as well as myriad of butterflies.
More to forest walks, guided visits can also be arranged to two important Kiganda shrines that is Nakibinge shrine dedicated to the 16th century king, the Kibuuka shrine near Mpigi dedicated to the god of war who hailed from Ssese islands. At the extreme of the jungle, a hill with flat top in the south of the main road is ideal for hiking while on this safari.