Mpanga Forest Reserve is a beautiful natural area located near Mpigi town, about 37 kilometers west of Kampala city, along the Masaka Road in Uganda. The reserve covers an area of approximately 45 square kilometers and was gazetted in 1950. It served as a scientific research site from late 1953.
The forest reserve is a popular weekend getaway spot for visitors who want to escape the hustle and bustle of Kampala city. The reserve is known for its lush greenery, diverse wildlife, and tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can take nature walks through the forest and enjoy the fresh air, beautiful scenery, and the peaceful sound of birds chirping.
The forest is home to over 500 species of plants, including several endangered species such as Prunus africana and Warburgia ugandensis. The reserve also has a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, baboons, antelopes, and over 200 species of birds.
In addition to nature walks, visitors can also participate in bird watching, camping, and picnicking. The reserve has several picnic sites and campsites for visitors to choose from.
Things to do:
- Forest walking. These are conducted by the Mpanga eco –tourism centre to enjoy the breeze plus themagnificent tree scenary. You can walk, jog or run
- Hill climbing – The flat-topped hill situated south of the road offers attractive views over the forest and surrounding valleys
- Shopping Several craft markets are available at Mpambire trading area. Items sold here include; Drums, baskets, mats, local stools
- Walking trails are categorized into three – the 1km butterfly loop popular for seeing monkeys, common forest birds, the family trail and the hornbill trail. All the trails allow visitors to explore diverse flora & fauna of the forest, including the magic plant.
- Night camps can also be arranged for one to watch the bush babies which feed at night.
- Guided tours to Kiganda shrines located 1km from the eco-tourism centre and the Nakibinge
It’s good to know that visitors have the option of both day and overnight trips. For those who are interested in visiting the reserve, it is possible to take minibuses taxis to either Masaka or Mpigi town, which are available at the new Kampala taxi-park. From there, visitors can take a boda-boda to the forest.
For those who are heading to Masaka, it’s helpful to know that the minibuses taxis can drop you off at the Eco-tourism center site post, which is likely to be the most convenient point of entry to the reserve. Overall, it seems like a great opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the forest reserve, and I hope that visitors find this information helpful as they plan their trip.