Kaniyo pabidi forest is a significant area in the tourism industry of Uganda known for its bird life which supports birding safaris in Murchison falls national park. This forest is located north east of the major natural forest in Uganda; Budongo forest. The forest is managed by Jane goodall institute of research. It is located just in 8km distance from kichumbanyobo gate of murchison falls national park, which is a 30 minutes’ drive. From masindi town, kaniyo pabidi forest is situated in an area of about 112km from masindi town.
Kaniyo pabidi forest, same as budongo forest, it is characterised with huge mahogany trees and ironwood trees which the inhabitants, chimpanzees, of the forest use as play area. This forest is known for chimpanzee tracking safaris in Murchison falls national park. The chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national park is supplemented with the other primate species in kaniyo pabidi like the black and white monkeys, the olive baboons, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and nocturnal primates like the pottos among others.
The lifestyle of the primates in the forest is majorly supported by the vegetation in the area. Kaniyo pabidi forest is dominated with the swan-forest mixed trees, cynometra mixed and cynometra mid altitude semi- deciduous cymetra- celtis forest, almost occupies the whole kaniyo pabidi forest. The other part is filled with the combretum savannah which is also extensive in the drier region of kaniyo pabidi forest. The monkey’s love swinging in the tree branches of the tall mahogany trees; the primates also pick fruits the trees during the ripping season. However, the forest is patched with sections of savannah grassland and savannah woodland. The savannah area is a home of herbivores like the antelopes, buffaloes, water bucks, bush bucks, duikers and hippos along the banks of wainsoke stream.
Birding in this forest is at its best, this is because of the abundance of bird life in the area. It has over 360 bird species some of which are endemic to only kaniyo pabidi forest and perhaps budongo forest as well. The forest has two main species of endemic birds including the yellow-footed fly catcher and puvelie illadopsis, other bird species include zoothers, camarones, ceratogymna fistulator, neatrapus cassini, ratis iturinis, white thighed hornbill, the white spotted flufftail, yellow and grey long bill, little green sunbird, western black headed pride and the forest robin et cetera.
The best time to visit kaniyo pabidi forest is the dry season in the month of December to February, despite, kaniyo pabidi ecological site is open all year around. The dry season is favourable because the trucks are dry and the forest is not slippery and passable. However, the wet season, that is, march to May and august to November, is also good for bird viewing and nature walks.
You can visit kaniyo pabidi forest any time of the year, however, be mindful of the weather and the ragged terrain during the wet season, therefore, you might require to carry a raincoat, rubber boots, in order to be on a safe side during the wet season.
How to get to kaniyo pabidi forest
Kaniyo pabidi is 220 km distance from Kampala capital city through masindi route to Murchison falls national park. From masindi to kaniyo pabidi it is 29km, all together the actual total distance is 249 km from kampala straight to kaniyo pabidi through masindi town. However, it is a murrum road from masindi to paraa side of Murchison falls national park. The main access gate for kaniyo pabidi forest is kichumbanyobo gate, however, you can also reach the forest through the other gates like bugungu still in the south, and, tangi gate and wankwar gate in the northern part of Murchison falls national park. To note, from the northern side of Murchison falls national park; you can access kaniyo pabidi by ferry crossing the River Nile.