The Bugoma Forest is a protected tropical forest that is situated southwest of Hoima and northeast of Kyenjojo towns, and east of Lake Albert, in the Hoima district of western Uganda. It was gazetted in the 1930s and came under the mandate of the National Forestry Authority in 2003. Its surface area is given as between 41,142 hectares and 65,000 hectares.
Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is 411 km2; comprising a stretch of forest measuring 40 km. Bugoma is the largest remaining block of forest along the Albertine Rift Valley between Murchison Falls national park and the Semliki National Park. Located southwest of Hoima and northeast of Kyenjojo towns, and east of Lake Albert, in the Hoima district.
With extensive lowland forests in western rift escarpment, the tree cover of the forest belt shows a tendency toward mono specific dominance. Early colonizing forest consists of a mixed forest with Alstonia congensis, Trichilia prieuriana, Khaya anthotheca, Celtis mildbraedii, Cynometra alexandri, Lasiodiscus mildbraedii, Celtis spp. and Strychnos mitis, Khaya spp. and Entandrophragma spp. Maesopsis spp, Parinari excelsa, Carapa grandiflora, Craterispermum laurinum, Trichilia prieuriana and Pleiocarpa pycnantha and more…
Bugoma Central Forest Reserve has more than 23 species of mammal, more than 255 species of bird, 289 species of butterfly, 130 species of moths and 260 species of trees. The mammals include Monkeys, Chimpanzees, Buffaloes, Uganda Kobs and at times Elephants. Lake Albert and River Nkusi are also the major attractions. There are also Eco-tourism sites at Busingiro and Kaniyo Pabidi.
Bugoma Forest Reserve is a real biodiversity hots pot that is worth exploring by tourists due to its astonishing diversity of floral and faunal species. This Reserve is a central Conservation Forest which is the 12th top places of importance out of the 65 forests studied for biodiversity. It is also amazingly the 17th among forests with exceptional species.
There are currently over 34 species of mammals including 4 globally threatened mammal species, 9 mammal species listed under IUCN’s Red List within the Bugoma Forest Reserve that include primates such as over 600 estimated chimpanzees, the Grey cheeked mangabeys, the Black and white Colobus monkeys, the Blue monkeys, the Red tailed monkeys and the Vervet monkeys. Other mammals that call the Reserve home include Buffaloes, Bush Elephants, Uganda Kobs, Golden Cats and Side-stripped Jackals among others.
There are also 9 species of reptiles, over 257 tree and shrub species including 7 species that are Albertine Rift endemics, more than 12 species that are globally threatened and 14 tree species listed under IUCN’s Red List. Also, the Forest Reserve is a home to 20 species of Amphibians including one species that is endemic to the Albertine Rift, 118 species of moths, 292 species of butterflies that include 4 species endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountains and over 225 bird species including several Guinea-Congo Biome bird species. Two of the noteworthy globally threatened bird species within the Forest Reserve include the Black-eared ground thrush (also known as Zoothera camaronensis) and Nahan’s francolin (Francolinus nahani)
Lake Albert and River Nkusi cannot miss on the list of important attractions within Bugoma Forest Reserve. However, this Forest reserve is threatened by human encroachment, poaching/hunting, political interference-from greedy politicians, illegal harvesting of local herbs, logging and timber cutting among others. Even the permanent rivers that sued to flow within the Reserve-River Rwemiseke and River Hohwa are now seasonal due to the high rate of deforestation. Currently, the Forest is supplied by water from streams that drain to the Rivers and later to Lake Albert.
This magnificent Forest Reserve is found at 70 kilometres away from Hoima district, and can be accessed using road transport through a dusty road. You will use the H Kampala-Hoima-Fort portal road, then to Kabwoya to access Bugoma via the Kasindi Forest Station.
The Bugoma Forest reserve is one of the most important Forest reserves in Uganda and is a home to over 34 species of mammals including 4 globally threatened mammal species, 9 mammal species listed under IUCN’s Red List, 9 species of reptiles, over 257 tree and shrub species including 7 species that are Albertine Rift endemics, more than 12 species that are globally threatened and 14 tree species listed under IUCN’s Red List among others.