Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve is located in Western Uganda and covers an area of 392 Km2 and situated South of Lake George and Kazinga channel in the Albertine Rift eco-region, characterized by a high number of endemic bird species. The core landscape surrounding the primary conservation area of Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve covers approximately 870 km2. Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve is one of Uganda’s few remaining medium altitude moist forests. It was designated as a forest reserve in 1932 covering Kasyoha (77 Km2) and Kitomi (90 Km2) and regazzeted later as Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve in 1948. Lately, the Lubare ridge in the South and Kakasi in the North, were added to the Reserve in 1996 and 1997 respectively.
The forest management is under the jurisdiction of the Districts of Bushenyi, Ibanda and Kamwenge. The forest borders Kanyambogo to the North, Kalinzu / Maramagambo Forest Reserves to the South-east, Kyamuhanga tea estate/Bitoma and Ndangaro parishes to the South, Rwanjere to the East and Kyambura Wildlife Reserve and Queen Elizabeth National Park to the west. The area covering Mwongyera and Butoma parishes acts as a biodiversity corridor connecting the Wildlife Reserve and the National Park with the Forest. There are exoduses of animals from the Park to the Forest and vice versa. The area also borders with the Kazinga channel to the west which connects Lake Albert and Lake George. The lakes function as a source of river Kyambula which traverses the whole Forest Reserve.
Kasyoha-Kitomi provides ecological services for Lake George which has the most fisheries in the country. It lies within the Albertine Rift with the altitude ranging from 975 – 2136 m above sea level. Most of the Forest is found along the valleys of the Western ranges. The rainfall is bimodal with quantity of 1250 – 1400mm per year. It has a minimum temperature ranges of 13 – 15oC and maximum temperatures ranges of 25 – 26oC. It lies within the Albertine Rift eco-region characterised by a high number of endemic species
The current number of bird species recorded from Kasyoha-Kitomi stands at 308 species and over 276 species of birds has been reported from this Forest Reserve of which the White-napped Pigeon (Columbia albinucha) and Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) are considered globally Near-threatened. Kasyoha-Kitomi has one confirmed Albertine Rift endemic species (Blue-headed Sunbird). The other biome restricted species include Afep Pigeon, Black Bee-eater, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-throated Roller, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, White-collared Olive-back, Cinnamon-breasted Bee-eater, Shelley’s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat and Mountain Illadopsis among others.
Apart fron the bird species in the forest, Kasyoha-Kitomi exhibit a diversity of wildlife, including one threatened species including elephants, chimpanzee and L’hoest’s monkey. The small mammals recorded in Kasyoha-Kitomi include three uncommon forest dependent shrews – Northern Swamp Musk Shrew, Eastern Musk Shrew and Hero Shrew. The Albertine endemic, Woosnam’s Brush-furred Rat is also found here.
Kasyoha-Kitomi Central Forest Reserve is 433 sq. km. Attractions in the reserve include Primates such as Chimpazees, Blue Monkeys, Red – Tailed Monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys and Baboons, spectacular Crater Lakes, Transparent Lakes, and small mammals, waterfalls, Deep Gorges, Birdlife, Butterflies and Moths, Reptiles and Flowers.
Activities in Kashoha-Kitomi Reserve:
There are a number of activities that you can participate in in the reserve including Forest Walks, Canoeing, Bird Watching, Sightseeing, Conservation Education, Camping and Community Walks. A three – hour Walking Trail has been developed from the Camping Site at Magambo to the transparent Lake Kamunzuku.
Accommodation in Kashoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve:
There is no much of accommodation options available. There is a Camping Site at Magambo Parish Headquarters overlooking the amazing Twin Lakes. Please bring your own Tents and Camping Gear. A four – wheel drive vehicle is a must. More accommodation options are available in Queen Elizabeth National Park where you can have a wide choice of accommodation options.