Katonga Wildlife Reserve
Katonga wildlife reserve is located in the districts of Ibanda and Kamwenge in the western Uganda along the banks of River Katonga. It covers an area of about 211sq km. It is about 200kms which is just about 4-41/2 hour’s drive from Kampala up to the reserve. The wildlife reserve was established in 1998 and is a recent addition to Uganda’s list of protected wildlife areas. The reserve can best explored by canoe or by foot, it is a home to over 40 species of mammals and over 150 species of birds are recorded in the area. Many of these species of animals, birds and plants in the reserve are rare to the reserve’s wetland environment. Some of the possible mammals to be viewed include water bucks, reed duck, River otter elephants, the Uganda Kob, warthogs various species of primates such as olive baboons, and colobus monkeys among others and the reserve is considered one of the places to view the secretive Sitatunga Antelope in the East and central Africa.
The reserve provide an opportunity to visitors to come a cross several mammal species. It is a home to over 40 species of mammal and the common seen species include elephants, waterbucks, warthogs, Uganda kobs, olive baboons to mention among others.
Guided walks can also be arranged within the park and there 3 guided half day trails. The first one is the Kyeibale trail which takes you through an area with tall rock formations as well as forested caves and valley, the Sitatunga trail takes you through the grassland and wetland and this trail offers you an opportunity to come across the rare sitatunga Antelopes and it’s from which the name suggests. The third trail is the Kisharara trails which takes you through main habitats within the park comprising of grassland, savanna and swamp fringes and is a good trail for seeing Sitanunga antelopes and other species of mammals such as a troop of black and white colobus monkeys and birds. This activity is so rewarding.
Canoe trips offer visitors a chance to view various species of mammals and birds such as water and papyrus associated birds, the river otters and the sitatunga antelopes, it also provide a good opportunity to see Kingfishers and storks like shoebill stork. The canoe trial is a two kilometers ride through the reed and papyrus swamp guided by a local boat operator
Visits to the local people
Arrangements can also be made for those who are interested in learning more about Ugandan people and there way of life. The surrounding people known as the Banyakole people who keep large herds of impressively long horned cattle known as Ankole. So a visit to the Banyakole homestead is regarded as a breathtaking activity, entertainments can also be arranged to the visitors to enjoy.
In the reserve you can only camp. And other basic accommodation is available at Katonga View Hotel and lodges which can be accessed at Kabagore just about 2km from the reserve Headquarters.