Distance from Kampala: 300 km. Estimated transit time: 4 – 5 hours
Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve occupies an isolated but scenic plains sandwiched between the Bunyoro escarpment and Lake Albert in Western Uganda. Previously the Kaiso Tonya Controlled Hunting Area, the 87 square kilometer Kabwoya wildlife was created in 2002 and is Uganda’s newest wildlife reserve. Its operated by Lake Albert Safari Lodge just on the shores of Lake Albert overlooking the famous blue Mountains.
Kabwoya enjoys a marvellous setting. To crest the rift’s escarpment for the first time and find this little known plain spread out below is a moment that is as memorable as it is unexpected.
Most of Kaiso Tonya’s animals were either wiped out by poachers or dispersed within the lake plain by invading cattle herders. The situation is however improving. Kabwoya has been leased by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to a private tourism/conservation operator who works in partnership with local staff and Hoima District. Cows have been removed from the reserve and game is increasing. Buffalo now graze on the airstrip near Lake Albert Safari Lodge and Hippos have taken up residence along the shore below it. Uganda kob, warthog, duiker and bushbuck are now commonly sighted while on game drives and game walks.
Plans are in progress to re-introduce hartebeest from the nearby Bugungu Wildlife Reserve. Chimps, baboons and black-and-white Colobus monkeys live in the beautiful riverine forests along the Hoywa and Wambabya Rivers.
Birdlife is plentiful with species similar to those found in Murchison Falls NP and Toro-Semliki Game Reserve.
While the game at Kabwoya is not yet plentiful, the area has much to offer. The scenery is fabulous and the game walk offers a unique way to see and smell the savannah grassland habitat.
Kabwoya is the best stopover between Murchison Falls National Park and Kibale Forest National Park.
If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of local Ugandan culture, visits can be arranged to the local community. See traditional costumes and jewelry making. Cultural dancing is available from the Lodge. Locally produced craft items can be purchased from the Lodge, along the road at various craft markets or in Hoima town.
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