Echuya Forest Reserve
Located at the intersection of the Kisoro and Rubanda (formerly Kabale) districts, the Echuya Forest Reserve is a sanctuary for different plants and birds. The forest is considered an Important Birding Area (IBA) by BirdLife International. The Echuya swamp is a habitat for the globally threatened bird species – Grauer’s Swamp Warbler. The 34 square kilometre forest is also an important resource for the neighboring communities, especially the Batwa. The Echuya forest serves as a water catchment area, and local people often harvest bamboo and other resources from the reserve. The forest is now being promoted as a tourist destination, and Bamboo Ecotours offers Birding Day Tours to the reserve. The major bird sighting in addition to the Grauer’s Swamp Warbler is Rwenzori Turaco, blue-headed sunbird, Kivu grand-thrush, and Archer’s Robin-chat.
How to get to Echuya Forest Reserve
If traveling from Kampala, the Echuya forest reserve is accessible via the Kabale-Kisoro road. The drive from Kampala to Echuya forest reserve takes about 8hrs. However, the Echuya forest reserve is very close to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, one of the best destinations for gorilla trekking safaris in Africa. Lake Bunyonyi, one of the top tourist destinations in southwestern Uganda, is also in proximity to the Echuya forest reserve. The drive time between the Echuya forest reserve and Kigali, Rwanda, is approximately 4-5hrs.
Accommodation at Echuya Forest Reserve
Echuya forest reserve has no accommodation facilities. If planning to visit the Echuya forest, plan to stay in the nearby Kisoro town, Lake Mutanda, Lake Bunyonyi, Kabale town, and the Rushaga area of Bwindi National Park.