The Katonga game reserve is another exciting tourist attraction center in Uganda found in the western part of Uganda in the district / province of Mbarara. This game reserve features unique wild life species with the sitatunga antelopes inclusive. It’s made of the acacia scrubland savannah and woodlands savannah vegetation, swamps as well as riverine and tropical forests. In its neighborhood are the Banyankole tribes who rare the Long horned cattle – Ankole on which their lives depend.
The Katonga forest Reserve is about a 4 hours’ drive from Kampala via the Kampala- Mubende – Fort portal route. Sometimes the Kaso – Mbarara route may be used though it’s quite a further passage than the Kampala – Mubende road. The Kaso – Mbarara road goes through a small town Ibanda of Mbararat the Kabagole junction.
The Katonga forest game reserve, is an exciting tourist center to visit as it is a home to quite another of unique wildlife features like the; Sitatunga antelopes, Reedbuck, Defassa Waterbuck, Warthog and Bushbuck, Black and White Colobus monkeys , elephants and a lot of bird life. Viewing the sitatungas is an overwhelming experience and this is best enjoyed in the early mornings to catch these magnificent sun risers. It’s done in groups of 3 persons to avoid disturbance as the statunga antelopes are very shy animals and you should wear clothes that comflage with the bush.
Wildlife viewing in Katonga game reserve can be enjoyed around any of its trails like Kyeibale and Kisharara- the wetland canals in East Africa trough the papyrus and reed swamps along the Katonga river.
Despite it’s great value in the tourism industry, the Katonga game reserve still faces high risks of destruction due to the increasing demanding needs of the local communities, high poaching rates and human encroachment on the game area.