Are you looking for an authentic place to visit within Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom? Then add the Royal Mile Trail inside Budongo Forest reserve on your itinerary, especially if you are planning to visit Murchison Falls National Park and the Budongo Forest Reserve. The Royal Mile trail is one of the most spectacular trails you shouldn’t miss to explore while on a cultural Safari in Uganda.
It was constructed by one of the Kings of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom for exhilarating nature walks and leisure activities and believe it or not, it is one of the most interesting trails for tourists who visit Budongo Forest Reserve near the Nyabyeya Forestry College found in Budongo sub-county of Masindi district.
This trail is the most perfect place for birding safaris within this large tropical rainforest. It is said that Omukama (King) Kabalega Chwa II-born in 1853 and died in 1923 of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom used to often visit Budongo Forest, together with his Queen for recreational activities or to supervise the Abarusuura (his army) that were undergoing training and to perform rituals within the tropical rainforest. All the activities he used to do were within a place known as the “Royal Mile”-a paradise for numerous wild animals and bird species that capture the attention of tourists. It is undeniable that this trail was named after the unforgettable activities of the historic Omukama Kabalega.
The terrain of this site is flat which is perfect for nature walks, taking care of all the travelling conditions for tourists. The Royal Mile is a magnificent and long trail in Budongo Forest, on the Southern side of the Forest. Budongo Forest Reserve, covering over 739 square kilometers lies at the border of the Albertine Rift Valley and is part of the Southern side Murchison Falls National Park.
Next to the edge of Budongo Forest is the spectacular Lake Kanyege, a home to numerous aquatic bird species and several butterfly species. Not only that, chimpanzees within habituated communities can be tracked during a primate safari in Uganda and the best time is to track them as early as possible hence overnight within the Forest is recommended.
There are several bird species within the Royal Mile. And 2 species are endemic to the trail-the Illadopsis puveli and the yellow-footed flycatcher and other numerous species endemic to the Albertine Rift region. Some of the notable bird species you will encounter within the Royal Mile Trail include the Hairy-breasted Barbet, the Blue-breasted Kingfisher, the Nahan’s Francolin, the Cassin’s Spinetail, the Fire-crested Alethe, the Dwarf Kingfisher, the Black-capped Apalis, the Blue-throated Roller, the Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, the Ituri Batis, the Lemon-bellied Crombec, the Rufous-crowned Eremomela, the Western-black Headed Oriole, the Piping Hornbill, the Spotted Greenbul, the Yellow-browed Camaroptera, the Sabine’s Spinetail, the Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, the Yellow-billed Barbet, the Grey-headed Sunbird, the Yellow-spotted Barbet, the Brown-eared Woodpecker, the Chestnut-caped Flycatcher, the Yellow-crested Woodpecker, the White-spotted Flufftail, the White-thighed Hornbill, the African Crowned Eagle and the Red-capped Robin-Chat, to mention but a few.
In conclusion, the Royal Mile Trail within Budongo Forest Reserve is one of the most interesting trails in western Uganda because it allows tourists walk through the same path used by the former King of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom (Omukama Kabalega Chwa II) and explore numerous bird species including the Cassin’s Spinetail, the Fire-crested Alethe, the Dwarf Kingfisher, ituri batis and the Black-capped Apalis among others.