Zika forest in Entebbe, Uganda
Zika forest is situated along Entebbe road, about 25 kilometers from Kampala the capital of Uganda. It is one of the major attractions around Entebbe areas and it offers an adventurous forest experience. It is easily accessible even from the Entebbe international airport. It is therefore one of the places you could consider passing by or visiting when you are in Entebbe just before or after visiting the wonderful distant destinations like Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls nation al park and Kibale national park among others.
It is in Zika forest where Zika virus was discovered by researchers in 1947. The virus created a lot of fear in the world and it is attached to microcephaly in babies. Researchers observed Zika virus in a monkey in this forest and the forest was later on named after the virus, Zika. However, the good news is that research went on longer and it was confirmed that there is no more Zika Virus in the forest, Uganda and many other areas.
Zika forest entebbe is a biologically diverse area with about 140 species of plants in the forest area, the swamps and the savannah areas. These are habitats for a variety of animals including reptiles such as crocodiles and snakes, mammals including leopards, sand primates like monkeys. The forest has over 50 types of moths, 35 species of saturniid and many other small creatures. In july 2009, mosquito collections were conducted in Zika forest and different mosquitoes that belonged to 66 species of mosquitoes were captured. A visit to Zika forest offers an opportunity to see most of the forest residents. Zika forest is a wonderful birding destination with impressive birds that have been recorded in the area.
There are many small forests in Uganda that are actually not known by many except the locals living close to them, but Zika forest and a few other small forests are recognized. Zika forest has its own virus research field station which is affiliated to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). The forest owns one of the tallest research towers in Uganda. The tower is a 40 meters high steel research tower. Under the influence and funding form World Health Organization, the research tower was shifted from Mpanga Forest Reserve about 50 years back.
There are a lot of important research studies that have been carried out at the steel research tower by the Uganda Virus Research Institute. It has also provided favorable conditions and services to carry out ecological studies in the forest. Because of the height of the tower, visitors enjoy views of the forest and the residents such as birds and monkeys.
Tourists that wish to visit Zika forest will surely have a wonderful moment of walking through the beautiful forest with lots of birds and many other creatures. It is one of the most beautiful areas to catch while transferring from the airport to the hotel or the next day at your hotel in Entebbe after the main activities of the trip just before embarking on your journey back home. Do not let any of your safari days go without any activity if you have arrived in Entebbe early, rather get to see this historic forest that was once visited by the former president of the U.S President Jimmy Carter. His main purpose of the visit to the forest was bird watching. Your Uganda safari will truly be memorable with a visit to this beautiful, historic, rich and strategically located forest.
Zika forest has an important educational site which attracts lots of students that gain important knowledge in research and other studies.