Only recently developed for tourism, the reserve protects a network of forest-fringed wetlands along the Katonga River.
Best explored on foot and by canoe, Katonga supports some 40 mammal and at least 150 bird species, many specific to wetland habitats.
Most visible are elephant, waterbuck, reedbuck, colobus monkeys and river otter.
This is one of the best places in Africa to look for the elusive sitatunga, a semi-aquatic antelope with webbed hooves that forages almost exclusively in swamps.
Katonga is three hours from Kampala, branching from the Fort Portal or Mbarara Road. Buses connect Kampala to Kabagole, a short canoe ride and walk from the entrance gate.