Difference Between Forest and Jungle

Main Difference – Forest vs Jungle          

Both forests and jungles refer to a large area covered with trees and other vegetations. The forest is a generalized term that is used to refer to a large area covered with trees and other woody vegetations whereas jungle specifically refers to land covered with impenetrable vegetation dominated by trees. Thus, it can be deduced that jungle is a type of forest though not all forests are jungles. This can be also understood as the main difference between forest and jungle.

What is a Forest

Forest is a general term to refer to a large area covered with trees and other woody vegetations. It is a complex eco-system that is distributed across the globe. The term forest can be categorized into different types according to geographical location, climate, and other characteristics. Given below are some of these categories.

Tropical rainforests – Tropical rainforests are located near the equator; thus they experience high temperatures and abundant rainfall. These are very dense, abundant forest with canopies that prevent sunlight from reaching the floor of the forest.

Coniferous forests – These forests are made up primarily of cone-bearing or coniferous trees. Coniferous forests are found mainly in the northern hemisphere, and the trees are adapted to long winters.

Deciduous Forest – This type of forests can be found in many parts of the world including North America, Europe, New- Zealand, Australia, and Asia. These forests go through the seasonal changes, and the trees are specially adapted to withstand extreme weather conditions.Difference Between Forest and Jungle

What is a Jungle

A jungle is a land covered with impenetrable vegetation dominated by trees. The term jungle comes from Sanskrit word jangala. This word came to be known in English during the British colonial period. The term jungle was first used to describe the tropical forests in the Indian subcontinent. Thus, Jungle is particularly associated with tropical situations and the most corresponding scientific term for jungle would be monsoon and tropical seasonal forest.

Jungle is an area covered with tangled vegetation at ground level, especially in the tropics. Such vegetation is so dense that it hinders the movements by humans. It is important to know that jungle is not equivalent to a rainforest though many people think that these two words are synonyms. Unlike in a jungle, the ground level of a rainforest is open of vegetation due to lack of sunlight. However, jungles can exist at the border of or within rainforests. If the vegetation of the rainforest is destroyed due to a natural course such as floods, hurricane, etc. or through some human activities, the new vegetation that comes up is dense and impenetrable. This is called a jungle. This vegetation grows so thick and impenetrable due to the availability of light at ground level.

In addition, in western literature jungle has many negative connotations. Jungle is always used with unlawful and unruly situations. It also carries the connotations of untamed and savage nature.Main Difference - Forest vs Jungle

Difference Between Forest and Jungle          


Forest is a large area covered with trees and other woody vegetations.

Jungle is a land covered with impenetrable vegetation dominated by trees.


Forests are larger than jungles.

Jungles are smaller in comparison.


Forests can be found all over the world.

Jungles can be found at the margins of forests.


Forests can be classified into various types such as Tropical rainforest, Coniferous forests, Deciduous forests, etc.

Jungles are a part/type of rainforests.


Forests are penetrable.

Jungles are impenetrable.Difference Between Forest and Jungle - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Biogradska suma” by Snežana Trifunović – Own work. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons

“Fluss Dja Somalomo” by Earwig – Self-photographed. (Attribution)n via Commons

About the Author: de Silva

N. de Silva is a graduate, specializing in Sociology. She also works as a part time language educator. With an immense love for language, literature, and psychology she aspires to be a writer who can blend in subject material with linguistic mastery