Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary the best birders’ destination due to the nature of wetland which is a home a number of bird species is found in the Magombe swamp adjacent to the Kibale national park and privately managed by Kibale Association for Rural Development (KAFRED), a community-based organization established in 1992 to support the eco-tourism initiatives with the objective of helping communities benefit from tourism.
Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary got its name “Bigodi” from a Rutooro word “Kugodya” which translates to walking tiredly. This came when most of the tourists that visited this forested area reached the swamp and were seen very tired from the long journey and had to first sit down and rest before entering the jungle.
Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a home gifted with a number bird, mammal and primate species. The great blue turaco is the commonest bird species in this sanctuary while some of other 200 species include Parrots, Cranes, Cuckoos, Kingfishers, Waxbills, Weavers, Papyrus Gonolek, Hornbills and many others.
People interested in primates are also lucky as the sanctuary is a home to around 8 species of primates and these include the Black and White Colobus, Red Colobus, Red-Tailed Monkey, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, Olive Baboon, L’hoest Monkey, Vervet Monkey, and the Blue Monkey. The sake of chimpanzees, these are tracked from the adjacent Kibale national park.
The sanctuary harbours mammal species like the Sitatunga antelopes, bushbucks, mangoose, bush pigs, otters that are normally seen during the guided nature walks experience.
Getting to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is situated in Bigodi village in the highlands of western region of Uganda and in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains also known as the Mountains of the Moon. This community is located about 40 kilometers outside of the town of Fort Portal, and borders Kibale National Park, which has the highest density of primate life in the world in its forests.
Activities in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
- Bird watching – Birding in Bigodi wetland will leave even the most seasoned birder impressed.
- Primates watching – Apart from the chimpanzee that can be tracked from the Kibale forest national park, in this sanctuary you can be in position to watch primates like the Black and White Colobus, Red Colobus, Red-Tailed Monkey, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, Olive Baboon, L’hoest Monkey, Vervet Monkey, and the Blue Monkey.
- Guided nature walks – These are led by well trained and knowledgeable sanctuary guides who are familiar with the local terrain. The walks offers you an opportunity to view the wildlife from the forest pathways, boardwalks and atop a tree house tucked high in the canopy.
- Cultural and community walks – In regards to your interests, you are chanced to visiting the traditional healers who are free to share their knowledge about local medicines and spirits, experiencing the traditional meals and customs, visiting local churches and schools, or even engage in other visits characterized in a typical Ugandan rural setting. This walk normally takes up to 3 to 4 hours depending on the pace of the group.
- Visiting the snake park – This is just a recent upcoming tourism product that offers you an opportunity to clearly see the snakes at a close proximity rather than in the wetland where chances of spotting them are limited.
Accommodation options around Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
Of the fact that most visitors to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary always have their experiences accompanied to a visit to Kibale national park, exploration of the crater lakes or even a visit to the Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru, nearby facilities are recommendable and some of these include Isunga lodge, Ndali lodge, kibale forest guesthouse, Primate Lodge, Kibale forest camp, among others