The Bigodi swamp is one of the areas of interest in Kibale Forest National Park. It is located in Magombe swamp occupied by several primate species like the Chimpanzees, red colobus monkey, baboon, black & white colobus monkey, blue monkey grey cheeked, mangabey, vervet monkey, red tailed monkey and the L’Hoest monkey. Additional Mammals such as Sitatunga, mongooses, bush pigs, forest elephants, otters plus bush bucks among others. Do you want to trek primates? Then visit Bigodi swamp to view primates along side birds.
This community-run conservation project managed by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED) offers a guided nature trail through Magombe Wetland, near Bigodi. The open terrain frequently delivers better bird-watching and monkey-spotting. Here, red colobus are common, with the chance of black and white colobus, grey-cheeked mangabey, Lhotse’s and red-tailed monkeys. Serious birders will enjoy the knowledgeable guides, who can identify the wetland’s 200-odd species with ease. The 3-mile/5-km trail takes three to four hours, and if you don’t have waterproof boots consider renting a pair from KAFRED. If you want to sample more of their particular blend of community tourism, traditional lunches, homestays, and village walks are also on offer.
This wetland is managed and monitored by several local community conservation agencies and one of them which has done a great effort as far as conservation of this wetland and tourism products is the (Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development), an important stakeholder for eco – tourism in Bigodi.
The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a great example of a community-based approach to the natural resources management which can be of good economic benefit to the different local residents living within this area plus the tourism industry as well. Conservation of this swamp has its real benefits, since it earns Uganda million dollars from tourists each year. A fraction of this earning was used to build Bigodi Secondary School as well as a nursery school, in addition to pay salaries of the school teachers; furthermore bridges have also been constructed over swamps plus streams within the village.
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit Bigodi wetland are between 7:30am-9am in the morning or 3pm. KAFRED operates Tinka’s Home stay that serves traditional meals and offers decent accommodation.
Things to do in Bigodi Swamp
The fact the Bigodi swamp is located near Kibale National Park (famous for the highest concentration of primates in Africa with 13 species recorded), the area receives huge number of tourists who visit Kibale forest for birding, chimpanzees tracking and habituation Experience.
In Bigodi swamp, expect an encounter with many bird species, antelopes such as sitatungas, primates like Olive Baboons among others.
This swamp supports over 200 species of birds, among which is the most well-known bird – Great Blue. The swamp is administered by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (Kafred), and it actually benefits greatly from the adjacent Kibale National Park, since there are a number of primates such as the chimpanzees that occasionally visit the swamp, adding on the diversity of wild animals that tourists see within the Bigodi. Birders are also advised to go to Bigodi is a paradise for bird watchers. Actually skilled birders can spot up to fifty new species on a bird list. Today, 138 species of bird have been recognized within the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Among the major bird species within the sanctuary is the grand Blue Turaco.
The Bigodi nature walk is a must do after your primate safari in Kibale Forest National Park. It is also much visited by tourists who Mountain Rwenzori National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park as well as those that wish to stay in Fort Portal town.
Magombe Swamp is less than 60 minute’s drive south from Fort Portal along Kamwenge road, about 6 km south of Kanyanchu visitors’ center of Kibale Forest National Park. The office is Bigodi sanctuary is situated at the north edge of Bigodi trading center, on the west side of the road. The office is open between 0730hrs and 1700hrs.
The community is located about 40 kilometers outside of the town of Fort Portal, and borders Kibale Forest National Park, which has one of the highest density of primate life and bird life in its forests. Fort Portal town is a home away from home as it has much more to offer like Crater Lakes with the spacious and stunning safari lodges for honey moon and Relaxation.