Bigodi wetland sanctuary
Bigodi wetland sanctuary : is a fascinating area, located within Magombe swamp near Kibale National Park, 6 kilometers away from Kanyanchu Information Center in Kibale district. The name Bigodi is a Rutooro word derived from Kugodya and it is translated as “to walk wearily”. It is known to be more of a swamp but it is a community-based project that is managed by the local community organization called “Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development” (KAFRED), which was established in 1992 to support eco-tourism enterprises to ensure that local communities benefit from tourism hence reducing poverty while protecting the environment.
The wetland has rich green and beautiful vegetation comprised of trees, wild palms, polite fig-trees, dormant papyrus, raffia palms, plants and flowers that are used in making handcrafts like baskets, mats among others. The wetland also favors wildlife including 138 bird species, butterflies, insects, 8 primate species including chimpanzees, black and white colobus, red colobus, red-tailed monkey, olive baboon, vervet monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey and L’Hoest monkey, mammals like sitatunga, otters, bush pigs, warthogs, bushbucks, mongoose and reptiles such as snakes, frogs, lizards many more. It has also got a circular 4.5 kilometers trail with wood platforms to enable the visitors to take a guided nature walk in the swamp to view wildlife and the extensive array of biodiversity.
Activities in Bigodi wetland sanctuary
A knowledgeable tour guide in birding will take you through this activity, explaining about different bird species as you trail along the swamp and thick lush. Bird species encountered during the activity include the great blue turaco which is known as the “Royal lover” due to the fact that it stays single for the rest of its life once it has lost its loved one, flycatcher, western nicator, Abyssinians, white spotted fluff tail, black capped apalis, green breasted pitta, brown chested alethe, yellow billed barbet, grey winged robin chat, brown throated wattled eye, cuckoos, king fishers, sunbirds, tinker birds, cranes, egrets, parrots to mention but a few.
Tourists follow different trails in the swamp with an experienced guide who will help them in spotting the animals. Wildlife viewing can either be carried the morning or in the evening thou are most active in the morning. During this activity, different primates will be spotted such as chimpanzees, black and white colobus, red colobus, red-tailed monkey, olive baboon, vervet monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey and L’Hoest monkey and animals like otters, bush pigs, sitatungas, mongoose, bushbucks, civet cats, warthogs among others.
Your guide will lead you to the local community which consists of both the Batooro and Bakiga people where you will get to interact with them. You will visit the Bigodi women group who make art and craft materials such as bags, mats, ropes, beads and baskets with the materials got from the swamp. Tourists also visit the local community businesses, medicine men who treat different diseases with herbs, homestays made of mud and bricks and gardens to see how they grow and process coffee, experience local foods and enjoy performances from the enyange dance and drama group which will give you a lifetime experience on your safari.
Guided nature walks
With the help of your guide, you will trail through the swamp and in the process you’re able to come across the fauna and flora found in the area such as the beautiful vegetation full of tall trees, several mammals, papyrus plants, amphibians, reptiles, insects and also butterflies. The walks are best done in the morning when the swamp habitats are most active such as the monkeys in the trees, birds nesting, chimpanzees and other animals like the bushbucks, sitatungas since they sometimes move from the park to the swamp.
How to get there