The Bat cave in Maramagambo forest
The Bat cave in Maramagambo forest : is a walk through the trails of this magnificent forest, you will have a great experience to the Bat Caves that are tucked in the Maramagambo forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Maramagambo forest is an extensive tropical rainforest which lies in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park in the far west Uganda in Bushenyi district. The word “Maramagambo” is in a local Runyankole word which means “short of words” and it was derived from the two young children of the tender age who got lost in the forest for a couple of days trying to look for their way out but in vain and when they were saved from the forest, they couldn’t speak what really happened to them and the locals ended up naming it Maramagambo. It is a perfect destination for hiking and nature walk safaris in addition to exploring the bat caves and crater lakes that are nestled in the forest. The forest inhabits various species of mammals, primates, birds and also famously linked with its bat caves where tourists come all away from other countries to visit these bats in this forest.
The bat cave is also associated with the python which is normally sighted around this bat cave as it tries to feed on these bats. In addition, tourists and visitors can as well do a lot of several other activities including hiking, bird watching and the cultural community experience of the Nyanz’ibiri community. This is an interesting and an outstanding cave, not like other normal caves one has ever seen nor heard and this cave is near the picturesque blue lake and hunter’s cave. Millions of bats do occupy and in habit this cave, pythons are also observed in the crevices of the bats cave floor and usually prey on these bats. In addition, besides the bat cave experience, one can have a chance to hike through the forest expecting have glimpse on different primate species like chimpanzees, L’Hoest monkeys, red tailed monkeys, pottos, bushbabies, black and white colobus[, baboons, vervet monkeys as well as the blue monkeys. Alongside watching primates, one can also view a variety of bird species such as the Rwenzori turacos, white napped pigeons, flycatchers, sunbirds, bee eaters to mention a few while hiking to the caves. You will also enjoy the over view of the mysterious bat cave from the view point that was constructed for all tourists after the 2008 incident where some tourists contracted the Marburg virus when they had gone inside this Cave. Consequently, the caves were closed or sealed from human encounter but after a period of time, the ministry of tourism re-opened them however the park in cooperation with the American center for disease control set up a safe viewing platform outside of the cave where thousands of bats can be seen without any fear of contacting the Marburg virus and to avoid any strategies.
The Maramagambo forest can easily be accessed by whether road or air transport from Kampala city through Mbarara to Bushenyi which is a 5- 6 hours’ drive. The best access to the forest is through the Queen Elizabeth National Park gate close to Jakana Lodge and it is 12km off the main road from katunguru to Mbarara. Alternatively, you can fly from Entebbe International Airport to Mweya Airstrip nestled near Queen Elizabeth National Park via a charter flight.