Birding tour in Bigodi wetland
Birding tour in Bigodi wetland Sanctuary is a community development effort at the edges of Kibale National Park to help protect the former Magombe Swamp. The sanctuary is found off the road between the districts of Kamwenge and Fort Portal in Uganda. The wetland was at first generally known as Magombe swamp (graveyard in local language) because of the number of people who once died there while constructing a bridge. In the 1990’s the wetland became known as Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary. Bigodi Swamp is four square kilometers large and is considered to be one of the prime birding destinations in Uganda. “Bigodi” was borrowed from a Rutooro word ‘kugodya’. Kugodya means to walk in a tired way. The term was coined because whenever people were going to Kibale forest, they had to pass through Bigodi wetland. Walking past the swamp was very tiring that they often had to sit down and rest before proceeding to the jungle.
Bigodi wetland sanctuary in Kibale national park is a home to about 9 monkey species, While birding watching in the swamp you can have the opportunity to see and photograph several species of monkeys such as Red colobus monkey, Grey checked Mangabeys, L’Hoest monkey, Vervet monkey, black and white colobus monkey, blue monkey, Olive baboon, blue monkey
What to pack for the Birding tour in Bigodi wetland.
A pair of binoculars.
One is required to take a pair of binoculars since the forest has tall trees hence making observation of some birds hard without binoculars.
Being near kibale forest and the Rwenzori sometimes it rains anytime so it’s worth taking a rain gear while heading for the walk.
With a lot of activities in the walk it might be worth taking a camera to take pictures of birds and monkeys.
The walks in the forest usually take 3-4 hours and sometimes it’s humid in the forest so it’s advisable to take drinking water with you.
For comfort it’s advisable to wear hiking boots as there are also snakes in the wetland and some muddy spots on the walk way.
Long pants are advisable in birding tours as you may move off the walking trail to clearly observe birds.
Any shirt is ok.
Since there is a very low chance of biting insects and stinging nettles in the swamp long or short sleeved shirts will be perfect.
How to get to Bigodi wetland sanctuary for birding
Bigodi wetland swamp is about 40 kms from fort portal town, and the road is perfect so any vehicle can manage and its 45-1 hour drive through kibale forest national park.
Best time for birding tour in Bigodi wetland sanctuary
Bigodi wetland sanctuary is visited throughout the year. December to February and the months of June and July are the driest months and are therefore the best times for this activity. Walking the trails is easier at this time and the overall experience tends to be more enjoyable.
Where to stay in Bigodi wetland sanctuary
There are many options around Bigodi to stay those include kibale forest camp, kibale home stay, primate lodge, Turaco tree tops, chimpanzee forest guest house, isunga lodge are all accommodation facilities in the area.