Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, the Birders’ Paradise near Kibale National Park

Bigodi Wetland SanctuaryBigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a fascinating area located in Magombe swamp. This swamp is recognized for a extensive array of biodiversity among which are several primates species like the 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 chimpanzees, Sitatunga, mongooses, bush pigs, otters plus bush bucks, also visit this swamp coming from the adjacent Kibale National Park, famous for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.

Its name “Bigodi” was derived from a local Rutooro word, “kugodya”, that means ‘to walk tiredly / wearily’. It is supposed that when visitors reached the Bigodi swamp on foot, they actually were at all times too tired to go on and visit the jungle; and for this reason they decided to rest there.

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.

The 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.

For Birders Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary  supports more than 200 species of birds, among which is the most well-known bird – Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola Cristata). 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.

There are two guided tours a day – the first one is 7:30 am and the second one is at 3 pm as you enter this amazing sanctuary you will be pleasantly surprised by its wide range of biodiversity.  There are primates such as Red Colobus Monkeys, Gray Cheeked Mangabey’s, L’Hoest Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Baboons, Black and White Colobus, Red Colobus, and the occasional Chimpanzees.

Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary – A Jungle Swamp – is also home to many mammals including the rare and elusive, semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelopes (they have webbed toes) who make their home here, there are also Bush Pigs, Bush Bucks, Otters, Mongooses.

Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary – its jungle like setting in an African Swamp, its beauty enhanced by thick vegetation, its colorful flowering plants and trees, butterflies, primates, mammals, and birds all make it a must visit place in Uganda especially if you are already visiting nearby Kibale Forest.

Conservation of this swamp has its real benefits, since it receives more than $150,000 got 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.