Bigodi Swamp Walk
Bigodi swamp walk is one of the ideal ways of exploring the scenic beauty and the rich biodiversity of Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary– the “Home of the Great-blue Turaco”.
This thrilling 4.5km long guided swamp walk will take you through the rich wildlife corridor of Kibale Forest. It’s an amazing 3hours interpretative tour with an expert sanctuary guide who escorts you through the lush vegetation along the boardwalks.
Since Bigodi wetlands is a birder’s haven, along the hike you’ll spot some of the 200 beautiful birds found in Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary. Among these include the Great-blue Turaco, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-billed Barbet, Kingfishers, and many other swamp endemics.
More so, along this memorable swamp walk in Bigodi wetlands, you’ll encounter unique vegetation, wild plants, and beautiful flowers. Visitors can also get a chance of encountering various Uganda animals like Sitatungas, Bushbucks, wild Pigs, and Otters.
Usually, visitors undertaking boardwalks in Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary, get a chance of spotting some of the 8 primate species here. Olive Baboons, Red Tailed Monkeys, Red Colobus, Vervet, L’hoest, Black-and-white Colobus, and Blue Monkeys are commonly encountered.
Bigodi swamp walk normally starts at Bigodi Wetland Visitors Center at 7:30 am but, is also possible at 3 pm.
For a memorable Uganda birding safari in Kibale National Park, you’re encouraged to undertake the Bigodi swamp walk.
How Is Bigodi Swamp Walk Done?
Bigodi swamp walk often starts at Bigodi Wetland Visitors Center with the briefing of participants by a professional sanctuary guide. In most cases, it starts at 7:30 am and also at 3 pm.
In the 30 minutes briefing, you’ll be told all information about the sanctuary for example its roles, aims, and goals. They’ll also let you know about its history and biodiversity. You’ll get to know why it’s called the home of the Great-Blue Turaco!
After, you’ll embark on a charismatic 4.5km walk taking about 3 hours through the lush vegetation led by an expert sanctuary guide.
Bigodi swamp walk will give you a wonderful experience of encountering wildlife from forest pathways, and boardwalks. A hike up to the top tree house fixed high in the canopy will give you incredible views of the area!
Your knowledgeable guide will help you identify all the birds, animals, and plant species. He’ll explain to you in detail their amazing breeding and mating habits!
Birds Commonly Encountered On Bigodi Swamp Walk
While undertaking the Bigodi swamp walk, visitors always get a chance of spotting some of the 200 bird species in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.
Most of them are swamp-endemic birds of Uganda. However, some forest birds in Kibale National Park can also be spotted here. Commonly encountered include the following:
- The Great-blue Turaco
- Papyrus Gonolek
- Grey Crowned Cranes
- Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill
- Black-headed Gonolek
- Blue-breasted Kingfisher
- Shinning-blue Kingfishers
- Yellow-billed Barbet
- Double-toothed Barbet
- Brown-crowned Tchagra
- Yellow-throated Tinkerbird,
- Pin-Tailed Whydah and,
- White-spotted Flufftail, etc.
Lovely Primates Encountered On A Nature Walk In Bigodi Wetlands
For primate lovers undertaking the Bigodi wetland walk, you have a great opportunity of spotting some of the adorable Uganda primates. Most of these just roam from the nearby Kibale National Park– the “Primate capital of Africa”.
Below are the lovely 8 primate species usually encountered in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary:
- Olive Baboons
- Red-tailed Monkeys
- Black and White Colobus
- L’Hoest’s Monkey
- Vervet Monkeys
- Uganda Red Colobus
- Uganda Mangabeys and,
- Blue Monkeys.
- Other animals which can be encountered on the Bigodi swamp walk include Bushbucks, Sitatungas, and Bushpigs among others.
- This fascinating guided walk goes deep into the wetlands. In many places, walks are done on boardwalks that’re just above the water.
It’s simply a memorable adventure a must not miss on your Uganda safari in Kibale National Park!
Preparation- What To Park For Bigodi Swamp Walk Tour?
Since the Bigodi swamp walk is just a supplement for Uganda Chimpanzee safaris in Kibale, the packing list is just similar to that of Kibale National Park.
Here is a pack list for a swamp walk in Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary:
- A camera: This is so vital as it will help you take photos of the adorable birds and primates you encounter on the walk. It must be having a superb zooming ability and large memory to cater for all photos.
- Binoculars: Also, this is of great value as it will help you have great views of birds that might be in tree canopies.
- Comfortable hiking boots: Sturdy comfortable and waterproof shoes are recommended while on a Bigodi swamp walk.
- Insect repellents: For health reasons, insect repellents are recommended. Note that Bigodi wetland is a marshland that might be prone to biting insects like mosquitoes.
- Rain jacket: This is must have it will protect you from the rain in case it gets you in the jungle.
- Enough drinking water: Since the Bigodi swamp walk is an adventure, you might get thirsty along the 4.5km walk. Carry enough water to keep you always hydrated.
- Long-sleeved shirts and long trousers: Such an outfit protects your body from direct cuts and insect bites in the jungle swamp.
- Have sunglasses: They help to protect your eyes from the strong tropical light rays.
- Sunscreens: Help to protect your skin from the strong tropical sun rays.
- A Sunhat: This protects you from direct scorching tropical sunlight.
Best Time To Undertake Bigodi Wetland Walk
Visitors can undertake a Bigodi wetland walk all year round. However, the best time is during the dry season in the months of June-August and December-February.
During this time, the trails are drier and less rainfall is expected in the area thus, a lovely tour in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.
March-May and September-November are wet months. Therefore, rainfall is expected most hours of the day, and trails can get slippery at times.
Regardless of the mud, the wet season is so ideal for Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park. This is so because there’s a lot of food in the forest (many fruiting trees).
Therefore, chimps infrequently move deep into the jungle in search of food. Thus, they can easily be spotted without much trekking as it is in dry months.
Fees For Bigodi Swamp Walk- How Much Is Bigodi Swamp Walk
- Non-Residents of Uganda: UGX 50,000 or $23
- Foreign Residents: UGX 40,000 or $20
- Ugandans: UGX 10,000 or $5
Bigodi swamp walk is a lovely adventure you shouldn’t miss on top of your Uganda safari in Kibale National Park.
The wetland is truly a birder’s haven holding most of the papyrus-dwelling birds in Uganda counting the Papyrus Gonolek! Other lovely birds encountered on the adventure include Great-blue Turaco, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Yellow-billed Barbet, etc.
Also, along this thrilling and scenic swamp walk in Bigodi, you’ll encounter numerous amazing primate species in Uganda such as the Red-tailed Monkeys. Among others, Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Vervets, and Olive Baboons are rarely missed!
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FAQ’s About Bigodi Swamp Walk
Why Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary Is Called The “Home Of The Great-Blue Turaco”?
Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is dubbed as the “Home of the Great-blue Turaco” due to the viable population of Great-blue Turacos dwelling here!
This scenic wetland holds other populations of birds totaling over 200 bird species most being papyrus birds of Uganda. Among others include Papyrus Gonolek, Grey Crowned Cranes, Blue-breasted Kingfishers, Shinning-blue Kingfisher, White-spotted Flufftail, and Black-headed Gonolek.
Other birds in Bigodi wetlands include Yellow-billed Barbet, Black-crowned Waxbills, Western Nicator, African Grey Parrots, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbills, etc.
What Is The Best Time Of The Day To Undertake Bigodi Swamp Walk?
Bigodi swamp walks can be done all time of the day, all starting from Bigodi Visitor’s Centre. Normally these walks start at 7:30 am and 3 pm with a briefing and all often run for about 3 hours.
Please note that as professionals, we recommend a morning swamp walk of around (7:30-9 am)! During this time, birders always have great opportunities of spotting several birds as they’re so active, coming out to feed.
In the afternoon, birds tend to rest in tree canopies thus, less can be seen.
Why Do A Bigodi Swamp Walk?
For all bird lovers undertaking Uganda birding tours in Kibale Forest, Bigodi wetland is a must not miss birding haven! It’s always visited as an additional birding site of Kibale NP due to its being rich in papyrus-dwelling birds.
Among the common birds of Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary include the Great-blue Turaco, Papyrus Gonolek, Grey Crowned Cranes, Black-crowned Waxbill, etc.
Among others include Blue-breasted Kingfishers, Shinning-blue Kingfisher, White-spotted Flufftail, Black-headed Gonolek, Yellow-billed Barbet, and Western Nicators.
Who Is Responsible For Bigodi Swamp Walk?
Bigodi swamp walk and all activities carried out in Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary are all managed by KAFRED “Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development”.
It’s an official community-based organization established in 1992 to conserve nature and develop the local community through ecotourism and other environmentally sustainable businesses.
About 75% of its net profit is put back into community developmental projects. This helps to motivate locals to conserve nature for feature generations. Some of the community-based projects funded by KAFRED include:
- Building and managing Bigodi Secondary School.
- Supporting Bigodi Health Center III.
- Providing scholarship programs for students in families that can’t manage further education.
- Offering employment and guide training for locals.
- Training women in handcraft product making and also marketing them.
- Providing some funds to families affected by crop-raiding animals like Elephants and primates.
- Helping to initiate other local business endeavors like Bigodi beekeeping and aquaculture.
As a visitor, be assured that the money you pay for KAFRED’s tourism activities will benefit a life of an African man and also help to conserve the environment. It’s not shared by individuals!
I encourage you to support the great efforts of this community.