Embark on an enchanting journey through the lush landscapes of Bigodi wetland sanctuary, nestled in the highlands of western Uganda, beneath the majestic Rwenzori Mountains, often referred to as the “Mountains of the Moon.” Situated approximately 40 kilometers from the charming town of Fort Portal, Bigodi village boasts a unique proximity to Kibale National Park, renowned for hosting the world’s highest density of primate life. This remarkable setting provides the backdrop for captivating birding trips in Bigodi wetland sanctuary, where wooden trails wind through the tranquil wetland forest, offering bird enthusiasts the perfect opportunity to explore quietly, spot a plethora of bird species, and capture stunning photographs.
Bigodi wetland sanctuary is a true wildlife haven, located near Kibale Forest National Park, famous for its chimpanzee tracking experiences in Uganda. The sanctuary is home to over 215 bird species, including some rare and unique avian treasures. Among the feathered inhabitants of Bigodi are the exquisite Papyrus Gonolek, the melodious White-winged Warbler, the resplendent Shining Blue Kingfisher, the elusive White-spotted Flufftail, the magnificent Great Blue Turaco, the charming White-tailed Ant-thrush, the colorful Yellow-billed Barbet, and the distinctive Uganda Spotted Woodpecker (also known as the Speckled-breasted Woodpecker), to name just a few. As you embark on your birding adventure, be prepared to encounter the enchanting Joyful Green Bull, adding to the symphony of nature’s melodies.
Bigodi wetland sanctuary is not only a birding paradise but also a sanctuary for approximately nine different monkey species. While you immerse yourself in birdwatching amidst the serene wetland, you may have the delightful opportunity to observe and photograph several monkey species, including the charismatic Red Colobus Monkey, the elegant Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, the elusive L’Hoest Monkey, the playful Vervet Monkey, the striking Black-and-white Colobus Monkey, the agile Blue Monkey, the endearing Olive Baboon, and the captivating Blue Monkey.
To make the most of your birding tour in Bigodi wetland sanctuary, it’s important to pack the right essentials:
The sanctuary’s tall trees may make bird observation challenging without binoculars.
Given the proximity to Kibale Forest and the Rwenzori Mountains, rain can occur unexpectedly. Carrying a rain jacket ensures you stay dry during your adventure.
With numerous bird species and monkey encounters on the horizon, having a camera to capture these moments is essential.
The forest walks typically last 3-4 hours, and the humidity in the forest can be high. Staying hydrated is important, so bring sufficient drinking water.
Comfortable hiking boots are recommended, not only for comfort but also for safety. The wetland is home to snakes, and there may be muddy spots along the pathways.
Opt for long pants during your birding tour, as you might venture off the walking trail to get a better view of the birds.
Short or long-sleeved shirts are suitable, as there is a low chance of encountering biting insects or stinging nettles in the swamp.
Getting to Bigodi wetland sanctuary is convenient and accessible. Situated about 40 kilometers from Fort Portal town, the road is in excellent condition, making it suitable for various types of vehicles. The journey typically takes around 45 minutes to an hour, guiding you through the scenic beauty of Kibale Forest National Park.
While Bigodi wetland sanctuary welcomes visitors throughout the year, the best times for birding trips are during the dry months of December to February and the months of June and July. During these periods, the trails are more manageable, and the overall experience tends to be more enjoyable.
Numerous accommodation options are available around Bigodi, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay during your birding adventure. Some notable choices include Kibale Forest Camp, Kibale Homestay, Primate Lodge, Turaco Tree Tops, Chimpanzee Forest Guest House, and Isunga Lodge. Each of these establishments offers a unique experience, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the beauty of Bigodi wetland sanctuary.