Introduction to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Situated in the 4-sq-km Magombe Swamp on the fringes of the Kibale Forest, the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is an excellent birding and primate habitat.

It is located 6 km south of Kayanchu, the main centre of Kibale Forest. 

Make your way through the swamp on raised wooden walkways, and observe some rare and colourful birds, colobus monkeys, and other small mammals like otters that live in the swamp.

The rare sitatunga and chimpanzees are also known to visit the swamps marshy shores to forage. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse, so keep your binoculars handy.

The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a fantastic example of community tourism. Money from the sanctuary flows back into the local area to build schools, support women's groups, and improve water and waste management access. 

A visit to the Bigodi swamp is usually a three-hour activity and pairs well with chimp trekking, as they can both be done as half-day activities. 

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Things to do

Guided Nature Walk

A guided nature walk through the sanctuary takes approximately three hours and departs in the morning and afternoon. If you are a keen birder, the earlier slot is recommended.

While there won't be huge numbers of wildlife along the trail, take comfort in the fact that the animals you do see are quite rare, and a chance to see them again in Uganda will be few and far between.

For bird lovers, highlights include papyrus gonolek, grey-throated, yellow-billed, yellow-spotted and double-toothed barbets, speckled, yellow-rumped and yellow-throated tinker barbets, yellow-bill, and black-and-white casqued hornbill. 

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Places to stay

Kibale Forest Camp

Situated next to the sanctuary, Kibale Forest Camp is a perfect mid-range and budget accommodation choice.

They have seven budget tents on offer, sharing a communal shower and toilet block. The tents are comfortable and include mosquito nets and charging points for your electronics.

Staying in one of ten traditional en-suite safari tents with hardwood floors, twin or double beds, and a shaded private veranda, offers a more luxurious experience. 

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Beautiful golden-hued interiors.

Getting There

From Kampala to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary it is 330 km and a 5-hour drive.

However, it is under an hour's drive from Fort Portal, so the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a convenient stop if you are visiting the Kibale Forest or if you are on your travels further south to Queen Elizabeth National Park. 

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Chimps share the forest with other primate species.

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Kibale Forest National Park

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Fort Portal

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