Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary in Uganda is a must-visit for bird-watching enthusiasts. This wetland sanctuary boasts a thriving population of bird life, with over 200 different species. Bigodi is popular for its Great Blue Turaco, and it is famously called the ‘‘home to Great Blue Turaco’’. Other popular species found in the wetland include; Hornbills, Turacos, Parrots, Cranes, Kingfishers, and many more. The sanctuary is also home to eight primate species, such as the Black and White Colobus, Red Colobus, Red Tailed Monkey, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, Olive Baboon, L’hoest Monkey, Vervet Monkey, and Blue Monkey. Nature Walks in Bigodi Wetland is a great way of exploring the diversity within this wetland and getting up close to nature. If you are lucky enough during Nature Walks in Bigodi Wetland, you may also spot several mammals such as Sitatungas, Bushbucks, and Otters.
Nature walks in Bigodi are usually done on the 4.5km walkway located within the sanctuary. The walkway will take you through the swamp as you enjoy viewing different bird species, primates, and other form. To complete the nature walk, it takes up to 3 hours, through the important wildlife corridor of Kibale Forest. The walk will provide you with an opportunity to explore and appreciate the sanctuary’s scenic beauty and biodiversity. The lush vegetation can be viewed from the forest pathways, boardwalks, and atop a tree house tucked high in the canopy.
The Bigodi wetland simplifies spotting primates and birds, making it more interesting and successful than the Kibale forest itself. The dense forest hides most of the primates and birds while in Bigodi, it is possible to have a clearer view of all the creatures.
Nature walks are led by trained local guides who are knowledgeable about the local terrain and can identify animal, bird, and plant species. Nature walks will take you through thick and lush vegetation within the sanctuary. The guides will share information about the role of the community in preserving the Eco-system and how their effort contributes to the well-being of the people economically. While here, you can also request to view the forest and vast wetland from a tall tree house. Nature walks cost $30 for international visitors and take 3 hours for each session. The morning session starts at 7:30 am while the afternoon session starts at 3.00 pm.
Bird watching in the Bigodi swamp is a great experience, second to none. Most of the birds find the swamp a perfect sanctuary and breeding ground, with fewer predators. The sheer variety and density of birds are difficult to describe. The sanctuary is also a great feeding ground because it attracts insects and frogs, which are birds’ favorite.
Bigodi Wetland is home to over 200 bird species, including rare and endemic ones. Keep an eye out for the African Green Broadbill, Great Blue Turaco, White-winged Warbler, and the infamous Shoebill stork, among many others.
Best Time to for birding in Bigodi Wetland
Bird watching is great throughout the year in Bigodi Wetland, but the dry season from December to February and June to September offers a better birding experience. Mornings and late afternoons are usually the best times to observe birds as they are actively feeding.
Bring a good pair of binoculars for clear viewing of the birds. A field guide to birds of Uganda will also come in handy for identification purposes. Don’t forget to wear comfortable walking shoes, and insect repellent, and carry water and snacks.
Community Tours in Bigodi Wetland
Visiting the Bigodi village offers visitors a great opportunity to experience the local food, learn how coffee is grown, and visit the local schools. Alternatively, one can visit the Bigodi Women’s Group. This group comprises over 40 individuals who make beautiful African crafts, including beads from recycled paper or materials from the swamp.
Visiting the Snake Park
The Bigodi wetland is also home to venomous and non-venomous snakes. Visitors can see all the different types of snakes found in the area, the project has come up with an interesting proposition – starting a small snake park. This park houses all kinds of snakes and will be offered as a free package as long as one book for nature or village walks. One can also choose to visit the snake park alone without going for any of the other activities.
Include Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary in any of your Uganda birding safaris and enjoy the sightings of different bird species. Whether you have just finished a chimpanzee trekking safari in the Kibale forest or during a longer Uganda tour from gorilla tracking in Uganda’s Bwindi or Mgahinga, you can still visit Bigodi wetland for Uganda birding safaris.