Bigodi swamp is not only just a swamp but an eco-tourism base that holds hundreds of lives of the people that dwell in the communities around it. Bigodi swamp is located just 6km from Kanyanchu visitors center and it is such a fascinating area where you can find over 200 bird species and various primates, mammals, insects and frogs which make the swamp really an interesting one.
Bigodi swamp is perceived to be an extensive order of biodiversity including primates, birds and other swamp creatures. Bigodi swamp is found at the edge of a profuse forest on the outlands of Kibale national park. Bigodi swamp for long has acted as a great complement to the chimpanzee safaris for the tourists that visit Kibale national park year after year. This swamp is majorly a wetland covered dominantly with a swamp, however, on the fringes, there is a boundary of shrubs that separate the swamp from the Kibale forest.
The word “bigodi” is a direct derivative from the Rutooro word “Kugodya”, which means to walk sluggishly. From the folklore, the people that walk to this point used to reach when they are terribly tired and could only afford to walk slowly and hence resting before continuing to their journey.
Bigodi wetland is a community-run project by an organization called KAFRED, besides being a hub for nature conservation; bigodi wetland sanctuary has modeled a great example for community-based natural resource management advancement, which is also a good source of community benefit to the people living near Kibale national park. KAFRED organizations hold up the eco-tourism enterprises & it also makes sure that the local communities near bigodi swamp taste the benefits of natural resources and tourism.
Activities in Bigodi Swamp
Wildlife viewing is one of the activities that tourists enjoy doing in bigodi swamp. This swamp is a home for primates like the black and white colobus monkeys, red colobus monkeys, blue-tailed monkeys, and other mammals, reptiles. Bigodi swamp also harbors chimpanzees although not so many, mangabeys, grey checked monkeys, olive baboons, bush pigs, sitatungas, L’hoest’s monkeys, vervet monkeys, mongooses, and bushbucks among others.
This swamp is mapped with trails made out of wood logs. These trails are constructed by the local people. The walkways or trails are platforms on which the tourists stand to spot the different swamp animals and other creatures. Nature walks in bigodi are led by a guide who will help you to spot the different wild animals in the bushes. Take caution to tuck your trousers inside your socks to avoid termite bites because there are a lot of termites in the swamp and you would not love to be their meal.
Another interesting activity carried out in bigodi swamp is birding or bird watching. Bigodi swamp is a home to over 200 bird species, some of which about 6 species of birds are endemic to Kibale national park. The number of birds species in bigodi wetland sanctuary has made it a birders paradise for many bird lovers. You can spot the magnificent blue turaco in the swamp; it is known to be a royal lover bird because when its life lover dies, it stays single for the rest of the time. It is also one of the unique species in the bigodi swamp. Other bird species you can enjoy watching in bigodi swamp include the purple breasted sunbird, Abyssinia, the African pitta, collared apal, ground thrush, crowned eagle, black-capped apalis, kingfisher, weavers, cuckoos, green breasted pitta, papyrus gonolek, flycatchers, hornbills, at Cetera. Birders are led by a trained birder guide who helps to provide the detail for all the birds they spot, he can also show them other swamp species.
Bigodi community walk is such a rewarding experience in bigodi swamp community. The community walk will give you a chance to visit the bigodi women group; it consists of about 40 members who work hand in hand to make sure that the goals and aims of the group are full filled. The bigodi women group members are experts in the weaving of baskets, mats and all other sorts of crafts. You can buy some of the crafts from them as a souvenir to take back home.
During the community walk near the bigodi swamp, you can visit the bigodi Secondary School, which was constructed for the local people by KAFRED together with the funds from Kibale national park. The different projects in bigodi were formed to prevent the local people from poaching after knowing the benefit of the protected areas and the natural resources in their area.
Bigodi Swamp is a rewarding part of the Kibale national park safaris you should not miss. Besides being an ecological hub for tourism firms, it is a good area to learn about the African rural life through the livelihood of the people in nearby communities. If you have never been to bigodi, don’t forget to remind your tour and travel consultant to add it to your Kibale national park itinerary.