The Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary is a large swamp area which has been designated as a protected area to preserve what is called, the Mgombe Swamp. Here there are over 200 bird species including the great Turacos, as well as 8 primate species, including Chimpanzees, countless reptiles and a huge variety of trees, shrubs and vines.
Guided walks depart from the visitors’ center on demand and take about 3 hours. The guides are local villagers and are extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable of the swamp area. A visit to the local medicine man can also be arranged with the guides; a somewhat unique opportunity for outsiders. Because the swamp is always wet, it is recommended that tour participants accept the offer of wearing rain boots.
There are many children from the village roaming around trying to sell souvenirs. The community suggest that you resist buying from these children and do so in the little shop that is operated to serve this purpose. Encouraging the children to sell their products to the shop enables them to attend the school instead of waiting around for tourists.
The project of saving the swamp was initiated by a man who understood that to sustain the wetlands you need to involve the local people in tourism. The benefits of the guided tours go directly to the local people, thereby supporting the community. From the proceeds of these tours, the community was able to build a school and health center.
The Sanctuary is located just off the road between Fort Poral and Kamwenge, about 6 kilometers southeast of Kanyanchu, Kibale National Park’s headquarters office.
The guided walks are available at $30 US per person. Great blue Turacco at Bigodi