Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is one of the top Birding destinations in Uganda that a traveler should not miss out on, as they go on their Safaris Uganda toursOne of the must-see sites, when you travel near Kibale National Park, is the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary has always been complementary to chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park. Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is filled with fascinating natural sites such as the deep green vegetation filled with palms, the dominant spread of papyrus, flowers, and trees that will give you a wild adventure in the sanctuary. Kibale Forest National Park is one of the famous National Parks in Uganda.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is located in Magombe swamp about 6 km from Kanyanchu Information Center near Kibale Forest National Park. Bigodi, a Rutooro word is derived from Kugodya that literally means “to walk wearily”. The history is normally shared by the locals who believe that the name came into existence after people that used to travel to the swamp reached the site extremely tired and had to rest hence naming the place “Bigodi”. Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is operated by Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED). KAFRED is a community based organization that supports eco-tourism enterprises objectively to ensure that local communities benefit from tourism.

Activities at Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

  • Primate and wildlife viewing:  Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is known to have a diverse eco-system with its natural setting and deep vegetation that has attracted travelers over the time to this fascinating wild paradise. Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is recorded to have a great number of wildlife such as primates, for example, red colobus monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, blue monkeys other animals like sitatungas, bush pigs. Visitors will be given a guide to direct them throughout the swamp trails and the ground is filled with termites and red ants so visitors are recommended to wear boots and tuck their trousers into their stockings to prevent termite bites. Additionally, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary has a large number of beautiful butterflies that you will notice when you reach the place.
  • Bird watching: Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a home to over 200 recorded species of birds that you will find magical to view at Bigodi. Some of the birds you will find include; Crowned eagles, green breasted pitta, kingfisher, cuckoos, hornbill, papyrus gonoreks, Flycatchers, Brown-chested alethe, blue breasted kingfisher, little greenbul, Spotted barbet brown-throated wattle eye, white-spotted fluffy tail. The bird watching activity is so magical and adventurous and you will be directed by an experienced guide throughout the whole activity of bird watching in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Additionally, Bigodi is regarded as a home for the great Blue Turaco, a type of bird you will find in Bigodi Wetland that has an interesting story. It is observed that when a mate dies the other partner remains single for life.
  • Nature walks: For nature walks, you are given a guide who leads the way through the Bigodi swamp trails as you get a panoramic view of the swamp and the deep green vegetation plus the papyrus. You will get thrilling and exciting moments along the way as you take photos of this natural paradise and listening to the pleasant sounds made by the birds in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. 
  • Cultural encounters: Apart from nature walks in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, visitors are able to have a cultural experience and learn the history and traditional norms of the people in the area. This walks mainly take up to 3 to 4 hours and the first encounter will be visiting the traditional healer who will ably tell you about the herbs and everything else he uses to heal the sick. On this encounter, you will still be given an experienced guide that will answer any possible question that you ask him or her along the way. You will get to know about traditional ceremonies like weddings or marriages, suitable food, clans and birth among others.
  • Community visits program: During the course of their visit to Bigodi Wetland, visitors can also connect with the communities that stay near Bigodi swamps. The communities have various community projects that you as a traveler can visit and get to bond with them such as the Bigodi Women group that has over 40 members. Other projects include the school projects whereby they have been constructing schools from primary level to secondary schools that are fully funded by the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary project. All these projects are aimed at developing the communities that are within the premises of Bigodi Sanctuary such as providing employment opportunities to the people in the community.  

How to reach Bigodi

The Wetland Sanctuary is located near Kibale Forest National Park and mostly road transport is used. If you are to use public means, buses from Kampala city are always available and will take you to Fort Portal town. For those travelers that can afford or want to have an organized safari will opt for the different tour operators.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
A trail in Bigodi Wetland

Accommodation Facilities around the Wetland

Bigodi Wetland has a great number of lodges and hotels ranging from luxury, mid-range and basic or budget hotels. Many of these pocket-friendly accommodation facilities are located near Bigodi wetland Sanctuary. So the visitors can choose what suits them better. Many of these include the following;

  • Primate Lodge: Primate Lodge is a luxury accommodation facility which is located near the Kanyanchu Tourism Center and it features eco-friendly facilities and offers 8 cottages and a camping ground. Some of the amenities include a well-stocked bar and restaurant, a campfire area, storage area, and parking space is also provided to the guests.
  • Kyaninga Lodge:  Kyaninga Lodge is located near one of the crater lakes known as Lake Kyaninga and offers facilities like a restaurant, Double sided fireplace, a fully stocked bar, swimming pool. The place has 8 cottages that are filled with raised platforms, double / twin bed, hot and cold running water.
  • Chimpanzee Forest Guest House: Chimpanzee Forest Guest House is a midrange accommodation facility that is located near Kibale Forest National Park and features a main lodge building and a range of garden cottages. Some of the amenities in Chimpanzee Forest Guest House include a dining room, a lounge area and a bar which displays a view of the surrounding.
  • Chimps Nest: Chimps Nest is located near Kibale Forest National Park and it is a midrange accommodation facility that features comfortable cottages that have a private balcony, private outside bathrooms. Other amenities include a restaurant and a bar, parking space is available, solar lighting among others.
  • Other accommodation facilities near Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary to try out include the moon, Rwenzori View GuestHouse, Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve and Community Campsite, Nyinabulitwa Country Resort and Safari Camp, and Ndali Lodge among others.


A visit to Kibale National Park & to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is such a magical experience no one should miss. All the activities at Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary are thrilling and memorable letting you enjoy your trip or safari in the region. Lastly, when you visit Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, you get to promote conservation of the area and development of the communities through the support you give to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary projects.

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