The Bigodi wetland sanctuary is a very fascinating area that is located in Magombe swamp and is recognised for an extensive array of biodiversity among which are the many primate species including; the red Colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, baboon, black and white monkeys, vervet monkey, red tailed monkeys, and L’ Hoest monkey. The mammal species found here include; chimpanzees, sitatungas, Mongooses, bush pigs, otters, bush bucks, and some of these animals come from Kibale National Park.
The Bigodi wetland sanctuary is a good example of a community based approach to the natural resources management that can be of good economic benefit to many different local residents that live with in this area plus the tourism sector as well. If you are looking to responsible tours in Uganda, you should include the Bigodi Wetland within your trip itinerary.
This wetland is a paradise of bird watchers and skilled birders can be seen up to fifty new species on the bird list. There are about 138 bird species that have been recognised with the Bigodi wetland sanctuary. Among the main birds here is the Grand Blue Turaco. This swamp supports more than 200 species of birds, the most well known birds includes the Blue Turaco. This swamp is administered by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (kafred). There are many chimps that visit the place which adds on the diversity of wild animals that the tourists see within the Bigodi area.
The Name Bigodi was derived from a local Rutooro word that means Kugodya and this means top walk tiredly or wearily. It’s supposed that when the visitors reached Bigodi swamp on foot, they actually were at all the time too tired to go on and visit the jungle and this major reason, they decided to rest here.
Conservation of the camp has got its real benefits since it receives more than $ 150000 which is got from tourists each year. The fraction of this earning was used to build Bigodi secondary school as well as a nursery school, and to pay salaries of the school teachers; more so the bridges have been constructed over swamps within the villages.
The additional benefits include; the tips and sales from the fruits and vegetables that is earned by the farmers.
Some of the tourists here for many years have been sponsoring a number of children living in this village for advance studies.
Many local people have changed their homes into African homesteads for tourists to visit. This gives tourists a closer meeting of day today lifestyle of the local resident people.
These women have created the Bigodi Women Group that consists of 40 members presently, who makes good looking beads using re cycled paper and additional materials got from this swamp like the raffia and phoenix palm leaves that is used in weaving of baskets and making bags. There are local products that are exported to as far as Europe.
Luckily poaching in the region has been very reduced, nearly to stoppage, since the poachers themselves that are today serving as tour guides take tourists through the impressive swamp and guides during community walks in villages. More so the roads that run through the village were constructed by the funds that are earned by the Bigodi swamp project.