Maramagambo forest is located in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth national park in Bushenyi district is well known for cave bat experience. The forest is from Kichwamba escarpment all through Lake Edward and its canopy shade is good for activities such as hiking, bird watching and nature walks which last between 2-6 hours through the trails as you view different trees, waterfalls, crater lakes (kyasanduka and Nyamasingiri, unique and huge group of matching ants which will excite you by their size and also impressive bat caves. A view point was constructed where you will be able to see bats and big pythons that live in here. Some of the primates found here include vervet, colobus, red-tailed, L’Hoest monkeys and baboons; animal species such as the giant forest hog, African buffaloes, pygmy antelopes; bird species such the white napped pigeon, Rwenzori Turaco, forest flycatcher and red tailed bristle among others.
Cave bat experience
Maramagambo forest is well known for its cave bats with a volcanic tube like caves that attract a given number of bats and also the bats attract large numbers pythons to this place since they are their source of food. Information about this place circulated after a tourist from Netherlands was believed to have acquired Marburg from the cave bat in this forest and the outbreak led to the closure of the area until a viewing platform was constructed by the American Centre for Disease control. Ever since then there has not been any cases recorded about the similar disease meaning it’s safe for nature walks and cave bat experience. Apart from cave bat experience the forest also inhabits primates such as chimpanzees, vervet, red- tailed, blue monkeys, baboons, elephants, warthogs many birds. It also has an historical cave at Nyanzibiri community which is used as a place for sacrifices and cleansing misfortunes. However, the historical cave is also considered as hiding grounds for the past Ugandan presidents during the dictatorial regimes.
This is the best activity for bird lovers which cannot be missed out while on your tour in Maramagambo forest. The forest is a home to several bird species which are always seen during birding and some of these birds include the migratory and raptor birds. Common bird species seen around here include the purple headed starling, Rwenzori Turaco, White-spotted fluff tail, Hairy breasted Barbet and much more. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars and a camera for the best adventure.
Hiking and nature walk
The forest has some well designated hiking trails that can easily be accessed while hiking and during nature walks and these trails include the waterfall trails that lead to Kilyantama waterfalls, river trails leads towards river Kajojo and then the forest trails. During hiking and nature walks expect to come across some primates such as monkeys, baboons, chimpanzees, mammals such as Bush pigs, pygmy antelopes and elephants plus some nocturnal mammals such as bush babies and Pottos which are usually heard than seen. Along the ways also expect to see a lot of bird species, butterflies and different caves.
The forest harbours different primate species such as colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, L’Hoests monkeys, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys and much more. However, chimpanzees in Maramagambo forest are not yet habituated so they are not easy to track as they keep running away from human presence but yet it’s easy to see a lot of them roaming around the forest in search of fruits. Chimpanzees in this forest are not often visited as guests prefer those in Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest which are easy for tracking since they are also used to humans.
Best time to visit Maramagambo forest
Visiting this forest can be done all year round but best in the dry months of December and February then June and September due to the fact that the bush is always minimal for easy viewing and hiking trails have fewer terrains and accommodation around are in good condition.