Activities in Maramagambo Forest : Uganda is a land that will never cease to amuse one due to its unending lovely sceneries, the different flora and fauna to experience on every venture you take in Uganda is a different experience, different forests to sight with different attractions land us to the maramagambo forest in Uganda.
Maramagambo forest is found in the district of Bushenyi in Uganda. It is part of Queen Elizabeth National Park and one of the largest forests in East Africa. The forest starts from an escapement in Kichwamba all the way to Lake Edward. The name “Maramagambo” originates from a story about a group of young people who got lost in the forest for several days. By the time they found their way back to the village, they had grown so worn out and shocked that that they couldn’t speak for long. Therefore refers to someone who is speechless or more specifically “can’t speak”. Maramagambo forest is home to chimpanzees, elephants, bush pigs, pythons, bats and the rare Batas’s pygmy antelope. In 2008, the forest was in the news all around the world because of a tourist from the Netherlands who was thought to have acquired the Marburg virus from one of the bat caves in the forest. Although this was an isolated case which has never happened again the last 10 years, it created negative publicity which unfortunately may still be keeping a few visitors away from this magnificent forest. The forest has a lot of fascinating attractions and lots of activities can be done in it, Activities in Maramagambo Forest.
Activities in Maramagambo Forest
Nature Walks: Maramagambo forest is questionably one of the best places for nature walks in Uganda. Nature walks can be done for 2 to 6 hours. The half day nature walks provide opportunities to go deeper into the forest and even explore beautiful crater lakes. Nature walks in Maramagambo forest can be done Caves in Maramagambo forest using several trails including the forest trail, river trail, palm trail, valley trail and waterfall trail. The forest trail is suitable for those who are not fit enough to climb hills because it is done in relatively flat terrain. The river tail goes up to River Kajojo while the Palm trail is famous for the frame trees whose leaves are said to increase female libido. The waterfall trail takes you to the beautiful Kilyantama waterfalls.
Primates Viewing: Maramagambo forest is home to Vervet monkeys, Colobus Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Baboons, Red Tailed Monkeys and Chimpanzees. Nocturnal primates like Bush babies and Pottos can also be sighed during night walks. The chimpanzees in Maramagambo forest are not open to tourism because they are not habituated. I guess the large size of the forest would make chimpanzee tracking impractical on a daily basis. Chimps are very mobile and cannot stay in one area for too long. It would imply following them into this vast forest with little chance of success. However, visitors spot the chimps frequently during the nature walks.
Bird watching: The sheer density and variety of birds in Maramagambo forest is what makes Uganda one of the top birding destinations in the world. The key attractions in Maramagambo forest are the Rwenzori Turaco, Forest Flycatchers and White Naped Pigeons. Other species include the African green pigeon, bat hawk, black-headed batis, dark-caped yellow warbler, fawn-breasted wax-bill, red-tailed bristle bill, Ross’s turaco, sulphur-breasted bush shrike and white-naped pigeons, Activities in Maramagambo Forest
Visiting Bat Caves: There are several caves within the Maramagambo forest that are home to millions of bats. The negative media coverage resulting from the 2008 Marburg Virus issue forced the park to work with the American Center for disease control to build a safe viewing platform. From the viewing point, visitors can actually spot African rock pythons feeding on the bats. Going too close to the bat caves is prohibited and still considered unsafe for tourists for fear that one could catch the Marburg virus.
Cultural Encounters: Apart from the bat caves and the viewing platform, visitors to Maramagambo forest can also visit a historic cave close to the community of Nyanziibiri for a cultural encounter. The cave is visited by prominent people who believe that they will be protected from misfortunes and other Visit Maramagambo forest calamities of life. The cave and its secret location were used as a perfect hideout by fugitives running away from the dictatorial regimes of the 1970’s and 80’s in Uganda. Close to the cave is the Banyaruguru hut with its beautiful artifacts depicting the kind of life lived by the community’s ancestors.
Forest research and Conservation: After completing the nature walks and other forest activities one can go to the visitor information Centre and learn about what is being done to protect the forest. The park officials should be able to share information about their work and the current research efforts in the forest, Activities in Maramagambo Forest
Wildlife Encounters: As already noted earlier, Maramagambo forest is part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This means that after seeing enough of what the forest Touring Maramagambo foresthas to offer, visitors can go for a game drives at the Kasenyi and Ishaha sectors of Queen Elizabeth National park to spot tree climbing lions, buffaloes, hyenas, warthogs, elephants and many more of Africa’s famous mammals. A boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel is one of the best wildlife experiences you can ever have while visiting the African continent. Moreover, if you haven’t seen the chimps in Maramagambo, you can go for the more organized chimpanzee tracking at the Kyambura Gorge. Queen Elizabeth National Park has so much to offer. No wonder it is the most visited national park in Uganda. Check out our 2 Days Queen Elizabeth tour itinerary,
The best time to visit Maramagambo forest
Maramagambo forest is open to visitors all through the year. Spotting chimpanzees and other primates is ideal during the months between June and September and also between December and February. The other months fall in the rainy season which can make the forest trails muddy/slippery and difficult to pass through. However, these rainy months are perfect for those who are interested in birding. It’s the breeding season and the forest is full of beautiful sounds of both resident and migratory birds. At this time of the year, the forests are filled with fresh fruits and food for the birds and other forest creatures. Visitors are few in the forest hence you can have all the privacy to explore the forest that is not possible when there are crowds, Activities in Maramagambo Forest
How to get to Maramagambo forest
It takes about 6 hours of driving to reach Maramagambo forest from Kampala. Most visitors to Maramagambo forest make their travel arrangements using a Tour operator. By using a Tour Operator, they come to Uganda without the burden of figuring out the way to the forest or dealing with a new system of doing things. Achieve Global Safaris can arrange for the transportation, accommodation and all permits required for your activities.