Maramagambo Forest Reserve in Uganda: Information guide.
Located in the district of Bushenyi in south-western Uganda, Maramagambo forest is part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Unlike other forest reserves in Uganda, Maramagambo forest reserve is so rich in wildlife and therefore one of the best destinations to visit while on a Uganda Safari. It gives you a summary of what Uganda’s tourism sector offers at one point.
The reserve is one small point to gather a pool of undeniably thrilling experiences out of the ordinary. This richness of Queen Elizabeth National Park with attractions is unexplainable.
Maramagambo Forest Reserve is one of the largest forests in East Africa and home to chimpanzees, elephants, bush pigs, pythons, and bats to mention a few.
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 were so worn out and traumatized that that they couldn’t speak for long. Maramagambo therefore refers to someone who is speechless or more specifically “can’t speak”.
History embedded in this forest.
A lot of controversial stories were written and a lot of tarnishing talks were made to disfavour travellers or tourists from reaching Maramagambo forest.
For instance in 2008, the forest was all over the news both locally and internationally because of a Dutch tourist who was thought to have acquired the Marburg virus from one of the bat caves in the forest.
It created negative publicity which unfortunately may still be keeping a few visitors away from this magnificent forest. However, this was an isolated case and no similar incident has been recorded ever since therefore confirming that the forest reserve is safe to be visited. There are millions of bats in the area and in other parts of Uganda and if it was true that the bats carried the virus, Uganda would be fighting a devastating epidemic but which is not the case.
Getting to the Maramagambo Forest Reserve
Maramagambo forest is so accessible and takes about 6 hours of road drive from Kampala. Kindly contact Jewel Safaris today and simplify your stay in Uganda without the burden of figuring out the way to this vast well-endowed forest.
We shall arrange all protocols right from transportation, booking accommodation, and secure all required permits for any activities on the itinerary. And while on the safari, you will be guided by a professional, experienced and knowledgeable Jewel Safaris guide.
What to see/attractions around Maramagambo forest reserve.
These are only part of the attractions found in Queen Elizabeth National Park but there are more like the Kazinga channel, the tree climbing lions in Ishasha sector of the park, the chimpanzees, the wildlife and lakes like Lake Edward and Lake George.
If you need a fun-filled safari with extensive wide range of momentous activities like boat cruise, bird watching, game drives, chimpanzee tracking and so many other activities, reach out to Jewel Safaris today.
What to do (activities) in Maramagambo Forest.
Despite being blessed with great biodiversity, Maramagambo forest is one of the less visited destinations. Many travellers visit other destinations closer to the park offices. Visiting Maramagambo forest is an excellent choice for those who wish to visit the forest with less crowds.
With time, we hope that the authorities can find a way of habituating the chimpanzees in Maramagambo and open doors for more visitors. Let’s look at some of the things to do in Maramagambo forest.
Maramagambo forest is home to Vervet monkeys, Black-and-white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Blue monkeys, Baboons, Red-tailed monkeys and Chimpanzees.Primate viewing:
Nocturnal primates like Bush babies and Pottos can also be sighed during night walks. The chimpanzees in Maramagambo forest are not open for tourism because they are not habituated.
It is assumed 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.
The sheer density of Maramagambo forest and variety of birds contributes to Uganda’s 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. The bird watching avenue, favourite of many ardent bird lovers awaits your visit. Come and update your bird check-list here.
Visiting the Bat Caves:
There are several caves within the Maramagambo forest that are home to millions of bats. A well designed viewing platform has been constructed view clear views of the bats at a safe distance. The caves also house the python which feeds on the bats. Don’t pay attention to the previous media reports, the place is undoubtedly safe.
Apart from the bat caves and the viewing platform, visitors to Maramagambo forest can also visit a historic cave close to the community of Nyanzibiri for a cultural encounter. This place is believed to have been a sacrificial and cleansing area as well as a hiding place for fugitives during the dictatorial regimes of past Ugandan presidents in the 70’s and 80’s.
The cave is visited by prominent people who believe that they will be protected from misfortunes and other calamities of life. The cave and its secret location was 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 Bunyaruguru hut with its beautiful artefacts depicting the kind of life lived by the community’s ancestors.
As already noted earlier, Maramagambo forest is part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This means after fully exploring Maramagambo Forest Reserve, you can go for a game drive in the Kasenyi plains or Ishasha sector.
Game drives here give an opportunity for spotting tree climbing lions, buffaloes, hyenas, warthogs, elephants and many more of Africa’s famous mammals in the well-endowed Queen Elizabeth National Park.
This is one of the best wildlife experiences you can ever have while visiting the African continent and the Uganda-“Pearl of Africa” in particular. Still if you haven’t seen the chimps in Maramagambo, you can go for the more organized chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura Gorge.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has so much to offer, making it the most visited national park in Uganda. Check out our pre-packaged best-selling safaris on our Jewel safaris’ site.