Maramagambo forest is positioned in the southern region of Queen Elizabeth national park in Bushenyi district and it is a tropical rain forest that inhabits various species of mammals, primates, birds and many more. The forest is famously linked with its Bat caves where a tourist came all away from Netherlands to visit this forest to do research on Marburg virus “a dangerous virus” to humans which can be found in the bats.
Due to this outbreak that occurred in an area, the cave was closed till the construction of the bat viewing centre around which was support by United States of America centres carry out disease control and prevention. The forest is bordered by two crater lakes named lake Nyamasingiri and Kyasanduka which are home of primates species such as chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, baboons, L’hoest monkeys, black and white monkeys, with mammals like photos, bush babies, giant forest hog, giant elephant shrew, yellow-backed duiker pygmy antelopes and many, bird species like black-headed batis ,bat hawk ,red tailed bristle bill African green pigeon ,papyrus Gonolex ,white-winged warbler ,black bee-eater ,White tailed lark ,Greater flamingo ,corn cake ,papyrus canary and many more. And in addition to that, it offers a spectacular view of crater lakes like lake katwe as well as the remarkable view of Lake George, Lake Edward, Rwenzori mountain range, and Kazinga channel.
You can as well visit lake katwe while you’re here which is positioned in the north of the great Mweya peninsular which is great area for a game drive within Queen Elizabeth national park.
The word ‘’Maramangambo’’ is in local Runyankole word which means ‘’short of words’’ and it was derived from the two young children of the tender age who got lost in the forest for a couple of days trying to look for their way out but in vain and when they were saved from the forest they couldn’t speak what really happened to them and the locals ended up naming it Maramangambo.
Maramagambo forest is grounded on the Kichwamba escarpment on the adverse of the tropical region which sits in Queen Elizabeth national park that covers a section of Albertine Rift valley in the south western direction of Uganda.
The most interesting things in maramagambo forest are the impressive Bat caves which provide with secure viewing centre that has been created just outside of these caves and around there is possible viewing of numerous bats and the place is safe without any threats of the odd Marburg Virus.
Activities to encounter in Maramagambo forest
- Chimpanzee trekking: maramagambo forest is a home of the largest number of chimpanzees in East Africa, in here chimpanzee trekking can be encountered which takes 2 to 7hours tracking being led by you with experienced guides who known the forests trails of this great apes, once are being found you can be given one hour to observe them as you learn on how they play, feed their young ones, grooming and many more.
- Bird watching: maramagambo forest is a home of various bird species and to those who love birding you can visit this forest to encounter beautiful species of birds such as greater flamingo, white tailed lark, pink backed pelican, African broadbill, black bee-eater, papyrus canary, white-winged warbler, papyrus Gonolex and many more other species.
- Encountering the forest trails: Forest trail–This goes to travellers who enjoy hiking but they should be physically fit enough to climb through the hills where you can have great encounter of exciting things such as Rivers, primates, trees and birds. River trails–The hiking takes one to two hours along River Kajojo which means a ‘’little elephant’’, as you’re walking to River Kajojo expect to see climax tree species, primates such as red tailed monkeys, vervets, black and white monkeys and bird species. Valley trail-To walk up to valley it takes 2hours to reach there, you can walk along the ridge and come across the forest features like Viagra tree which is the most beautiful tree in the forest among others. Palm trail-The palm trail walk is 5kilometer walk which takes 2hours to walk through flat terrain and it can be suitable for all visitors. Within this trial, you will have breath taking due to features found along here like the interesting tree species for example frame tree, Raphia palms which are a source of raw materials used for making mats, spectacular dragon tree and many more. The waterfall trail-This is an 11-kilometre walk along the valley which takes about 4 to 5 hours through the forest to hilly sides of maramagambo forest and also you can reach to the wet terrain. As you continue to walk through the water trails it will lead you to waterfalls of Kilyantama meaning ‘’sheep eater falls. As you’re moving you will have high chances of seeing tree species of backcloth figs which men use to make bags, table mat covers, curtains and many more.
Maramagambo forest can be accessed easily whether by road or by Air, from Kampala City through Mbarara to Bushenyi takes 5 to 6 hours by road. Alternatively, you can fry from Entebbe International Airport to Mweya Airstrip located near Queen Elizabeth National park within 1:00 by a charter flight.
Visit Maramagambo forest where you will gain in the great experiences of hiking, birding, chimpanzee trekking, and game drives which can be enjoyed in an open savannah grass of mweya peninsular among others.