Maramagambo Forest | Queen Elizabeth national park
Maramagambo forest is an extensive tropical forest situated in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park and is one of the top-visited places in the park. Maramagambo Forest is located in the western part of Uganda inside Queen Elizabeth national park stretches from Kichwamba escarpment and runs towards Lake Edward in Bushenyi district covered with tall trees with canopy and buttress roots. The forest obtained its name after a group of people disappeared from there and after their return, they couldn’t say any word thus the locals named the forest “Maramagambo which means loss of the word”
The nature of Maramagambo forest makes it one of the unbeatable destination to explore while on a tour to Queen Elizabeth National park due to its unique attractions such as several bird species, hiking trails, primates such as monkeys, caves, crater lakes, mammals, beautiful tree species, and butterflies, among others leading to several activities that are enjoyed by visitors all over the world.
Activities carries out in Maramagambo forest
Maramagambo is one of the best place to visit during a Uganda tour due to the fact that it offers very many tourist activities to engage in such as birding, chimpanzee trekking, hiking and nature walks, exploration of bat caves, and many more that are worth a try as elaborated below;
Birding: Bird watching in Maramagambo forest is the best activity that every bird lover should never miss out once they get a chance to visit Queen Elizabeth national park. Maramagambo forest is a home to several bird species which are always seen during birding these include raptor birds, migratory birds, and other unique birds. Some common bird species seen in Maramagambo forest include; Rwenzori Turaco, Flycatchers, white-winged Warbler, African Broadbill, Grey Woodpecker, African Emerald Cuckoos, Hairy breasted Barbet, speckled Tinkerbird, Broad-tailed Warbler, the purple-headed starling, Green Hylia, white-spotted fluff tail, White Naped Pigeons, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Martial Eagle and many more. All you need is to back your pair of binoculars and a camera then you will truly enjoy the wilderness
Primate viewing in Maramagambo forest: Mabira forest harbors 7 primate species including the mighty chimpanzees, Vervet monkeys, L’Hoests Monkeys, Colobus Monkeys, Baboons, Blue Monkeys, and Red Tailed Monkeys. However chimpanzees in Maramagambo forest are not yet habituated so they are not easy to trek as they keep running away from human presence but you will surely see a lot of them as they roam the forest in search of fruits chimpanzees which is their major diet alongside buds, leaves, flowers and many more. These chimpanzees also prey on other small primates such as monkeys including the colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and baby baboons, mammals such as goats and young antelopes that exist in the forest thus have enough food while in the forest. However, the chimpanzees in this forest are not often visited as most guests prefer to visit those in Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest which are used to human for easy trekking. Monkeys are also seen in plenty during the primate viewing as they jump from one tree to another cheerfully.
Hiking and nature walk in Maramagambo forest: Maramagambo forest has some well-designated hiking trails that are easily available for hikers and this hiking can easily be combined with the nature walk sighting out several wildlife species with in the forest. Several trails such as waterfall trails that lead to kilyantama waterfalls, river trails towards river kajojo, forest trails and many more that can be hiked by anyone. During hiking and nature walks expect to encounter several forest dwellers including primates such as chimpanzees, monkeys, baboons, several mammals such as Elephants, Bush pigs, lions, pygmy antelopes, bats and pythons with in the caves, topis, Hippos, and some nocturnal mammals such as Pottos and Bush babies which are usually heard than seen. Also a lot of birds, butterflies, caves among others all inside the forest during the nature walk. All you need to do is pack your insect repellant, hiking shoes, sunglasses, hiking stick, and long sleeved attire without forgetting enough drinking water and lunch box.
Visiting the Bat caves: These caves are easily explored during the nature walk. However, visitors do not need to enter into the caves for fear of acquiring Marburg disease but can easily view the bats that live inside the caves with the python snakes through a building that was constructed beneath the caves. During the cave visit, visitors are in a position to also explore the two crater lakes of Kyasanduka and Nyamasingiri.
When to visit Maramagambo forest: Dry months of December to February and June to September are always the best when it comes to Uganda tours due to the fact that the blush is always minimal for easy viewing, hiking trails have fewer terrains, and the accommodations around are in good conditions. Also, take a consideration that the dry months are best when the forest has ripe fruits enjoyed by the primates though the wet season also provide enough pasture for herbivores that flock the forest in search of food and is also the best season when the fruits in the forest are fresh and most birds tend to breed during the rainy season hence good for birders at ease as the forest is less congested. Though during the rainy season some lodges close up and the hiking trails within the forest tend to become slippery making hiking a bit tiresome but possible for physically fit hikers. These rainy months include March, May, September, October, and November normally known as the low season due to the fact that few visitors visit Uganda as compared to the dry months. However, the climatic conditions in Uganda are always favorable weather during the dry or wet season so a visit to the Maramagambo forest can be done all year round. So feel free to book your tour to the Maramagambo forest at any time of the year.
How to access Maramagambo forest
Since the Maramagambo forest is situated inside Queen Elizabeth national park at 420km from kampala, then it can easily be accessed by using road transport which is about 6 hours’ drive from Kampala via kampala- Mbarara- Bushenyi road queen Elizabeth national park. visitors can use either private vehicles or a bus
It can also is accessed by taking a flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield to Mweya airport and then connect to the Maramagambo forest.
Apart from exploring Maramagambo forest and all its beautiful fauna and flora, queen Elizabeth national park has a lot of other sectors to visit such as Ishasha sector which is famously known for its tree-climbing lions, mweya peninsular, Kazinga channel, kasenyi plains and many more that are worth a tour before you exit this shortly lived world