RFI Bats in East Africa


I have some clients heading to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya in June 2016 for primates and they have requested me to find out any bat conservation sites, studies or hotspots along their route as one of the clients is a bat conservationist in the UK. Does anyone know of any in or close to either:

Uganda- Entebbe / Bwindi NP / – or along the highway route connecting these

Rwanda – Volcanoes NP / Kigali – or along the highway route connecting these and also Bwindi with Volcanoes

Kenya – Shore area of Lake Victoria

Any help or information would be much appreciated.


Martin Royle

PS. Some of you may have seen my post of FB, i have just come back from my latest Siberian tiger tour and we have 2 incredible sightings. I have attached a pic from the first sighting we had. I will be uploading the trip report in the coming days.



  • Chris Roche

    Hi Martin
    As far as Rwanda is concerned I would recommend three locations:
    1. the Musanze Caves in the town of Musanze are effectively lava tunnels like those in Galapagos. The ones that have been developed for tourists run for maybe 1km and have two ‘bat caves’ along this length. I don’t know the species. There was a researcher called Julius Nziza who was working on them. This you and your clients could do one afternoon after either gorillas or golden monkeys.
    2. on the shore of Lake Kivu adjacent to the Serena Hotel in Gisenyi there is a stand of palm and other trees that have a roost of straw-coloured fruit bats that are easily seen.
    3. on an island in Lake Kivu further south and offshore of Kibuye there is an island with a colony of around 50 000 straw-coloured fruit bats. The island is called Nyamunini and it is well known to all the boatmen around Kibuye.

    you can see a variety of photos of the fruit bats at both sites on this facebook page:

  • Leslie Sokolow

    Strongly suggest you avoid bat caves in East Africa.

    “Travelers should be encouraged to avoid entering caves where bats are known to be present. Cases of Marburg fever have occurred in travelers who visited a python cave in western Uganda.” It’s a good way to catch one of several deadly hemmorhagic fevers, including Marburg Fever, a relative of Ebola.

    Source: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/select-destinations/east-africa-safaris.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    There is a small bat cave in Tsavo West and a bunch of caves in Mt. Elgon NP. For bats in hollow trees, Semiliki Valley, Arabuko-Sokoke and Kakamega Forest are really good. For rock-dwelling species, try Hell’s Gate, Lake Nakuru NP and Marsabit NP. In 2009 there was a fruit bat colony under the entrance gate of Nairobi NP, a mixed colony in a shed behind the gas station in Queen Elizabeth, and another one in a huge hollow tree along the access road to Murchison Falls.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Also Gede ruins in Kenya had a few spp. back in 2009.

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