A HAPPY TRIP TO MONFORT BAT SANCTUARY
Visiting Samal Island for the second was still exciting for me. This time, we’ve decided to have side trips to the Monfort Bat Sanctuary and Hagimit Falls. I made a few research about these places.The Monfort Bat Sanctuary holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest colony of Geoffroy’s Rousette fruit bats since 2010. Hagimit Falls is a cascading, multi-level waterfall overflowing big rocks, creating a number of small, natural pools.
Riding the Habal-Habal we proceeded first to the Monfort Bat Sanctuary. The bat sanctuary is approximately 45 minutes away from Kaputian port. After paying the environmental and the entrance fee, we proceeded to their briefing shed where we met our tour guide. We were the only guests at that time so we had a very good chat with our guide.
We were told that the 75-meter long cave contains around 2.5 million bats. It is said that before the bats inhabited the cave, it used to be a hiding place for the locals during the Japanese occupation. Monfort Bat Cave has 5 openings which are enclosed by bamboo rails where you could peek in to see the bats. Just a few meter from the opening you can already smell a strong, fruity, rancid, ammonia smell. But one has to bear with it as it is normal for bats…milions of bats actually.
Daily viewing of the bats is until 5 PM only and night viewing starts at 5 PM until 8 PM. How we wish to stay until night to witness the circadian flight where bats make a wonderful formation.But we need to go back to the mainland in Davao.
It is said that Circadian flight happens after sunset where millions of bats fly out of the cave to find food. We were told by the guide that a tracking device was once put on the bats and they found out that the bats can reach as far as Bukidnon area. They usually return to the cave around 2 AM.
Well, if the given the chance to go back, I might opt to stay overnight as cottages are now under construction for those who wanted to stay overnight to view the circadian flight. You have to book in advance for a night viewing because they have to prepare things like torches.
Environmental Fee: PHP 5
Entrance Fee: PHP 100
Operating Hours: Day Viewing: 8 AM – 5 PM, Night Viewing: 5 PM – 8 PM
Address: Barangay Tambo, Babak District, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte
Tel Nos: (082) 234-7958