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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Visit the Amazing Monfort Bat Cave, Samal Island

Swarm of fruit bats!

After our almost one hour journey in Samal Island via Island City Express Bus, we arrived at Babak district. It was the northern district of Samal Island. Since I asked the driver to dropped us to the tricycle terminal and gladly he did. He called two tricycles and the time we went off the bus, they approached us right away. They asked on our destination and I immediately told them to bring us to the Bat Cave. All locals knew that place so finding the route was no longer a problem.

From Kaputian to Babak. Source to this blog

Monfort Bat Cave was located in the northeast of the island. Our tricycle ride took only 20 minutes. But it may take less than 10 minutes because of the bumpy and rocky road that will surely hit your head while inside the tricycle. Signages were shown along the way so you will not feel lost. We turned left and we arrived to the site. The good part is the sanctuary will be close by 15 minutes so we were lucky to be here! :)

Trivia: This sanctuary is the home of the world's largest colony of fruit bats with an estimated 1.8 million living in the five cave areas here in Samal. The specific type of bats here was Geoffroy's Rousette (Rousettus Amplexicaudatus) where this place was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest colony of fruit bats in the world. The name Monfort came from the owner of the area, Ms. Norma Monfort.

Here's the stamp of Guinness World Records

picture with the Guinness Logo

entrance to the cave

We were excited and at the same time a bit scared because of what will happen once we visited this area. I, myself was afraid of bats but since the tour guide explained that they were on the area until night where they will fly. The smell of bats' urine and manure gets stronger as we moved closer to the area. The moment we went on the first cave, we were stopped and amazed.

First Cave

picture with the first cave

The tour guide explained to us the importance of bats. Stories told that farmers blamed bats on ruining their crops and they shoot or killed them but with the recent studies that bats helped in pollination of flowers in the trees most especially durian trees in Davao. During the guide's explanation, we headed to the next cave until we reached the biggest cave and amazed the swarm of bats. We thought it was just saw this in movies or television but we saw it live. :)

More bats

picture with bats

another cave

many bats

picture with the gang

here's the biggest cave

all bats covered the cave! :)

seems scared, eh

another cave

solo picture again

The tour guide explained to us that bats are part of the ecosystem and we must protect it since it played an important role in the society. After that, we thanked the crew of the sanctuary and we took some photos within the area and had a great moment visiting this place.

Cave Bat Workshop happened last 2011

picture with the group

good thing we reached this place before it closed

picture with the Guinness logo

smile! :)

Thank you for the learning and experience!

More information:

Monfort Bat Cave Sanctuary
Address: Barangay Tambo, Babak District, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte
Opens: Daily from 8:00AM to 5:00PM
Entrance Fee: PHP100

How to get there?

The best way to visit is through Island City Bus Express and ask the driver or bus conductor to drop you to Babak district. From Davao City, travel time was approximately 40 minutes, depending on traffic. Fare costs PHP 30. Hire a habal-habal or tricycle that will bring you to the site. Fare ranges from PHP20 to PHP60. If you travel by groups, fares will be lower.

Same goes if you travel like what we did from Kaputian district. Just ride the Island City Express Bus and travel time will take approximately one hour before you reach Babak district.  Fare also costs PHP30. :)

Continue to the next blog! :)

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