Our trip to the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte started with a visit to Monfort Bat Sanctuary and Hagimit Falls. 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.

Monfort Bat Sanctuary

The bat sanctuary is approximately 45 minutes away from Kaputian port. After paying the environmental and entrance fee, we proceeded to their briefing shed where we met our tour guide. You can have your orientation talk about bats and you can also leave your things at the shed.

In 2006, the bat population in Monfort cave is 1.8 million estimated by the Bat Conservation International. Today, the 75-meter long cave contains around 2.5 million bats (as of this writing). Before the bats inhabited the cave, it used to be a hiding place for the locals during Japanese occupation.

Monfort bat cave has 5 openings which are enclosed by bamboo rails where you could peek in to see the bats. The first opening is the entrance of the cave where a mixed of female and male bats can be found.

The second cave opening is the maternity and nursery ward containing pregnant female bats. The third cave opening is the training ward where baby bats can be found. The younger bats are considered the most active among other bats.

The fourth opening contains the male bats. You can notice a really foul smell near the area especially at the back of the opening. There are actually more male than female bats.

The last cave opening is the smallest among the five openings and houses the old bats. These bats have a lifespan of 30 – 40 years.

Daily viewing of the bats is until 5PM only and night viewing starts at 5PM until 8PM. What’s interesting during night viewing is the circadian flight where bats make a wonderful formation. Circadian flight happens after sunset where millions of bats fly out of the cave to find food. According to our tour guide, 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 2AM.

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.

Contact Details and Other Info

Environmental Fee: PHP 5
Entrance Fee: PHP 100
Operating Hours: Day Viewing: 8AM – 5PM, Night Viewing: 5PM – 8PM
Address: Barangay Tambo, Babak District, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte
Tel Nos: (082) 234-7958
Website: www.facebook.com/monfortbatsanctaury

Hagimit Falls and Nature Park

After a visit to the Monfort Bat Sanctuary, we dropped by Hagimit Falls which is just 20 – 30 minutes away from the sanctuary. From the entrance, we walked around 100 steps to reach the falls. The path is already made of concrete.

Hagimit Falls is composed of several levels of mini waterfalls creating a series of natural pools. Water is flowing among big rocks where you can actually sit or lie down. Find a spot where you can sit down and allow the water to flow on your back and it’s like having a therapeutic massage already. Water is very cold and is very refreshing. You can really feel nature with the numerous trees surrounding the place where the waterfall got its name.

There are cottages that can be rented. The area is not that big and can get crowded during peak seasons. Overall, Hagimit Falls can be a good bonding escape for the entire family or group of friends at an affordable price.

Contact Details and Other Info

Environmental Fee: PHP 5
Entrance Fee: Adult – PHP 40, Children (2-7 years old) – PHP 20
Address: Poblacion, Penaplata, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte