The Monfort Bat Cave, Samal Island, Philippines.

No visit to Samal Island as a tourist is complete without a visit to The Monfort Bat Sanctuary, this bat cave is amongst Samal Island's main attractions and is actually in The Guinness Book of Records as the largest single bat colony of it's type in the world. The Monfort Bat Sanctuary is home to around 2.3 million Rousette Fruit Bats, making this is a great experience for nature lovers particularly when the bats leave at dusk. Directions at the foot of the page.

monfort bat cave colony sanctuary
Just a few of the bats at the Monfort Bat Cave.

The cave itself is some 75 metres long and has a lower main entrance as well as a number of top openings along it's length, the top openings serve both as observation points and to allow the bats to enter and leave. It is not possible to enter the cave itself nor would you want to because of the heat generated and the health hazard from the guano.

There is adequate car parking and when you make your way towards the cave itself you will see that there is a large amount of educational material on view concerning the bats and the attraction, so spend some time here before you proceed to see the actual bat colony.

In days gone by there were a number of other inhabited bat caves on Samal Island with a much larger population of bats on the island but one by one most of the other caves on the island have been deserted by the bats due to interference by man, both to mine the guano and to take the bats themselves as a food source. I only know of two other much smaller inhabited bat caves on the island today, one is at the bottom of The Bito Depression, so good luck in visiting that, and I am not going to where the other one is!

The present owner of the cave is Miss Norma Monfort, the cave and surrounding area have been in her family since the 1900s. Much kudos to Miss Monfort in developing the cave to what it is today and being such a strong proponent for the welfare of these creatures. Their effect on the more widespread environment in Mindanao is also of understated importance because as they feed the bats pollinate the flowers on the trees and they spread and distribute the seeds which pass through their digestive systems, some authorities believe that they play apart in the abundance of durian trees the fruit of which is such a hallmark of Davao City.

However the cave does have other inhabitants, I have personally seen impressively large monitor lizards and pythons on the floor of the cave, these play a part in the ecosystem of the cave as they feed on injured and sick bats which fall to the cave floor. Cats visit from time to time and crows are predators as well, although the cats and crows only account for a very small losses to the bat population as a whole.

Visitors are welcome during the day but it is also possible to visit after sunset when the bats are leaving starting at 18:00, but only by appointment, and in maximum groups of 6 persons.

Directions : Click HERE to see it on Google maps

Contact numbers :

0917 705 4295
0920 969 3299
0922 839 0319