Ratargul Swamp Forest
Ratargul Swamp forest is the only freshwater swamp forest in Bangladesh, called the “Sundarbans of Sylhet”, and also our favourite place among those we visited in the country. It is a real hidden gem of natural beauty! This freshwater swamp forest is known for its serene and pristine environment.
As a visitor, you can explore the lush greenery with towering trees and vibrant foliage. The forest is home to a variety of plant and animal species, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. Just be aware that during the rainy season, venomous snakes find their way up in the trees! Around half a year during the monsoon most of the swamp`s vegetation stays underwater! During the winter, this swamp becomes walkable, there are thousands of migratory birds coming here! The best time to visit Ratargul is at the end of the monsoon – the end of the summer.
The serene surroundings, tranquil lakes, and picturesque walking trails make Ratargul Swamp Forest a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful escape into the heart of nature. This is a must-visit place for anyone looking to experience the natural wonders of Bangladesh.
How to get to Ratargul Swamp Forest?
First, you`ll need to reach the city of Sylhet. From there the forest is around 20 km away. Unfortunately, there is no public transport going to the forest, so you`ll need to bargain with the drivers. The best way to get to Ratargul Swamp Forest is by using an auto-rickshaw. You can ask your hotel to arrange a ride for you for a local price or use the mentioned price as a reference and try to bargain with other drivers to get something cheaper. Bargaining is part of the culture in Bangladesh so don’t feel discouraged to name what you think something is worth.
There are two entrance points in Ratargul Swamp Forest:
- Motor Ghat. Upon arriving, you’ll have to pay for a boat that’ll go up the river to the swamp area where you’ll have to transfer to a kayak. At the swamp area, you’ll be charged “A Swamp Forest sustainability fee”. Don’t be surprised to see that prices for tourists are higher than for locals and that foreign visitors are not allowed to share boats with locals to reduce the price.
- Chourongi Ghat – this Ghat connects directly to Swamp Forest so you won’t need to switch boats. Straight into kayak. Guides are extremely friendly and if you’re lucky you might find the one that we had.
Remember you`ll need to use translation apps or at least learn the numbers (to understand prices) as they`ll be different from the ones you know. Here you can see the entrance fees.
Enjoy your journey!