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Tamana Bat Cave Mount Tamana, with an altitude of 313 meters, is the tallest mountain in the Central Range. Its geological features consist mainly of coral limestone, which shows that thousands of years ago the mountain was a reef. Located on the northern slopes of Mt Tamana is the remarkable bat cave, which houses twelve species of bats. The estimated population in the cave is five hundred thousand bats. The Tamana Bat cave has the second largest colony in the region. The highest recorded is Bracken's Cave in San Antonio Texas. A breath-taking event is witnessing the bats exiting the cave at sunset. Every evening, as it starts to get dark thousands of bats leave the cave to go in search of food. They exit in a spiral formation and this spectacular phenomenon can last for several hours. The bats eat a variety of foods, and some are insectivores, frugivores (fruit eaters), nectarivorous and sanguivorous (common vampire bats). Bats play a significant role in keeping mosquito and insect populations under control, which can help in limiting the spread of the yellow fever virus. One bat can consume in a night up to 25% of its body weight or 1.3kg(3lbs) of insect per year. Fruit Bats are key contributors to forest regeneration bringing the seed of plants to pristine areas, e.g. Balata, mango, pawpaw. Of all the species, the vampire bat is the only one that can transmit rabies. However, 99 % of these infections are perpetrated by man's best friend dogs. Bats are among the cleanest of animals and are resistant to diseases. They spend their non-flying time grooming their bodies using their tongues and claws. The Tamana Bat Cave has two distinct chambers. The main chamber runs parallel to the surface, while the second descends vertically underground. To explore inside the cave one has to crawl through a narrow entrance located at the higher end of the sinkhole. The most amazing sight is the display of thousands of frenzy bats of various sizes and species hanging in clusters on the walls and ceiling of the cave. The ground which is covered with thick layers of bat guano, attracts roaches in their hundreds. Although bats appear scary and vicious, on the contrary, they are harmless and will not attack anyone. Some may prefer to stay at the top for the migration rather than go through the scary experience of exploring the inside. The thoroughfare out of the cave is located on the other end and requires rock-climbing 20 feet to get to the surface. The trek to the cave will take 20 minutes, and there is the option to continue onwards to the summit of Mt Tamana where there are spectacular panoramas of the Northern and Central Range. If ever you plan to visit, it is recommended to bring along a change of clothing, footwear, rubber gloves, torchlight, repellent, water to wash hands and most importantly, if you plan to go inside, a long 50 -foot rope is needed to climb out the cave.
On Easter Saturday 20th April 2019 Island Hikers explore the Tamana Bat Cave.
Rating: 3 easy
Assembly 1.00pm at the Corner of Omeara Rd and Churchill Roosevelt Highway, Arima
Finish: 7 pm.
Hiking time to cave: 20mins uphill
Exploration of inside the cave and to the summit of Tamana is optional.
Kids allowed $30.00
For details contact Mario 749-2956, Marcia 4902421, Jamal: 761-1889 or www.islandhikers .com