Uganda is a mind-blowing bird-watching hub with flourishing avi-tourism as the country hosts approximately 50% of the African continent’s bird count and 11% of the world’s bird species. Uganda is home to several bird species that live in various habitats ranging from forest, savanna, water, air, swamps, and wetlands. Mabamba Wetland Birding Safaris are one of the closest places to have a bird-watching tour in Uganda from the capital Kampala.
Mabamba Wetland Birding Safaris – Mabamba Bay is a wetland on the shores of Lake Victoria in the northwest of the Entebbe peninsula. it is famous for the shoe bill stork sightings while on Uganda safari. It covers 2424 ha with thick marshes of papyrus, water lilies, and wetland grasses.
The wetland is one of Uganda’s 33 Important Birding Areas (IBA) and is also listed as a Ramsar wetland of International Importance. Mabamba swamp is home to about 260 bird species. Birding in the swamp is amazing since the environment is beautiful with papyrus plants and lilies.
The major Uganda safari activity at the wetland is birding or bird watching. The key protected bird species at Mabamba are the Shoebill Stork, blue swallow, and papyrus gonolek. Seeing the shoebill is a major highlight for any bird watcher on safari being the fact that it is rare all through Africa.
Some of the migrant birds that can be seen at the wetland include the Blue Swallow, White-winged Terns, and Gull-billed Terns.
Other bird species in the wetland include the African, pigmy goose, black crake, black-crowned waxbill, black heron, African fish eagle, African Firefinch, African green pigeon, black-crowned night heron, and many more.
The time from September to March is a good time for birding since many migrant birds are at the wetland during this period.
Mabamba wetland bird-watching excursions are available to all travelers that come for birding in Uganda. Birding excursions last about three hours undertaken on a boat canoe. However, it is also possible to have a full-day birding excursion.
To get to Mabamba swamp, one can use several kinds of routes either from Entebbe or Kampala. If you go through Entebbe, expect to take a ferry from the Nakiwogo landing site for 10 minutes to the Kasanje landing site. From Kasanje, you are driven for about 20 minutes to Mabamba. At Mabamba the search for the shoebill and other birds is done on a motorized boat that is rented from the fishermen. With the conservation of the area, the shoebill was protected from being killed by fishermen and now they contribute on the protection.