Mabamba Swamp is a premium safari destination for birding most especially the elusive site to the rare shoebill stork, though it boosts with over 300 species of birds with 7 of the 12 Lake Victoria basin biome species that exists in Uganda. The most impressive one after the recent years’ research include the rare shoebill ‘’Balaeniceps rex’’ which also breeds from the region that is the Papyrus Gonolek and House Sparrow which is Vagrant.
The Mabamba wetland is listed on the UNESCO World heritage site and covers 2424 hectares with water lilies, papyrus plus other wetland grasses at Lake Victoria shores. Along here there are different trails that will take you to have great sights on your Uganda birding safari.
This wetland is most famous for the rare shoebill stork and according to their life cycle, a female shoebill when lays eggs it has to share incubation with the male for about one month when the chicks are hatched. They tend to lay one to three eggs. Interestingly about the shoe bill stork are predominantly solitary species adults that come together to mate. Then chicks can fly after being fed for 100 days and can look for their own food. These species can feed on all types of fish, turtles, young crocodiles among other.
These are the list of notable species of birds to see here such as Mosque Swallow ,Weyn’s Weaver ,White-Shouldered Tit ,Sand Martin ,Grosbeak weaver ,Common greenshank ,Blue-headed Coucal ,Stripped Kingfisher ,Orange weaver ,Grassland Pipit ,Tawny-flanked prinia ,Red billed fire Finch ,Osprey ,African pied wag tail ,Malachite kingfisher ,Angola swallows ,Intermediate egret ,African purple swamp hen ,Fan tailed widow bird ,Long tailed lapwing ,Squaco heron ,Breasted bee eater Flappet Lark ,Little bee-eater ,Northern Brown-throated weaver ,Yellow-backed weaver ,Grey-headed sparrow ,Spur-winged Lapwing ,Pied king fisher ,Yellow-throated Greenbul ,Common Squacco heron ,Fulvous whistling-dusk ,Goliath Heron ,Olivaceous Warbler ,Tawny Eagle ,Carruthers’s Cisticola ,Fan-tailed widowbird ,Ashy Flycatcher ,Slender-billed Gull ,White –browed Coucal ,Violet backed Sterling, African Marsh Harrier ,Violet –backed Sterling ,White faced Whistling duck ,Spur-winged Goose mentioned few.
Ideally, Mabamba has turned to be one of the strongholds for the migrant Blue Swallow with a record of over 100 individuals each year.
Mabamba is also home for wildlife such as Sitatunga a swamp antelope which is commonly hunted by the local people. It is also habitat to unique plant species like Sandboxes species.
Apart from visiting Mabamba swamp visitors can visit other tourist’s attractions in Entebbe like the Uganda Wildlife Education Center, Botanical gardens for bird watching, Muzinga Square park, Ngamba Island and Ssese Islands many more.
Best time for Birding
Birding is best enjoyed in the morning hours when weather is still cool for the day thus leading to variety of birds to be seen. And the best time to see the migratory birds is from December to March. We recommend you to always carry a pair of binoculars with you.
Essentials to Carry
Travelers can carry sun glasses, hats ,insect repellent ,sun protection and rain jackets among others.
This Wetland can be easily out reached starting from Entebbe town within an hour drive. Alternatively, travelers can use ferry crossing to Nakiwogo landing site to Kasanje landing site then drive for more 20 minutes to Mabamba swamp. It can also be reached from Kampala.
Where to stay
There are various accommodation facilities where one can sleep while on visit, good comfortable accommodation can be found close to the swamp with good amenities such as Uwec Leisure gardens, Sienna Beach hotel and Lake Heights hotel many more.
Lastly, Visit Mabamba Wetland as a best birders destination and a right site to view the rare shoebill while in Africa.