Mabamba Wetland is one of the popular Uganda birding safari sites with great bird sights including the most sought after Shoebill Stork.

Kidepo Valley National Park

At 48km from Kampala, the Mabamba Wetland is an International Ramsar site and besides the Shoebill, it also offers likely sights of bird species like grey crowned crane, cattle egret, common bulbul, long – crested eagle, hammerkop and grey plantain eater among others which present a diverse and exciting experience for birders in Uganda.

Birding in Mabamba is carried out on small engine-powered canoes run by experienced local guides that have deep knowledge of the special places where the rare shoebill stork can be sighted. The natural and tranquil environment of Mabamba is an extension of Lake Victoria and its magical waterways are themselves fascinating to explore especially for ecotourism enthusiasts while on safari.

birding in Uganda

An estimate of 215 bird species thrive in Mabamba Swamp stretching to 16,500ha including the migrant species from Europe such as White winged terns that tend to come in the month of August escaping the winter conditions. Mabamba Wetland covers a section of Waiga bay to the west of Entebbe International Airport – the main gateway for travelers to and from Uganda including those on Vacation.

Mabamba bay has grown into one of the most interesting and spectacular site for birding in Uganda and is one of the wetlands of International Importance. Apart from Murchison Falls National Park, Mabamba bay is the only place and site ( so far rated as the best in Africa and/or the whole world) where the elusive Shoebill can be spotted at any one time of the day. Recently, Mabamba has become one of the strong holds for the migrant Blue Swallow with over 100 individuals recorded every year. Mabamba has been surveyed in recent years and now boosts of over 260 species with one day’s record of about 157 species.

There are other four globally threatened species and other species of regional significance: the Pallid Harrier, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler and the Blue Swallow

Recent surveys have also confirmed presence of flocks of other species especially migrants such as Gull-billed Terns, and Whiskered Terns, White-winged Black Terns and residents such as Grey-headed Gulls.

Other interesting species found in the marsh include good numbers of Goliath Herons, Spur-winged and Pygmy Geese, Malachite kingfisher, Papyrus Canary, Northern Brown-throated weaver, Carruther’s Cisticola and a number of other birds.

There are other four globally threatened species and other species of regional significance: the Pallid Harrier, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler and the Blue Swallow

Recent surveys have also confirmed presence of flocks of other species especially migrants such as Gull-billed Terns, and Whiskered Terns, White-winged Black Terns and residents such as Grey-headed Gulls.

Other interesting species found in the marsh include good numbers of Goliath Herons, Spur-winged and Pygmy Geese, Malachite kingfisher, Papyrus Canary, Northern Brown-throated weaver, Carruther’s Cisticola and a number of other birds.

The wetland is in the political boundaries of Kamengo and Kasanje sub-counties in the Wakiso and Mpigi Districts and it is accessed from both Entebbe and Kampala. From Kampala, one follows Masaka road 30km before branching to Buyege proceeding 22km to and eventually Mabamba. From Entebbe, one branches off from Entebbe road at Kisubi driving to Nakawuka, Kasanje and eventually Mabamba.
The destination Uganda is an internationally recognized birding destination with a total of 1,057 bird species comprising 50% of the continent’s bird species and 11% of the global bird species. Other famous birding destinations in the country include among others; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park also popular for Uganda gorilla safaris, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Semuliki National Parks.

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