Mabamba Shoebill Day Trips

Mabamba Shoebill Day Trips

Mabamba swamp is a Ramseur site and Important Bird Area The wetland hosts over 300 bird species that include many globally threatened species, 7 of Uganda’s 12 Lake Victoria biome restricted species (notable is the shoebill stork), and plenty of wetland specialties. The wetland also hosts huge flocks of Palearctic migrants every year from October to March and it’s one of the top birding destinations in Uganda.

Mabamba Swamp is rich in a Variety of fish species like Lungfish, Mudfish, electric fish which is the favorite food for the endangered  Shoebill stork. The traditional misconceptions have put the Shoebills in a state of extinction as they have been killed by the locals for traditionally related misconceptions, leading to a decline in the numbers and almost rendered them extinct in the wetland. Designating the wetland a Ramseur site in 2006 provided some protection to the Shoebill. However, bird watching on the wetland brought about enlightenment to the fishermen and community. The fishermen rent out their boats to birdwatchers and make a lot of money, and even some fishermen have been trained in birding and guiding. The fishermen protect the Shoebill and that even when they set out to fish and see a Shoebill they do not move too close not to disturb it and will gladly inform the tourists of where to see it. There is about 10 Shoebills said to be resident in Mabamba wetland.

The best time to see the Shoebill in the Mabamba swamp is early morning, say 7 am before there is more fishing activity.

How to get to Mabamba swamp in Uganda

By water-One can hire a speed boat from Entebbe and a 45 minutes boat trip can take you to the entrance of the swamp where you can meet the wooden canoe boat to take you deep in the swamp in search of the shoebill.

By road-You can also drive from Entebbe or Kampala to the mamba wetland swamp this trip will take you 1 and 30 minutes to the swamp where you will meet the local canoe boats.

Best time to visit Mabamba swamp

This swamp is accessible all year round but dry months are much preferred as the water levels are low and it gives much better feeding places and the grass is short. This is June –September, and Dec- Feb.

What to park for the Mabamba swamp birding

Being an open canoe boat is used travelers visiting the swamp are required to carry sunscreen, rain jacket, hut, drinking water, rain protective camera cover in case of rain, spear batteries.

Where to stay near Mabamba wetland swamp

Nkima Forest Lodge

Nkima Forest Lodge is located in its own patch of indigenous forest on Nansubuga hill overlooking the Mabamba Wetlands. The lodge has been built with minimal disturbance to the surrounding forest and the open grassland on top of the hill. The area is a birding hot spot in Uganda and the local community arranges boat trips into the swamp to view the Shoebill Stork and other birdlife from the nearby Mabamba landing site. The forest has numerous bird species, as well as Red-tailed monkeys (after which the lodge is named) and Vervet monkeys. The site also has many species of butterflies and insects, as well as smaller mammals such as squirrels, mongoose, and bushbabies. Bushbucks and duiker have occasionally been spotted. This is a small haven of wilderness within easy reach of Entebbe and Kampala that is perfect for those seeking peace, fresh air, and escape to an area of great natural beauty.

Activities to do in park

Climbing mount Meru from Arusha national park
Game drives in Arusha national park
Primate walks in Arusha national park
Walking safaris in Arusha national park
water fall hikes in Arusha national park
Canoeing on Lake Momella

How to get there

How to get to Arusha national park

Popular tours and safaris

3 Days Arusha national park safari
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5 days hike Mount Meru

Best time to visit the park

Best time to visit Arusha national park

Where to stay in the park

Hatari Lodge
Lake Duluti Lodge
Mount Meru game Lodge
Rivertrees country inn
Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge


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