Birding in Mabira forest reserve

Uganda Nature Walk in Mabira forest reserve


Mabira Forest Reserve is one of Uganda’s largest rains natural forests located in Buikwe District between Lugazi and Jinja just about 54 km approximately 1 hour drive from Kampala city, covering an area of about 306 sq km. It has been protected as Mabira Forest Reserve since 1932 and is a home to over 315 bird species including the Cassini’s hawk eagle, Grey long bill, Natural Habitat of 312 species of trees, 218 Butterfly Species, 97 Moth Species, and 23 Small Mammal Species.
The forest offers an important bio-sphere system for Lake Victoria with water catchment for lakes (Kyoga), rivers and falls like River Nile, Musanya and Sezibwa falls. There is something enchanting about Mabira forests and refreshing. Perhaps it has to do with their ethereal tranquility and association with rewarding adventure or really the rejuvenating sights and sounds. This unique eco-system has its own micro climate, with rainfall and temperatures different to the open country side. Inside the forest, indigenous trees struggled to hug the sky, rodents played hide and seek in the buttress roots. Lush vegetation prompted exploration. The tracks are so clear for adventure, let alone a nature race.

Wildlife in Mabira

The forest has over 218 species of butterflies, 23 mammals including primates and 9 endangered species of mammals in Mabira not found anywhere else in Uganda and they include the short tailed fruit bat, Mangabey, baboon, Colobus monkeys and 95 moth species. Some of the birds in Mabira forest reserve include, to mention a few.
This reserve is filled with more than 300 endemic plants and species that are only sighted in the Coing-Guinea forests such as the Francolinus nahani, Phyllanthus atripennis, Macrosphenus concolor, Caprimulgus nigriscapularis, and Trochocercus niten among many others. Some of the species in the forest are used as traditional medicinal herbs thus stressing the importance of this forest to the livelihood of the surrounding villages.

Activities in Mabira Forest Reserve

The weather is shiny and just perfect for outdoor activities all through inclusive of nature walks and bird-watching. This is a great place for the nature lover, the person looking for some peace and yes, very romantic for couples and is one of the last untouched tropical rain forests in Africa which sits on a stretch of valleys, hills and some parts are fringed by papyrus swamps and Savannah on the shore of Lake Victoria.
Uganda Birding in Mabira forest
Birding in Mabira forest reserve
Birding in Mabira reserve forest is worth a rewarding venture as you will encounter lots of bird species since the forest harbors up to 315 recorded bird species some of these include:red headed blue bill, black, bellied seed cracker, Cassin hawk eagle, purple throated cuckoo, forest wood hoope and tit hylia.
Nature Walking
Walking through the property gives you a sense of feeling free in the jungle while enjoying the great design of the facility and this is one of the most interesting activities carried out in the forest reserve, during the forest walk your eyes will be sighting out different species such as birds, butterflies, different tree species, primate species such as red tailed monkeys, vertvets, gre-cheeked Mangabey.
Ziplining in Mabira rain forest
This is an incredible experience in Mabira forest which Passes through ancient trees by experienced Sky Captains / Sky guides across a network of 5 zip-lines that stretches 250 metres across River Musamya. Using strict International safety standards with imported climbing gears and art high ropes from America, participants are belayed up the first tree, brought through the whole system and repelled on a 78m diagonal zip. High up in the canopy one is able to enjoy a view of the forest layers, mammals like grey cheeked Mangabey and red tailed monkeys, birds like palm nut vultures, African fish eagles, great blue turacos and the roaring griffin falls, making your zip a memorable life experience.
Mountain Biking:
The mostly well-maintained trails are also a great place for mountain bikers to blazed through the Forest. One can even venture beyond the forest into the communities.
The forest trails cater for people of all time schedules and abilities and give visitors fantastic views into the forest canopy with an opportunities to discover close up a fascinating array of forest life. Both guided and unguided trails are available. For the energetic a circular 25 km bike trail links the forest to the surrounding sugar and tea plantations (mountain bikes are advised).
The forest reserve is particularly good for hiking, forest walks and mountain biking. There is a network of well maintained forest walks through the forest carefully built to protect the forest vegetation and a few other sites used for picnics.

Accommodation in Mabira forest

There is comfortable accommodation in the forest with some few lodges and cottages built to match the serenity of the forest reserve. The Rain Forest Eco-Lodge has 7 double rooms and five twin suite with furniture, private balconies with view of the forest, swimming pool, health spa, restaurant and a well stocked bar. The ambiance at the forest lodges is great for a weekend gateway. Banda accommodation is a traditional styled African Banda’s offering visitors private and comfortable accommodation set in beautiful forest glades. There is also a Camping Ground set in an idyllic forest glade. It can cater for up to 12 tents. A camp fire area and picnic tables make it ideal for self catering groups

How to get to Mabira forest

Mabira is located on the Kampala-Jinja Highway, approximately 54km from Kampala the capital and 26km from Jinja town on the shores of Lake Victoria. It takes about one-hour drive from Kampala to reach the lush forest in Buikwe district after a Najjembe town.