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The Mabamba Wetlands, a Perfect Spot for Bird Watching in Uganda

bird watching uganda

A Mabamba swamp is located in Entebbe along the shores of Lake Victoria. This swamp is quite big cutting across a long narrow bay with Cyperus papyrus along its border heading towards Lake Victoria, and a wonderful stopover while on Safari in Uganda. Somewhere in the middle of the swamp is an open water body, very small like a water channel and sometimes it cuts a portion of the swamp away from the main swamp forming some sort of islands and it at times sail away.


Why visit Mabamba wetland

Bird Watching

Its swampy nature gives it the opportunity to accommodate lots of different birds that love staying swampy places. There are more than 300 birds which also include the most sought Shoebill stork a bird that every bird watcher is interested in seeing while on a birding safari. There are so many especially the papyrus endemic birds like the Papyrus Gonolek as well as the Papyrus Yellow Warble, there are some migrant birds like the Gull-billed Tern, the Blue Swallow and White-winged Tern, among others. There are other types like the Spur-winged Goose, Goliath Heron, Squacco Heron and many more thus making it a really great destination for those interested in birds. Mabamba was selected as a Ramsar site therefore an IBA which means it’s a very Important Bird Area.

Butterfly Watching

If you love butterflies, Mabamba has about 200 butterfly species which is rather a huge number therefore making the swamp look colorful. Some of the very rare types of butterflies can be found in this swamp for example theBicyclus sebetus,Abisaraneavei, Acraea consanquinea and Acraea aganice as well as the Acraea aurivilli, to mention but a few.

There are fishing Expeditions

Never witnessed local fishermen casting and collecting the fishnet! You can visit Mabamba wetland where you will find a number of people fishing and you can participate if you wish to otherwise you can just watch what happens from acanoe. This bay supports are very profitable fishery industry and that is at a commercial level but the locals also fish for their own domestic consumption. In that water there is the Tilapia zillii (Zilli’s Tilapia), the Orechcromis niloticuscommonly called the Nile Tilapia and theOreochromis leucostictus which are the 3 types of Tilapia fish which is on high demand on the market.

Enjoy a canoe ride

A slow canoe ride can be arranged and while on the canoes, you can do a little bit of fishing using the local materials like the rod and a hook. During the canoe ride, you can do some sort of Shoebill trekking and since there are many shoebill storks in that swamp, you may be luck enough and see more than one. That would so memorable to anyone.

Visit craft shops and do village walks

You can go for a village walk which is the perfect opportunity you get to interact with the locals. You can visit the local craft shops where locals sell their craft work which work includes products like baskets, huts, mats, among so many others. They get most of their raw materials like the papyrus from the wet lands, get the building materials like the papyrus for the roofing, the water for both domestic use and for their livestock is also collected from Mabamba. It is s also source of local herbs since there are lots of medicinal plants in and around that area. About the wildlife, there are mainly the Sitatungas as well as swamp antelopes but their existence is threatened by the humans who hunt them for meat.


Mabamba swamp should be included in any one’s itinerary because it is the closest place from where you can see plenty of bird life. This means you will have an amazing bird watching trip in this unique swamp where you have higher chance of seeing the shoebill stork at a very close range. Visiting Mabamba can be an addition activity after or before your Safari in Uganda to see wildlife, see primates or enjoy a cultural experience.

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