Birding Mabamba Swamp

Birding Mabamba Wetlands

January 2, 2022
Safari Tips

Looking for Birding Mabamba wetlands? Mabamba swamp is located on the shores of Lake Victorian the northern side in Entebbe. This a prime wetland and its famous for the rare shoebill stock that is sought after by nature lovers and bird enthusiasts. It is a swamp thicket that covers about 2424 hectares with papyrus and lilies.

This swamp is a ramsar site and has also been listed as n Important Bird Area. The site boosts of over 300 bird species many of which are threatened. Its also home to 7 of the Lake victoria’s Biome endemics the most notable being the papyrus Gonolek and other water species. The site is also flocked by Paleartic migrants that are here from October through to March.

The easiest route to the swamp from Entebbe is Via Nakiwogo landing site using a ferry to Kasanje. The ferry takes about 10mis and when you reach the land you will drive about 30mins to Mabamba wetlands. You will have a chance to see a lot of garden birds. Birding on Mabamba Wetlands is done on a motorized wooden canoe and cut through the thickets.

The Mabamba Wetlands is known and popular for the shoebill stock that is one of the most sought after birds in Uganda. This bird is not found in many areas in Uganda. This place gives you the best chance in Uganda to see this rare bird.

The Swamp is rich with Lung Fish( Mamba) and it’s the best food for the shoebill stock. This lung fish is also the most sought after fish in this area by the local fishermen which makes the survival of the shoe bill tricky. Fishermen in this area had a superstitution that seeing a shoebill before fishing would result into a poor catch of the day. This meant that they would hunt down these birds to reduce on the bad omen on this park of the lake.

People have been educated and they now value the shoebill stock and they are working with the bird watching community to make sure these birds are protected. Some fishermen have been trained to do guiding and they use their boats to get extra income and reduce on the fishing of the lung fish to make sure the shoebills are left with food to eat.

When you are to do a birding tip to Mabamba wetlands, you will have to reach the swamp by 7am before any other activities on the swamp that can drive the birds away.

Other Mabamba wetlands bird species include;

Malachite Kingfisher, Marsh Harrier, Northern Brown-throated Weather, Orange Weaver, Papyrus Gonolek, Pied Kingfisher,  Cattle Egret, Common Moorhen, Common Sandpiper, Common Sqacco Heron, Double Toothed Barbet, Glossy Ibis, Goliath Heron, Great Cormorant, Great White Egret, Great White Pelican, Green Cuckoo, Grey Heron, Grey-crowned Crane, Gull-billed Tern, Hadada Ibis, Harmerkop, Little Egret, Little Stilt, Long-tailed Cormorant, Long-toed Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, Pink-backed Pelican, Pin-tailed Whyda, Purple Heron, Red-eyed Dove, Red-headed Love-bird, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Speckled Mousebird, Spur-winged Goose, Spur-winged Lapwing, Swamp Flycatcher, Veilots’ Black Weaver, Village Weaver, Water Thicknee,  Black-headed Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Blue Swallow, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, White-browed Cuckoo, White-faced Whistling Duck, White-throated Bee-eater, White-winged Tern, Winding Cistocola, Wood Sandpiper, Woodland Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kite, Black-headed Weaver, Yellow-billed Duck,African Fish Eagle, Purple Swamphe, African Green Pigeon, African Jacana, African Marsh Harrier, African Pigmy Goose, Black Crake, Black Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-crowned Waxbill among others.

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