Tourism Activities in Mabira Forest Reserve

The prime attractions in the Mabira forest area are; forest species, birds, primates, butterflies, hills, rivers among others.

Tourism Activities in Mabira Forest Reserve

Mabira Forest reserve is Uganda’s only urban jungle with a number of tourism activities. The forest is located between two major urban centers, on the main Kampala-Jinja highway about 54 km, an hour’s drive from Kampala, and 20 km from Jinja. Mabira forest is one of the places that you can visit if you are a nature lover. The forest has got wonderful and animal species with magnificent tourist activities that you can participate in

Mabira Forest Reserve is a preferred destination Eco-tourists. The forest receives most of the tourist coming to Uganda primarily to visit forests. The prime attractions in the Mabira forest area are; forest species, birds, primates, butterflies, hills, rivers among others. A combination of these attractions has made it possible for tourists to engage in several activities such as nature walks, cycling, birding, wildlife viewing, cultural encounters, or simple relaxation and camping/picnics.  Mabira forest reserve is also the bests place for educational tourists to learn about how natural resources and threatened species can be protected as well as promoting conservation efforts.

The forest reserve can be explored using an extensive trail by foot, motorcycle, or bicycle. All activities start at the Mabira Eco-tourism Centre for a better experience. As Africa adventure vacations we bring you the activities that you can enjoy while making a trip/tour to Mabira forest reserve

Forest guided nature walks

Forest guided Nature walks; this involves tourists using their feet while in the forests as they enjoy the sounds a different forest species residing in it. The nature walk is a wonderful activity in Mabira that brings you closer to the plant species and rare wildlife species such as Mangabey. Further, forest guided Nature walks in Mabira allow visitors to enjoy the serenity and lovely sounds of the forest. You can as well go into the forest on your own but it is good when you get an experienced guide who knows well about ancient trees, butterflies, water bodies, plants, mammals and birds.

There about four trails in Mabira Forest Reserve that can be used by tourists while on their tour the forest and these include, the Red trail (33km), Yellow Trail (12kms), (5km) and White Trail. It is possible to complete all the trails in one day by bike but most visitors choose one or two trails for a start. Mabira has over 312 species of trees that can be spotted while on the Nature Walk. Among the tree species include Ugandanesis, Mililia Exclesa, Cordia Millenii, and Warbughia.    These are a treasure for medical researchers because of the components contained in these age-old trees such as the Ugandans which has medicinal properties known to cure almost 40 ailments. The forest hike will give you the much-needed rest and nature will soothe you as you enjoy the cover of the forest canopies

Mountain Biking:

Mountain biking in the Mabira forest reserve is all about you using bicycles to traverse all trails instead of walking through the complex trails. Using a mountain bike will enable you to go beyond the forest and visit the surrounding communities. Here you will encounter your primates, birds, giant trees, and people along the way. The best bikes can be hired in Jinja but Griffin Falls camp also hires out bikes to its guests. The cost of renting a bike is about 40,000 Uganda shillings. Africa adventure vacations can arrange for you a well-maintained mountain bike for this activity as you enjoy beautiful moments of Mabira Central Forest Reserve.

Birding watching in Mabira forest

Birding in Mabira forest Reserve will provide an opportunity for the tourists to spot and encounter different bird species that contribute to their experience in the forest. Uganda as the destination is the birding paradise. The activity of bird watching in the Mabira forest reserve is facilitated by the presence of over 315 species of birds.  It is therefore possible to spot 46% of Uganda’s birds in Mabira.  Among the species to found include the Afep Pigeon, African Dwarf-kingfisher, African Pied Hornbill, African Shrike-flycatcher, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Blue-throated Roller, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, Cassin’s Spinetail, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Forest Woodhoopoe, Green-breasted Pitta, Grey Parrot, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Nathan’s Francolin, Sabine’s Spinetail, Speckled Tinkerbird, White-bellied Kingfisher, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-billed Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, and the Yellow-throated Tinkerbird.

Bird watching in Mabira central forest is countless because of the sheer density of birds. You don’t need to go too far into the forest to see the birds. The Grassland Trail is a favorite of birders. This trail passes through an area with several fruiting trees that attract many of the forest birds.  Since it is a well-marked trail, birders can go alone but a Guide will make the experience more memorable by helping to identify the species through their sounds.

Butterfly Identification

The forest is teeming with a variety of Butterfly species. Butterfly identification will be an activity to keep you engrossed as you search and try to identify all the 218 butterfly species found in Mabira. You will also learn about and sight the 97 moth species that are found in the forest. Your guide will lead you on different trails which will give you the best chances for sighting a variety of butterflies and moths.

Zip-lining (Forest Canopy):

Mabira Forest Reserve is the only forest with the Zip-line in the whole of East Africa. The zip-line is constructed on top of the trees and this gives you the traveler a clear view of the vast forest canopies. The equipment used is of international standards and was secured from the United States of America. A group of volunteers from the Peace Corps helped put up the facility and then trained Ugandans on how to maintain it. Zip-lining is arranged in two sessions Morning and afternoon. The morning session starts at 8 am ending at mid-day while the afternoon session is from 1 pm going up to 6 pm. accessing the forest canopy allows you to see many of the forest creatures including birds, monkeys, and squirrels.

Mangabey tracking in Mabira forest reserve

Mangabey tracking is the most popular primate tracked in the forest is the Mangabey, a grey-cheeked primate that is unique to Uganda and also known as the Lophocebus Ugandae. It is a tree dweller and seeing it will usually depend on the time, season, and availability of food. This activity can only be done in the Mabira forest in the whole of Uganda and this particular mangabey is endemic to Uganda.

This primate is only found in the Mabira forest, some parts of the country, and in Tanzania. Sighting them depends entirely on the season of the year and the availability of fruits. They tend to move a lot in search of fruits especially during periods of scarcity. Three groups have been habituated and open to tourism. Tracking the Uganda Mangabey Monkey is led by an experienced Guide who took part in the habituation stages. Apart from the Uganda Mangabey Monkeys, you can also sight the red-tailed and Vervet Monkeys.

Apart from primate watching, nature walks, zip-lining, and bird watching, there are other activities you don’t need to miss while on Mabira forest reserve tour include visiting the Environmental Research centers or camping/picnics. The picnic grounds are well organized with food and access to the forest creatures like primates and birds. There is even a picnic trail that starts from the picnic site taking between 15 and 20 minutes through various forest streams and ancient trees. The hotels arrange for cultural dances and other forms of entertainment by the local people. You can also buy local artworks as souvenirs if you are interested.

Hiking hill Namussa

This is one of the best activities in Mabira forest reserve! Tourists visiting the Mabira forest will also get a chance to hike the famous Namussa hill in the forest. This provides an exciting experience to travelers as it offers them an opportunity for scenic views of the source of the Nile as well as the entire Mabira forest. Here visitors can sleep at Mabira forest lodge or Griffin falls camp or at public camp. These accommodation facilities provide comfortable rooms and guest services

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