The boat tour to Mabamba.

Mabamba Swamp takes like 3 hours by using a traditional canoe boat

Travelling Mabamba Swamp In Uganda.

Travelling Mabamba Swamp In Uganda- The Mabamba Swamp is a historical and attractive swamp area that has a wide collection of bird species including the elusive shoebill stork. The community members have been also working hard to preserve the wetlands due to tourism activities taking place in their area and they also benefit from these tourism activities like birding safaris which help them to improve on their standards of living. The local community has also participated in the development of Mabamba swamps by providing boats that travel to Busi islands and guide boat tours to watch the shoebill stork as well as providing life jackets to the tourists if requested.

About the shoebill stork

Shoebill stork is also called whale head- stork and it is a very large stork-like bird. Its name is derived from an enormous shoe-shaped-bill, it has an overall stork-like form and it has been also classified with storks in the order ciconliformes based on the morphology, the juveniles are browner whereas the adult is grey. They used to stay in the larger swamps of Zambia and East Africa.

The boat tour to Mabamba.

Mabamba Swamp takes like 3 hours by using a traditional canoe boat which is used to move along the narrow channels of the wetland where you will search for the shoebill stork as well as other bird species in the swamp.

The history of Shoebill stock in Mabamba swamp and the local fishermen.

The lungfish is the most common fish in the wetlands which the best food for the shoebills, this is among the reasons why Mabamba swamps in Uganda is the best place to see the endangered shoebills in East Africa. at the same point, the local fishermen are also feeding on lungfish. In the past fishermen were used to see shoebill as ‘Bulwe” a local word that means poor catch. They were believed that seeing a shoebill when set out to fish on the swamp was a bad omen. So they killed and hunted them, which led to a decline in the numbers and almost rendered them extinct in the swamp. In 2006 they designating the wetland a Ramseur site which helped in the protection of the Shoebill, and bird watching on the swamp also brought an explanation to the community members and fishermen to know the importunate of the shoebills in their area. After making money from renting out their boats to the tourists and even some local fishermen have been trained in guiding and birding. Now fishermen preserve the shoebills and wetlands and they do not see them as a bad omen when they set out to fish, even they do not disturb it but they just inform the tourists where to find them. There are about 12 shoebills that are permanent residents in Mabamba swamps.

Mabamba Swamp is the natural habitat for the endangered shoebill storks in Uganda, and the best time to see the elusive shoebills is during the morning hours like around 7:30 before there is more fishing activity taking place and the shoebills are in its prey on lungfish, mudfish or frogs.

 You can also spot Other bird species on your trip in Mabamba Swamps which include the African Fire finch, African Green Pigeon, African Hoopoe, African Jacana, Crowned Hornbill,  African Marsh Harrier, African Pigmy Goose, Black Crake, Black Heron, Cattle Egret,  Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-crowned Waxbill, Black-headed Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Blue Swallow, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Brown Parrot, Common Bulbul, African Fish Eagle,  Common Moorhen, Great White Egret, Common Squacco Heron, Double Toothed Barbet, Eastern Grey Plantain Eater, Glossy Ibis, Goliath Heron, Great Blue Turaco, Great Cormorant, Great White Pelican, Grey Heron, Grey Parrot, Grey Woodpecker, Grey-crowned Crane, Gull-billed Tern, Hadada Ibis, Green Cuckoo, Common Sandpiper.

Traveling to Mabamba swamp from Entebbe or Kampala

By boat

Mabamba wetlands can be accessed by using a boat which is the easiest way. From Entebbe town or Kampala city you can use a motorized canoe boat to the Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe to island and from here, you will meet the island guide and head into the Swamp to search for the shoebill.

By Road

Using the road from Kampala city take a rough Kisubi to Nakawuka and turn to Kasanje trading center, this drive will take you 2 hours to reach Mabamba swamp and then start your search for the shoebills and it is the most popular route though it is expensive.

What to pack for the Mabamba swamp trip in Uganda?

Since an open canoe boat is used tourists visiting Mabamba wetlands are required to bring sunglasses, rain jackets, a hut, drinking water, and rain protective camera cover in case of rain, spear batteries. Contact Africa Adventure Vacations for more information about your boat trip tour to search for the elusive shoebills in Mabamba wetlands in Uganda.

Best time to visit Mabamba swamp in Uganda

Mabamba Swamp in Uganda can be visited all year round but it is best during the dry season that is from June-August and December-February when the water levels are low and it gives much better feeding places, also making canoeing easier if compared to canoeing during the wet season which is difficult.

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