Bird watching in Mabamba Birding swamp to spot the Shoebill Stork is one of the best selling 1-day birding excursions in Uganda. The Shoebill Stork is one of the rare waterbird species sought after by many birders.
The shoebill is also known as a whitehead, whale-headed stork, or shoe-billed stork. It is a very large stork-like bird that derives its name from its enormous shoe-shaped bill.
Because of its morphology, it has been classified with the storks in the order Ciconiiformes. Mabamba wetland is one of the closest places to have birding day tour excursions in Uganda from the capital Kampala.
The key protected bird species at Mabamba are the Shoebill Stork, blue swallow, and the papyrus gonolek. Seeing the shoebill is a major highlight for any bird watcher on safari being the fact that it is rare all through Africa. The shoebill is found hiding in the papyrus and feeding on lungfish.
It is one of Uganda’s 33 Important Birding Areas (IBA) and also listed as a Ramsar wetland of International Importance. Mabamba swamp is home to about 260 bird species. Birding in the swamp is amazing since the environment is beautiful with papyrus plants and lilies.
Some of the migrant birds that can be seen at the wetland include the Blue Swallow, White-winged Terns, and Gull-billed Terns.
Other bird species in the wetland include the African, pigmy goose, black crake, black-crowned waxbill, black heron, African fish eagle, African Firefinch, African green pigeon, black-crowned night heron, and many more.
Uganda is a mind-blowing bird-watching hub with flourishing Avi-tourism as the country is hosts approximately 50% of the African continent’s bird count and 11% of the world’s bird species.
Uganda is home to several bird species that live in various habitats ranging from forest, savanna, water, air, swamps, and wetlands.
At Mabamba the search for the shoebill and other birds is done on a motorized boat that is rented from the fishermen. With the conservation of the area, the shoebill was protected from being killed by fishermen and now they contribute to the protection.
Best time for bird watching in Mabamba wetland
The time from September to March is a good time for birding since many migrant birds are in the wetland during this period.
Mabamba wetland bird-watching excursions are available to all travelers that come for birding in Uganda. Birding excursions last about three hours are undertaken on a boat canoe. However, it is also possible to have a full-day birding excursion.
Mabamba bay is a wetland on the shores of Lake Victoria in the northwest of the Entebbe peninsula. It covers 2424 ha with thick marshes of papyrus, water lilies, and wetland grasses.
To get to the Mabamba swamp, one can use several kinds of routes either from Entebbe or Kampala. If you go through Entebbe, expect to take a ferry from the Nakiwogo landing site for 10 minutes to the Kasanje landing site. From Kasanje, you are driven for about 20 minutes till Mabamba.
Take a Mabamba shoebill stork day tour excursion if it’s a short trip or tailor-in bird watching at the wetland on a long Uganda birding safari.
The day birding excursion in Mabamba mostly starts and ends in either Kampala or Entebbe including lunch. If you have a long Uganda tour, spare a day to visit the wetland before or after taking a tour.