Mabamba Swamp on Lake Victoria Uganda – Home to elusive shoebill stork
Mabamba Swamp on Lake Victoria Uganda – is named after the lungfish locally known as “mamba”, the best food for the Shoebill stork. Mabamba Swamp in Uganda is marsh-filled and is one of the top bird-watching areas in Uganda and popular for the Shoebill tracking trips. Mabamba swamp is approximately 45 to one hour by boat from Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe.
Besides the Shoebill stork, other bird species inhabit Mabamba swamp and these include the Caruthers’s cisticola, Palm-nut vulture, Blue swallow, Pallid harrier, Papyrus gonolek, Swamp flycatcher, Black-headed Weaver, Northern brown-throated weaver, Pigmy goose, Lesser jacana, White-winged Warbler, Clarke’s weaver, Viellot’s weaver, Grosbeak Weaver among others.
Activities in Mabamba Swamp in Uganda
Mabamba swamp is a popular bird-watching area for its Shoebill trips where you can spot these species from a closer point of view. The best time to view these bird species is in the morning where you stand a chance of spotting its prey on the mudfish, lungfish, or frogs. Experienced local guides will assist you to interpret and identify other bird species as you spot them on your trip.
Local fishermen interaction
Meet the transformed local fishermen who in the past hunted and killed the Shoebill storks since both the locals and the shoebills compete for the same food. Over the many years now, these locals have been trained and transformed into local site guides who now strive to preserve both the birds and the swamp.
Before Mabamba Swamp became popular, the main activity in this entire area was fishing. Fishing is still considered to be the main economic activity in the area and has become a popular sight to spot an abundance of fish species. You can spot popular species such as Tilapia, Mudfish, Lungfish, and the large Nile perch while on your fishing tour in Mabamba Swamp. See many fishermen in the area and feel free to join them if you want or watch them do the fishing.
The main highlight in Mabamba Swamp is Bird watching but apart from the Shoebill storks and other bird species, you can spot countless butterfly species that will leave you awestruck. Mabamba Swamp is home to more than 200 different species of butterflies that have attracted many tourists from different parts of the world. Take a chance and spot the most common butterfly species like Acraea consanguine, Acraea aganice, Achaea aurivilli, Bicyclus sebetus, Abisaraneavei, and many more that will make your day interesting and exciting.
Best time to visit Mabamba Swamp in Uganda
Mabamba Swamp in Uganda can be visited at any time of the year but if you wish to enjoy your bird-watching trip, you should visit the swamp in the morning hours. Make sure you carry your sunglasses, hats, insect repellent, sun protection cream, and a rain jacket in case it rains. The climate of Mabamba Swamp is the same as in other areas of Lake Victoria which has an average temperature of 17 degrees and a maximum temperature of 26 degrees.
How to get to Mabamba Swamp in Uganda?
One can hire a speed boat from Entebbe and a 45 minutes boat trip can take you to the entrance of the swamp where you can meet the motorized canoe boat to take you deep in the swamp in search of the Shoebill stork.
You can also drive from Entebbe town or Kampala city to the Mabamba Swamp Bay through Kasanje trading center, this trip will take you 1 hour and 30 minutes to the Swamp where you will meet the local canoe boat and start your search for the special bird.