1 Day Mabamba Swamp Birding

1 Day Mabamba Swamp Shoebill Bird Watching

A 1 Day Mabamba Swamp Shoebill Bird watching tour is one of the short tours in Uganda that begin from Kampala City or Entebbe area. This bird watching excursion of Mabamba wetland can be done in the morning, afternoon or evening with a target of spotting the shoebill stork, a major bird attraction in the marshland attached to Lake Victoria. Mabamba bay has got other bird species that you should expect to see while on an engine canoe cruising through the papyrus watered by Victoria.  Mabamba swamp birding tour is usually a supplementary trip done independently after or before a major holiday safari to various major tourist attractions in Uganda including national parks.

Detailed Mabamba Swamp Tour Itinerary.

You will be picked up from Kampala in the morning by a guide from Gorilla Trekking Services and transfer to Mabamba Wetland, about 50 kilometres south of Kampala in Wakiso district. When you leave Kampala, you will take Entebbe road and branch off at Kitende or Kisubi taking Nakawuka -Kasanje – Mpigi road. On reaching Kasanje, turn left on the road to Buwaya landing site. Midway on this road, turn right and drive straight to Mabamba Swamp where a waiting guide with a boat will immediately lead you into the wetland on your Birding tour.

Accessing Mabamba Swamp

Access to Mabamba Swamp, one of the Ramsar Sites in Uganda is of two routes. The Kampala – Kitende – Nakawuka – Kasanje is the longest but times arrival to the birding destination is guaranteed. The second route is the shortest and less dusty. This is the drive from Kampala to Entebbe then connect to Nakiwogo Landing site from where a public ferry takes you to Buwaya landing site from where, you drive a shorter distance to reach the swamp. But since the ferry involves being waited for to arrive from one end, it’s always recommended that the birders use it on return from one of the birding spots in Uganda than when going. Because when going for this short tour activities entails time management to be at the place as per the trip plan. There are even days like Sundays when the ferry is grounded for servicing plus days when it might not work due to technical faults. But on days the ferry is actively crossing people through the lake, driving there to use it when going or returning from Mabamba would give utmost ease of transfer than the longer route.

Bird Watching at Mabamba Swamp

Upon arrival there, you will get briefing on the safety measures and what you should expect before setting of into the swamp. Expect to see the much loved Shoebill stork, a major birding focus plus other species including the common swamp hen, black crake, white-faced whistling duck, spar-winged goose and many more water birds.

After this 1 Day Mabamba Swamp Birding excursion, drive back to Kampala or Entebbe. Whether you are staying in Kampala or Entebbe, going through Buwaya – Nakiwogo Landing site by the ferry would be the best route since it is shorter. In case you did the morning birding, you may choose to have lunch in Entebbe or drive straight and have it in Kampala.

About Mabamba Swamp 

Mabamba Swamp is a Ramsar site in Uganda and one of the birding places in the country with shoebill being the prime bird specie in the vast wetland. The major activity at this marsh is bird watching even though locals use it for fishing as well as transportation from the main to Busi Island. Some of the bird species one should expect while on a birding tour. The wetland is one of Uganda’s most important bird watching sites, and it is home to over 300 bird species. The swamp is an area of huge ecological importance.

Other One Day Tours in Uganda

Besides the 1 day Mabamba swamp birding excursion, there are many other one day tours in Uganda that you can enjoy from Kampala and these include:-

1 day rhino trekking tour at Ziwa Rhino Wildlife Ranch
1 Day Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary tour
1 Day Uganda Gorilla Trek from Kigali

Boat Safety Tips: What should you always do before going on a boat?

The following are the top safety tips before taking on a boat cruise on Mabamba Swamp for a bird watching tour or any other water body.

  • Take notice of the weather.
  • Tell someone you’re going.
  • Ensure everyone wears their life jackets. Use the right kind of life jackets for the situation.
  • Checklist for departure.
  • Have a backup skipper.
  • Never drink alcohol and go boating.
  • Put down the cell phone.
  • Listen to the instructions and guidance of the boat captain and tour guide.