1 Day Mabamba Birding Excursion in Uganda
This swamp is the main harbor of the much sought bird known as the shoebill. This swamp comes next to Murchison falls national park in the whole of Uganda in harboring this special avian. So when on a self-drive vacation, hire your vehicle from self-drive Uganda the previous day and stay well prepared for your trip to this wetland that doubles as the catchment area for Lake Victoria the following day.
So on your day of the trip, you will rise up very early in the morning and have a cup of tea such that by 7:00 am you hit the road to Mabamba swamp which is located just outside of Kampala city about 1hr: 20minutes of drive time with access on Masaka or Entebbe Rd.Mabamba swamp is an arm of lake Victoria connecting the main fishing village of Busi Island. The swamp lies near a relatively small village of Kasanje town with a few hills surrounding the entire swamp with fishing as the main activity catching mostly Tilapia and lungfish in the small streams of the mainly papyrus grass covered swamp.
The moment you get to this swamp, you will jump on to the wooden boat in search of this rare bird and several other birds which usually hide in the water weed to feed on the fish from the moving water in the swamp. The Shoebill stays in the papyrus but will also rarely stay on land overlooking water. Some other birds of interest in the swamp are the African and lesser Jacannas,Pied Kingfishers, the African Pygmie goose and the blue breasted bea eaters.
Each wooden boat at Mabamba Swamp will carry atleast 3-persons for easy bird watching with a birding guide and a boat captain and each session will take atleast 3hrs depending on the luck of the day but a full day birding excursion is also done. So after treating yourself to this ecstatic experience, you will get on to your self-driven car and drive back to Kampala this time using another route either on Masaka road or Entebbe road different from the one you used in the morning when going. Head back to your hotel in Kampala and this will mark the end of your trip to this wetland.