Birding Sites in Uganda 2014-11-07T13:53:55+00:00

Mabamba & Makanaga Wetland Bay

Mabamba wetland Bay (16,500ha) is located 36 km south west of Kampala on the shores of Lake Victoria. The Mabamba Swamps west of Entebbe is one of the best and most convenient places to see the elusive Shoebill. After a few minutes in a small canoe the papyrus reeds opens up into a flat grassy wetlands where a number of Shoebill can regularly be seen. Mabamba can be accessed by boat from Entebbe town.,

Makanaga Wetland Bay is situated in Bussi Island on the shores of Lake Victoria very close to Mabamba Bay. The wetland is important as far as the socio-economic and cultural values of the surrounding communities are concerned. The wetland has got a rich biodiversity including useful plants, animals and birds like the highly endangered shoe bill stork.


  • Shoebill Tracking
  • Bird watching
  • Boat Cruise on lake Victoria
  • Village agricultural Tour

Mabira Forest Reserve Uganda

The forest is located on the main Kampala-Jinja Highway, 54km from the City Centre of Kampala and 26km from Jinja Town. This is the closest Reserve to Kampala City and supports over 300 species.

Mabira Forest Reserve is the largest block of moist semi-deciduous forest remaining in the central region of Uganda. The reserve occupies gently undulating country, characterized by numerous flat-topped hills and wide, shallow valleys. Some of these valleys have papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) swamps. The topography is such that the land drains to the north, even though the reserve’s southern boundary lies only 13 km from the shores of Lake Victoria. The closeness of Mabira to Kampala, and the presence of various ecotourism facilities, makes this site popular for visitors especially bird watchers.

Mabira Forest can be discovered via an extensive trail. For the vigorous people, there is around 25km bike trail that links the forest to the nearby sugar and tea plantations. Several activities are carried out in the forest and these include; Forest/nature walks, birding, cycle trails, mountain biking, or even relaxing and have a picnic lunch at the forest centre.


  • Bird watching where you can see special forest birds
  • Forest Walk & Camping Picnics
  • Forest trail-biking
  • Butterfly viewing

Budongo Forest & Royal Mile Busingiro Ecotourism Site

Budongo Forest is approximately 3-4 hours drive on the way to Murchison falls National Park. It is the biggest forest reserve where you can walk below older mahogany and iron forest trees. Kaniyo Pabidi and Busingiro Ecotourism site are the major tourist site within Budongo Forest Reserve.


  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • Bird watching where you can see special forest birds
  • Forest Walk

Mpanga Forest Reserve

It is located 37 Kms west from Kampala along the Masaka Rd. It is a beautiful forest which has been conserved as a scientific research site since 1953. It has trails form which visitors can view the abundant bird life, butterflies, monkeys and so many other attractions. There is a drum making industry at Mpambire village near Mpanga forest. It is a home of the Royal drum makers. The trees for making these drums are got from Mpanga Forest reserve.


  • Bird-watching
  • Shoebill trekking
  • Research tours
  • Royal Drum Making

Kalinzu Forest Reserve

Kalinzu Forest Reserve is found in Bushenyi District in western Uganda and is approximately 375 km (six hours drive) from the Capital City of Kampala. Because of the Albertine Terrain with old logging and winding roads, a four – wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve is the extension of Maramagambo Forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The 137km² Kalinzu Forest Reserve is traversed by a number of scenic trails along the ridges and valleys of the Rift Valley Escarpment, offering views of the Rwenzori, Lake Edward and the Kazinga Channel. It is under management of the National Forest Authority (NFA) and is harboring an eco-tourism project which is offering guided forest walks on the extensive trail system, chimpanzee tracking and an educational center for school classes. The forest is a medium-altitude semi-deciduous rainforest with 414 different tree, 378 bird, 262 butterfly and 12 primate species. The chimpanzee population stands at about 240 individuals of whom two groups or 70 are habituated. Nocturnal primates such as potto, and two varieties of galago can be sought on night walks, when you are also likely to hear the eerie shrieking of the tree hyrax


  • Chimps tracking
  • Forest Walks,
  • Conservation Education,
  • Birding and Butterfly Identification
  • Tea Plantation, Banana Plantation Village Walks.