Mabira forest one of the commonly known birders’ destination is situated between two major urban centres along Kampala-Jinja highway approximately about 54km Kampala the capital city of Uganda and approximately about 20km from Jinja town the adventure capital of Uganda. The forest is one of the Uganda’s largest surviving natural forests on a land expanse of about 300 square kilometres (120 square miles) in Buikwe district.
Biodiversity of Mabira forest
Since 1932, the Mabira forest has been protected a reserve with a number species including 315 bird species like Blue-throated Roller, African Dwarf-kingfisher, White-bellied Kingfisher, Forest Woodhoopoe, African Pied Hornbill, Jameson’s and Chestnut Wattle-eyes, the Forest Robin, Fire-crested Alethe, Red-capped Robin-Chat, the Speckle-breasted, Yellow-crested, Brown-eared, Grey and the Buff-spotted Woodpeckers, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Red-tailed Bristlebil, Little Greenbul, Honeyguide Greenbul, Sooty Boubou, Grey-green Bush-shrike, Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, White-spotted Flufftail, Afep Pigeon, Grey Parrot, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Sabine’s Spinetail, Cassin’s Spinetail, among others.
The forest also has 312 tree species like the Francolinus nahani, Phyllanthus atripennis, Macrosphenus concolor, Caprimulgus nigriscapularis, and Trochocercus niten among many others, 218 species of butterflies, 97 species of moths, 40 species of small mammals like the red-tailed monkeys, vervets, grey-cheeked mangabeys, short tailed fruit bat, baboons, colobus monkeys and many nocturnal animals.
Getting to Mabira forest.
No panic is required for anyone planning a visit to this lush forest as it is a 1 hours’ drive from Kampala. From Kampala drive through Bweyogerere commonly known for the Mandela national stadium a multi-purpose stadium in Uganda named after the late South African President and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. Proceed with the journey through Lugazi the common sugar and tea plantation areas in Uganda.
The forest centre is on the edge of Najjembe Trading Centre, whose roadside market is famous for roast chicken and gonja (plantain). A short walk or drive down this marrum road will bring you to the forest center where parking is available and the Visitors center.
Those setting of from Jinja town, its half an hour to get to the forest centre.
What to do and see in Mabira forest?
Travellers to Mabira forest are chanced to a number activities and some of these include guided forest walks, nature treks, mountain biking, bird watching, sightseeing, camping, picnics, zip lining activities at Griffin Falls, among others
Accommodation choices in Mabira forest.
There is always availability of excellent accommodating facilities in the forest with some few lodges and cottages built to match the serenity of the forest reserve. The Rain Forest Eco-Lodge has seven double rooms and five twin suite with furniture, private balconies with view of the forest, swimming pool, health spa, restaurant and a well-stocked bar. The ambiance at the forest lodges is great for a weekend gateway.
A public campsite is available for outdoor camping and educational tours with 12 tents and water.