Mabamba wetland is located on Lake Victoria in Uganda. It is accessed by road from both Entebbe and Kampala. This site is the nearest to Kampala that has 90% chance of seeing the famous and endangered shoebill – the number one sought after bird in Uganda. The bird has suffered from habitat loss due to wetland encroachment but with advocacy and conservation efforts, the communities are spearheading its restoration.
A lot of birding happens along the way to Mabamba Wetland where numerous birds are sighted in agricultural/cultivated lands and forests.
On arrival at Mabamba, we were welcomed by the ‘in charge’. After paying a birding fee we were offered a guide and canoe which we embarked on for the exhilarating birding trip. Our main interest was the shoebill – found in South Sudan, Zambia, and Uganda with Uganda having the best chances of sighting. As we search the sky and papyrus, we do not miss opportunities of other water and papyrus birds that make this area their home.
The trip on the waters takes between two to three hours – it took us three hours. The traditional canoes are attached with an engine making them faster to traverse the lake. This provides an income to the communities who offer this transport hence directly benefitting from conserving the shoebill.
On our birding trip we sighted the following birds; Shoebill, Swamp flycatcher, Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Black headed Heron, Black Kite, African Open billed Stork, African Jacana, Lesser jacana, Winding Cisticola, African Marsh Harrier. More birds; Common sandpiper, wood sandpiper, Common Moorhen, Long tailed Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Black Crake, Grey backed Camaroptera, Yellow throated Long claw, Great Blue Turaco, Common waxbill, Veillots black weaver, Grosbeak weaver, black headed weaver, Olive Sunbird, Crowned Hornbill, Black-and-white Hornbill, African Pied Hornbill,