Mabamba swamp or Mabamba wetland or Mabamba bay is located on the fringes of Lake Victoria towards western Uganda. The Shoebill is known to occur in mainly four countries i.e. Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Zambia but it is best seen at Mabamba swamp in Uganda. You can access Mabamba wetland from either Kampala or Entebbe by car or by boat from Entebbe. The drive to Mabamba from Entebbe or Kampala takes approximately one hour depending on the number of stops birding. You need to leave your hotel really early to beat the traffic and also before the heat from the sun is too much which reduces bird activity. You can access the swamp by boat on from Entebbe, once you arrive you leave the speed boat and join the canoe to access the possible location of the shoebill.
This one-day birding tour will mostly be in a motorized traditional canoe as we search for the Shoebill wading through the overgrown papyrus. A site guide from Mabamba area will join the team to advise on the possible location of the different special bird species in this area.
For a seasoned birder you have opportunities for many other bird species in the community and at the swamp. There are numerous water birds including migratory birds from Europe. Some of the bird species to look out for in addition to the famous Shoebill include; Angola Swallow, Swamp Flycatcher, Olive bellied Sunbird, Grey-rumped Swallow, Blue breasted Bee-eater, African Jacana, African Fish Eagle, Long tailed Cormorant, Yellow billed Duck, Malachite Kingfisher, Glossy Ibis, White-winged Tern, Hamerkop, White-faced Whistling-Duck, Spur-winged Goose, Knob-billed Duck, Little Stint, Great Cormorant, Grey-headed Gull, Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Madagascar Bee-eater, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Sooty Chat, Weyns’s weaver, Grosbeak weaver, Crowned Horn bill, African Pied , Common Squacco Heron, Red-billed fire finch etc.
After the experience of sighting the most sought after bird in Uganda, you will bird your way back to your hotel stopping at various points of interests for more species you could have missed on your way to Mabamba swamp.
Tips to porters and driver/ guide