Mabamba Swamp | Entebbe

Mabamba swamp is a natural swamp situated in Mabamba wetland within Entebbe. The swamp stretches towards Lake Victoria the largest lake in Africa and the second largest lake in the world next to Lake Superior which is situated in the northern part of America. Mabamba Wetland experiences an average rainfall ranging between 1200mm to 1500mm annually which is conducive for different wildlife including fauna and flora. Some of the wildlife that resides in Mabamba wetland include Antelopes, birds including the rare shoebill stork, fish species, butterflies and different plant species among others 

Tourism activities carried out in Mabamba swamp 

Here are some of the activities that one should consider while planning a tour to Mabamba swamp. These include birding, fishing, butterfly viewing, Sitatunga antelopes viewing among others that are worth a tour while in Mabamba wetland as elaborated below;

Birding in Mabamba swamp: Mabamba swamp is one of the most recognized wetlands when it comes to birding tours in Uganda. Mabamba swamp harbors over 260 species of birds and on a lucky day, one is in a position to encounter about 150 species recorded on a daily basis. Mabamba swamp is filled with papyrus swamp that stretches towards Lake Victoria and are best known for accommodating the rare Shoebill stork alongside other endangered bird species such as Lake Victoria Basin Biome Species. other bird species encountered in Mabamba swamp include; purple swamphen, African jacana, Pallid Harrier, African water rail, Blue Breasted Bee-eater,  Pygmy Geese, Blue Swallow Common moorhen, White-winged Warbler, lesser jacana, Papyrus Gonolek, Swamp flycatcher, Papyrus Canary, African pygmy Goose, Goliath Heron, Squacco heron, White-faced whistling duck, Grey-Headed Gulls, Malachite Kingfisher, Spur-Winged, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, among others that make birding in Mabamba swamp the best and most thought of activity when it comes to birding. keeping in mind that the major attraction is the rare shoebill stork which is easily seen during the morning, and afternoon implies that its best to visit the swamp in the morning, ready with the binoculars, life jacket, packed lunch box in case of a full day exploration in the swamp, enough drinking water, sunglasses, cap, insect repellant and any other thing that feels like needed in a tour 

Community Walk:  During the community walks, visitors are in a position to meet with the local community members residing in the areas sounding the swamp. These local people formed different assocv9iations to assist them in the conservation of the wetland.  Visit the community members who are dedicated to protect and conserve the Important Birding Area “IBA” which is none other than Mabamba swamp. Visitors can also meet the Mabamba Wetland Crafts Association known as “MWETA” which was established with the aim of conserving the wetland and make it a better place. During the community walks, visit the local craft shops for some beautiful handmade souvenirs.

Fishing in Mabamba Island Spot fishing: Mabamba swamp has the best fishing grounds and even before the rise of tourism, Mabamba was best known for fishing. The most common fish species caught in Mabamba swamp include Nile perch, Tilapia, lung fish, Mudfish. All that is required to participate in fishing is to have your own fishing gadgets and join other fishers  

Spotting the Sitatunga antelopes: Mabamba swamp is not only home to shoebill stork, but also acts as a sanctuary for the antelope species known as sitatunga thus a tour to Mabamba swamp brings you closer to sitatunga antelopes. The best way to encounter these antelopes is by taking a canoe ride towards the marshes where the antelopes hide. These antelopes are at a point of extinction in the wild due to poaching and loss of habitats as a result of clearing off some places where sitatunga reside. Poachers are also a great threat to these sitatunga antelopes. However, the government is putting some conservation measures to ensure the safety of wildlife. 

Canoeing: while on Mabamba swamp, the best way to explore it from different dimensions is by taking a canoe ride which is the most common transport means used by birders, fishers and even used to cross from the shore to the island. The most important equipment required is a life jacket to protect you for in case you fall and you are unable to swim, the life jacket helps to keep you in balance. During canoeing in Mabamba, visitors are in a position to site different species of birds which include the rare shoebill stork, and other water birds that reside beneath the swamp

Butterfly Watching: butterfly lovers also have an opportunity to watch very many species of butterflies with bright-colored wings. Imagine over 200 species just in one place, isn’t it awesome? 

Some of the common species seen in Mabamba include; Papilio ophidicephalo, charaxes, American moth, Pieridae, Gossamer winged butterflies, Brush- footed butterflies, green banded swallowtail, skippers, emperor swallowtail butterflies, hairstreaks among others.

Mabamba Swamp
Mabamba Swamp

Getting there 

Getting to Mabamba swamp requires visitors to drive from kampala to Entebbe which takes about one hour drive on Kampala-Entebbe highway and upon arrival in Entebbe where the swamp is situated, take a motorized ferry which is used to enable visitors transfer from the shore to Buwaya Landing site a place where you board the canoes to sail deep into the Mabamba swamp where the shoebill storks easily trek.

Conclusion: A tour to Mabamba wetland can best be combined with a tour to Entebbe for other different activities such as visiting the Airport, visiting the craft shops, markets, Entebbe botanical, Visiting Ngamba Island for chimpanzee trekking, visiting Uganda reptile village and also visiting other islands with beaches, swimming and many more that makes a tour to Mabamba swamp more

 Accommodation facilities near Mabamba swamp 

Since the Mabamba swamp is situated in Mabamba wetland within Entebbe, this implies that visitors can book any of the accommodations within Entebbe and then visit the swamp for the activities. The closest hotel is the Great Wolf Hotel. Other accommodation facilities protea hotel, best western, two friends hotel among others.