Birding in Mabira forest : Birding in Mabira forest is among the activities which are done during safaris around the destination which is located in Buikwe district.

The forest is located along the Kampala-Jinja highway and it is a tropical rainforest which covers about 306 square kilometers. Mabira forest is home to over 315 bird species and there are also about 312 tree species found at the destination.

Various primate species are found in Mabira forest and they include the grey cheeked mangabey which is an endangered species. Other primates that live in the forest include vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys among others.

The birding experience in Mabira forest can take 1 day or 2 days depending on the preference of the birder. The forest is also a good stop over point for half day bird watching experiences for tourists on their way to the eastern region of Uganda.

During bird watching experiences in Mabira forest, tourists can enjoy hearing different bird calls and sight various bird species at the destination which is an all year birding destination to visit while on safari in Uganda.

Some of the bird species which can be seen during bird watching tours around Mabira forest include Great Blue Turaco, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Nahan’s Francolin, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, White-spotted Flufftail, White-bellied Kingfisher, Black-shouldered Nightjar, African Pied Hornbill, Green-breasted Pitta, Honeyguide Greenbul, Little Greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Red-capped Robin-chat, Blue-throated Roller, Sabine’s Spintail, Grey Parrot, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Forest Woodhoopoe, Black-shouldered Nightjar among others.

Some of the items to bring for the birding experience in Mabira forest include binoculars to easily see the various bird species and also a guide book and checklist for the birds that will be spotted during the activity.

An experienced bird guide can accompany the birders during their search for the various bird species of Mabira forest.  These guides are knowledgeable about the trails in the forest and the locations where the different birds can be seen. The bird guides can also identify the different bird sounds during the birding activity.

Around the forest, some of the birding spots include the Griffins falls camp which is also one of the places to stay during tours around the Mabira forest. other birding spots include around the Mabira eco tourism center and also round the Rainforest lodge.

The bird species which can be seen around the Mabira ecotourism center which is also the headquarters of the forest include the Green-tailed Bristlebill, Brown chested Alethe, Red-headed Bluebill, Forest Robin, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Olive Sunbird, Yellow-crested Barbet, Spot-flanked Barbet, African Pied Hornbill, Western Black-headed Oriole, Red-headed Malimbe among others.

During birding around the Rainforest lodge area, bird species which can be seen include Hornbills, Black Billed Turaco, Woodpeckers, Greenbuls, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, African Pied Hornbill, African Shrike-Flycatcher, Spot-flanked Barbet, Blue-shouldered Robinchat, Hairy-brested Barbet, African Grey Parrot, Narina Trogon among others.

Best time for birding in Mabira forest

Birding in Mabira forest is an activity which can be done throughout the year including the dry season and rainy season.

The best time to engage in birding in Mabira forest is during the dry season from June to October when many birds can easily be spotted in the forests which are also easier to move through in that time of the year.

Birding in Mabira forest
Birding in Mabira

Other activities to do in Mabira forest

Around the Mabira forest, birding is among the activities that are carried out during tours at the destination. Other things to do around the forest include the following;

  • Guided forest walks

Guided nature walks around the Mabira forest involve taking a walk around the forests with a guide to experience the nature and also see the different attractions in the forest closely.

There are about 3 trails used during nature walks in Mabira forest and also encounter different wildlife and bird species. Tourists engaging in the walks can also learn about the different tree species.

The trails used in Mabira forest include around the Rainforest lodge which is easy to access, and also the trail around the Griffin falls camp which combines the nature walks and zip lining experiences during tours in the forest.

  • Zip lining

Another exciting activity to do around the Mabira forest is the zip lining experience which is popular among the local tourists and also foreigners.

Zip lining through the trees in the Mabira forest is an exciting adventure experience which can be done in the morning or afternoon.  There are different points between the trees where the zip line runs through the canopy and tourists can enjoy moving from one point to another on zip line.

  • Cycling

Tourists can also engage in cycling around the Mabira forest and explore the local communities with a guide.

Cycling can be done in groups or by individuals during tours around the Mabira forest. Safety equipment such as helmets are provided during the activity which can be for a half day or full day of exploring the tropical rainforest and surrounding areas.

  • Mangabey tracking

Mabira forest also offers tourists an experience of mangabey tracking of one of the rare species of monkeys which is the grey cheeked mangabey.

The troops of the monkeys can be seen during Uganda Safaris tours in Mabira forest and the mangabey tracking experience involves walking through the forest and watching the grey cheeked mangabeys closely after tracking them down in the forest.

The managabey tracking experience in Mabira forest is done with a guide and tourists get to spend 1 hour observing the grey cheeked mangabey closely in its natural habitat.

Picnics and camping experiences can also be enjoyed during tours to the Mabira forest which provides the perfect natural environment t relax. Some of the campsites in the forest include Mabira forest eco tourism center and the Griffin falls camp.

How to get to Mabira forest

The Mabira forest is found along the Kampala-Jinja highway and can be accessed from the city of Kampala which is about 1 hours drive or from Jinja which is about 30 minutes drive from the destination.

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