Top things to see & do in Mabira forest reserve
Top things to see & do in Mabira forest reserve: Mabira forest reserve is one of the natural rainy and evergreen forest in Uganda situated in Buikwe district along Kampala-Jinja road. Mabira forest reserve was gazette in the year 1932 as a forest reserve covering an area of 300km2 with unique species of fauna and flora which are the top things to see.
Flora: The vegetation cover in Mabira rain forest comprises of 200 different species of trees in fact apart from best the best destination for tourism purposes, mabira forest is also visited by several people especially traditional healers in search of local herbs which they use to make local medicine that treats different diseases. Apart from tree and plants, mabira forest reserve also comprises of some grassland and the papyrus swamp where variety of fauna species are always spotted including primates, mammals as well as birds.
Fauna: Mabira forest reserve thrills with several fauna species ranging from primate species such as Mangabey monkeys, baboons, Red tailed monkey, and other primates, Mammals such as duikers, bush babies, bats, wild pigs among others, over 300 bird species such as King fishers, papyrus gunlock, eagles and many more, over 200 butterfly species, above 90 species of moth and many other attractions that make Mabira forest reserve one of the best destinations to visit while on a safari to Uganda the pearl of Africa.
Apart from fauna and flora species, Mabira forest is yet a water catchment for some water bodies including Lake Kyoga, Lake Victoria the largest Lake in East Africa, river sezibwa among others. Mabira forest is great thing in lives of the baganda as they take it to be the place where their gods of rain and food reside.
Well, after looking at the top things to see, let’s have a explore the top things to do and they include birding, guided nature walks, butterfly identification, mountain biking, Mangabey monkey trekking, Zip lining, Camping and picnic etc;
Birding in Mabira forest reserve: Mabira forest is the best birding spot in Uganda where one is in position to spot over 300 species of birds in a small area without toiling and roaming in a large area. Some of the bird species spotted in Mabira forest include; Tinker birds, Hornbills, eagles, Kingfishers, night jars, Forest wood hoopoe, forest robin, barbet, grey parrots, fly catchers and many more that make birding on of the top things to do in Mabira as long as you carry a pair of binoculars and a good birding guide who understand several species of birds without forgetting a birding book. The best birding spots include the along the swamps to view the water birds, along trees with fruits, and within the grassland areas.
Zip lining in Mabira forest reserve: Zip lining is one of the most adrenaline activity done in Mabira forest along a 250meters long line while exploring the canopy and encountering with several species of wildlife including primate species such as primates, birds, butterflies in the canopy. This fascinating activity is done in two shifts that is morning that starts from 8:00am offering a clear view of the sunrise while another shift starts at 2:00pm and goes on up to 6pm after viewing the sundowner.
Butterfly identification in Mabira forest reserve: with over 200 species of butterflies found in mabira forest, taking a guided walk to identify some or all of these butterflies with in the forest is amongst the top things to do. This is one of the unique tourist activities carried out only in Mabira forest in entire Uganda.
Guided nature walk in Mabira forest reserve: Mabira forest offers walking safaris where tourists are guided by the local guides deep into various trails in the forest while sighting several attractions such different plants and trees, wildlife and birds. The walking trails in mabira forest are favorable for both children and adults thus once chooses whichever trail suits them. This is indeed the best destination for family tours since they range from easy trails to difficult ones that might require particular fitness level to accomplish. Some tourists can opt for a forest walk without any guide though the best way to real enjoy and feel the true nature of Mabira forest is by using a local guide to take you around any chosen trail according to your fitness level and what you need to see since there are 4 main trails ranging from the shortest trail that is 5km long and the longest covering 33 km.
Mountain biking in Mabira forest reserve: This is the best thing to do while in mabira forest taking tourists on exploration of Mabira forest while on the bike encountering with different wildlife that dwell in the forest such as Monkeys, pigs, duikers and plenty of forest birds. Tourists can hover go beyond deep into the local communities surrounding mabira forest for an opportunity to meet and interact with the local people, explore the sugarcane plantations since sugarcane growing is the major farming activity carried out around Mabira forest. Griffin falls camp is responsible for hiring of bikes though some tourist can also hire the bikes from Jinja the nearby city.
Uganda Mangabey monkey trekking in Mabira forest reserve: this Uganda Mangabey monkey is a unique specie of monkey that was discovered in Mabira forest and as of now, there are habituated troops available for trekking in mabira forest since mainly reside in forested areas and Mabira forest is the only destination Uganda where this monkey specie is trekked all year round. During Uganda Mangabey trekking, keep your eyes open in the forest for an opportunity to spot other monkey species, mammals, birds, butterflies, moth and different trees and plants.
Getting to Mabira forest reserve
Mabira forest is strategically located along Kampala Jinja road almost a half way on the way to or from Jinja or Kampala thus easily accessed by road using any type of car let it be a private 2 wheel drive, a public taxi or even a bus or a 4×4 safari vehicle since the road is very smooth all the way from Kampala capital city of Uganda. This makes it very easy for tourists to combine Mabira forest with Jinja tour or even with Kampala tour.
Accommodation/ Where to stay in Mabira forest reserve
Depending on the budget of the tourist, Mabira offers all types of accommodations ranging from hotels, lodges and camping sites and these include Mabira rainforest lodge which was the first lodge to be constructed in Mabira in the year 2007, Muffin falls camp or basically known as mabira forest camp and other the rest of the accommodations are Bandas, tents and camping sites all situated at Mabira forest eco-tourism center all offering a view of Mabira forest and suitable for solo travelers , group travelers and even families.