Uganda’s Mabira Forest is one of the last remaining rain forests and biggest in central Uganda located in Buikwe District, between Lugazi and Jinja. Mabira is a rainforest area covering about 300 square kilo metres (about 30,000 hectares) in Uganda, situated along Kampala – Jinja high way.
The natural rain forest has continued to be preserved and conserved in support of keeping Flora and Fauna flourishing in Uganda since it was gazetted as a forest reserve in 1932.
Mabira forest has a massive biodiversity comprising of 315 bird species, 312 tree species, 218 species of butterflies, 97 species of moths, 40 species of small mammals including the red – tailed monkeys, vervets, grey-cheeked Mangabeys and many nocturnal animals.
The flourishing green vegetation of Mabira Forest gives an impression to nature lovers that the Mabira jungle seems impenetrable but it is a go through when guided. Her cool and refreshing breeze that permeates Mabira allows the nature lover to tap into the fresh oxygen that exudes from the leafy environment. An experience during a tour in Uganda’s Mabira forest is equally an unforgettable appreciation of nature and flora.
Tourist activities in Mabira Forest
Finding yourself nearly next or a step into the forest from the main entrance, the forest embraces activities you can get involved into to make your Mabira excursion a prestigious one. In brief, forest walks (Day and Night), Specialty bird watching, Mountain biking, zip lining, Environmental education (Study tours), forest camping, sightseeing, picnic trail, grass trail among others activities to delight your safari in Uganda.
Forest hikes/Eco walks
Discover many types of trees in this forest with vast uses from local herbs and other purposes especially for the natives. The herbs from tree stems, leaves and a vast lower cover work as that medicine to traditional herbalists. Mabira forest is speculated to be having about 312 tree species some of which include the Warbughia, Mililia Exclesa, Cordia Millenii and the Ugandans. Their presence has provided jobs to herbalists and ecological and botany researchers. Therefore, taking a hiking excursion in Uganda’s Mabira forest will expose you to a myriad of green tree species.
Birding in Mabira forest
With an estimated number of 315 birds that Uganda boasts of in this forest, it speaks of Uganda being a paradise for birds in general. The bird species in Mabira include the Blue Headed Crested Mornarc, the Black Bellied Seed Cracker, Cassin Hawk Eagle, the crested crane among others. You can move with cameras to take photos of the beautiful scenery with endless birds flying in the forests, and have the touch of their noise and wonderful echoes if you choose to stay around.
Butterfly watching is yet another activity to get involved into, with over 218 butterfly species found in Mabira forest. With the presence of great temperatures to nurture all processes of butterfly formation, in addition to the existing moth species and 23 mammal species too, you will come to believe Uganda is blessed with nature. Butterflies with amazing different colors will be seen around tree trunks, leaves and flowers, flying all through.
Mangabey tracking in Mabira forest
This is one of those exceptional primate traces in the forest. The support of existence of the Mangabey, a grey cheeked primate that is unique to Uganda and also known as the Lophocebus Ugandae brings forth many tourists and people that love discoveries. The mangabey is endemic to Uganda and so it’s highly preserved and can only be seen in Mabira forest.
Activities like degradation and poaching threaten nature, a reason to why strict laws are set to secure the remaining parts of Mabira forest stay since it is home to immense biodiversity, including rare bird species, insects, and medicinal plants which are all useful to society, natives and then to the economy which reaps from continuous flow of safari tourists to Mabira central forest reserve.
There is also zip lining in mabira click here for more information
How to get to Mabira forest
Mabira forest can be accessed from Kampala, Uganda’s capital along Jinja highway, only 45 minutes’ drive from the city centre, and 42 minutes form the eastern city of Jinja.