Mabamba Bay Swamp famous wetland known for the Shoebill which is the most sought after bird in Uganda by birding tourists as well as by nature enthusiasts. Mabamba Swamp is located in the central region, west of Entebbe along the northern shore of Lake Victoria, and is comprised of marshes of papyrus, water lilies and other wetland vegetation.
Mabamba swamp is a Ramsar site and Important Bird Area (IBA). The wetland hosts over 300 bird species that include many globally threatened species, 7 of Uganda’s 12 Lake Victoria biome restricted species (notable is the Papyrys Gonolek) and plenty of wetland specialties. The wetland also hosts huge flocks of Paleartic migrants every year from October to March.
Mabamba Swamp can be reached by a number of routes. From Kampala or Entebbe the easiest route is via the Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe where you take a 10 minutes ferry crossing to Kasanje landing and from there drive for about 20 minutes to Mabamba passing through cultivations and open fields that will provide plenty of garden birds.
Birding in Mabamba swamp is done from a motorized wooden boat by riding through a maze of trails cutting through the thick marshes.
Mabamba wetland is popular for the Shoebill which is the most sought after bird by birdwatchers in Uganda. The Shoebill is also on the wildlife list of non bird watching tourists that are intrigued by its peculiar looks and massive size. The rare bird is found in few places in Uganda and Mabamba Swamp is the most accessible and reliable with the best chances of seeing the Shoebill in Uganda and arguably in Africa.