Go Birding in Mabira Forest

Mabira Forest Reserve is situated 56 kilometers/35 miles along the Kampala-Jinja highway within Buikwe, Kayunga and Mukono districts and extends for 306 square kilometers (118 square miles/30,600 hectares) which makes it the largest Natural Forest reserve within Central Uganda, and the 6th largest Forest Reserve in Uganda. This forest Reserve is a perfect destination for a short safari like a weekend outing or on a short public holidays.

This Tropical rainforest was established into a Forest Reserve in 1932 by the British Colonial Government making it one of the oldest forest reserves to be gazzeted in the country and is currently managed by the National Forestry Authority (NFA). This Forest Reserve inhabits the gentler areas characterized by several round-topped hills and vast and shallow valleys (where some valleys have papyrus swamps). These exceptional places shelter over 315 bird species including about four of the Afro-tropical Highlands biome species, 74 of the total 144 species of the Guinea-Congo Biome and one specie of the Sudan-Guinea Savannah biome species. While on the 10 kilometers of well maintained trails for birding, you will be able to satisfy your eyes with what this Forest Reserve offers.

While on a birding safari in this Forest reserve, you will encounter at least 200 species of the birds within the area that include the Black and-white Casqued Hornbill, the Red-capped Robin-Chat, the Forest Woodhoopoe, the African Shrike-flycatcher, the Yellow-spotted Barbet,  the African Pied Hornbill, the Yellow White-eye, the Hairy Breasted Barbet, the Speckle-breasted, the Bockages Shrike, the Grey and Cassin’s Honeyguide the Fire-crested Alethe, the Cattle Egret, the White-bellied Kingfisher, the Yellow-billed Barbet, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Sooty Boubou, the Honeyguide Greenbul, the Tambourine Dove, the Buff-spotted Woodpeckers, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Red-tailed Bristlebil, the Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, the Forest robin, the Purple-throated cuckoo, Hadada Ibis, the Speckled Tinkerbird, the African Harrier Hawk, the Broad-billed Roller, the White-spotted Flufftail, the African Dwarf-kingfisher, the Little Greenbul, the Hammerkop, the Long-crested Eagle, the Marabou Storks, the Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, the Red-chested Sunbird, the Capuchin Babbler, the Speckled Tinker bird, the Great-Blue Turaco, the Yellow-crested cockatoo, the Pied Crow, the Black Kite, the Green-breasted Pitta, the African Thrush, the Black-and-white Manikin, the Black-shouldered Nightjar, the Brown-eared bulbul, the Shining-blue kingfisher, the Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, the Chestnut Wattle-eye, Sabine’s Spinetail, black-bellied seed cracker, the Open-billed Stork, the Superb Sunbird, Yellow-mantled weaver, Illadopsis, the African Grey Parrot, the guinea fowls, the Grey long-bills the Jameson’s Wattle-eye, the Palmnut Vulture, the Lizard Buzzard, the White-threatened Bee-eater, the Black-headed Weaver, the Cassin hawk eagle, the red headed blue bill, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, the African Shrike Flycatcher, the Red-headed Malimbe, the Velvet-mantled Drongo, the Yellow long-bills Black-billed Turaco, the Black shouldered Nightjar, the Bronze Manikin, the Grey-green Bush-shrike, the Blue-throated Roller, Afep Pigeon and the Nahan’s Francolin among others. Birding within Mabira Forest Reserve starts from the highway where you will encounter several bird species especially the Great-Blue Turaco and the Pied Crows among others.

In addition to the bird species, this Forest Reserve is a haven to over 23 mammal species including 6 primate species such as the popular Grey-cheeked Mangabey, the Vervet monkeys, Black and white Colobus monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys and the Black and white Colobus monkeys among others. There are also over 312 tree species including 5 species of International Conservation concern. This makes this forest reserve a perfect place for birding in addition to nature walks, camping and picnic and grey-cheeked mangabey tracking.

In conclusion, Mabira Forest reserve is a must-visit destination for birding with over 315 bird species. When you visit this site, you will be totally amazed by everything it offer to tourists who visit it.


Romance on the Nile

Picture this: You and your loved one cruising down the majestic Nile River, sipping on an ice-cold cocktail, gazing and enjoying the staggering natural beauty all around you. An impossible dream? Not if you spend your holiday at the enchanting Murchison Falls National Park, North Western Uganda. An experience you’ll never forget.

Fall in love all over again in Murchison falls. As far as romantic backdrops go, they don’t come any more spectacular than this. Everything about this huge natural national park seems to provide a thrilling accompaniment to a romantic holiday.

This is the largest park in Uganda, covering over 4000 sq. km, and is one of the most spectacular parks in all of Africa. Renowned for its scenic beauty and the spectacular falls from which it gets its name, Murchison Falls NP supports an abundance of flora and fauna to delight the visitor. From rolling savannah and tall grasslands to thick bush and woodlands, the diversity of this park never ceases to amaze visitors and residents alike. The magnificent Murchison Falls thunders from a height of 43 meters, catching and refracting the sunlight in a never ending kaleidoscope of prismatic patterns.

The wildlife variety is amazing and can be enjoyed by taking game drives and enjoying a leisurely 3hour cruise on the Nile, viewing the animals on the banks as they come to quench their thirst. For your cultural experience you will have the delight of visiting the local community groups like the Boomu Women’s group, Asera Azola Women’s group and the Kafalo Association. Marvel at the beautiful crafts they make and you can have a chance of purchasing souvenirs for your friends and family back home.

To the avid birdwatcher the thrill of seeking out some of the 424 species identified in the park is unmatched. Try out your fishing skills by waiting patiently above and below the falls, for 20-100 kg Nile Perch. Other game fish found in the Nile include Barbel, Electric Catfish and Tiger fish. While on the delightful game drives, Cape
buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, Uganda kob, hartebeest and waterbuck are commonly seen. You may also spot oribi, bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck, the shy sitatunga, bush duiker, warthog and bushpig. Large carnivores found in the park include lion, leopard and spotted hyena. Chimpanzees and olive baboons head the list of six species of primates found in the park. Crocodile and hippo will be seen along the banks of the Nile. Some of the more common birds that can be seen include Goliath heron, Egyptian geese, pelican, bee-eaters, kingfishers, hornbill, cormorant, saddle-bill stork and the rare Shoebill stork. A boat cruise to the delta is a highlight for the avid birdwatcher.

The accommodation is as lavish as the park. Two luxury safari lodges are perched atop a gorge, towering above the mighty Nile River, an economy/budget lodge is also available. There numerous places where you can pitch your own tent and enjoy the mystery and excitement of spending a night in the wild Africa. Also a budget campsite is available. One of the things you’ll definitely enjoy is relaxing on the verandah, sipping cocktails while drinking in the panoramic sights and the atmospheric sounds of the authentic Africa.

Savor the exquisitely prepared lunches and candle lit dinners over a cool glass of wine, or leap at a chance to taste the flavors of a bush dinner. Pool side BBQs and buffets complete the menu of mouth watering ways to eat and be merry at Murchison falls NP, before retiring to bed, anticipating the beauty the morning brings.