Mabamba swamp is a birders destination and a number elusive site to spot the rare shoebill while in Africa; the swamp is spread up with papyrus and Lily pads. The swamp stretches through a narrow long bay covered with papyrus towards the western part of Lake Victoria.
The Mabamba Island was recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site, the swamp covers 2424 ha with water lilies, papyrus and many other wetland grasses at the Lake Victoria shores. There are different trails that will take you to view this most sought Ugandan bird.
To access the Mabamba swamp tourists can go on canoeing with a local guide or probably use a small engine fishing boat, the community has benefited from the swamp through tourists activities as they are employed as boatmen and local guides
When a female rare shoebill lays eggs it shares incubation with the male for about one month when the chicks are hatched, they always lay one to three eggs, this birds are predominantly solitary species adults only come together to mate. Chicks fly after being fed for 100 days and can then look for their own food. They feed on all kinds of fish, turtles, young crocodiles and many more.
The Mabamba swamp can be accessed any time of the day but the best time is in the late morning hours tourists can come with sun glasses, hats, insect repellent, sun protection and a rain jacket.
The Mabamba swamp is renowned for numerous rare shoebill birds but other water birds can also be seen within the swamp, bird watching is done on a boat tourists can expect to come across birds such as; blue breasted bee eater, swamp fly catcher, African water rail, common moorhen, Goliath heron, African jacana, African pygmy goose, pallid harrier, papyrus Gonolek, white winged warbler, squaco heron, winding cisticola, white faced whistling bird, lesser jacana, malachite kingfisher Angola swallows, intermediate egret, African purple swamp hen, hammerkops, common wax bill, fan tailed widow bird, long tailed lapwing, African pied wag tail, red billed fire Finch and osprey among the rest.
The total of bird species is said to be over 300 species of birds and of which 12 of the species are restricted to lake Victoria and 7 to Uganda, the best time for viewing migratory birds is from December to march.
Mabamba swamp is also home to the rare Sitatunga antelope which is mostly sued for by poachers, poachers aslo come to the swamp to look for the rare shoebill birds and eggs to sell them on illegal trade. Before sensitization of the community about the importance of birdlife even the swamps fishermen used to kill the shoebill with their local believes of bad omens in that if they saw it while fishing they couldn’t catch any birds.
A part from visiting Mabamba swamp tourists can visit other tourists attractions in Entebbe such as; Uganda wildlife education center, Muzinga square Park, Ngamba island and Ssese islands among the rest.
Mabamba swamp can be accessed from Entebbe town within an hours drive, but alternatively tourists can got cross a ferry to Nakiwogo landing site to Kasanje landing site then drive for about 20 minutes to Mabamba swamp. The swamp can also be reached from Kampala.
There various accommodation units where to sleep in near the swamp they offer comfortable rooms and good customer care tourists can sleep in Uwec leisure gardens, sienna Beach hotel and lake heights hotel among others.