Mabira Forest Reserve is home to over 315 species of birds. It is therefore possible to spot 46% of Uganda’s birds in Mabira. Among the species to found include the Afep Pigeon, African Dwarf-kingfisher, African Pied Hornbill, African Shrike-flycatcher, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Blue-throated Roller, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, Cassin’s Spinetail, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo.
Forest Woodhoopoe, Green-breasted Pitta, Grey Parrot, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Nathan’s Francolin, Sabine’s Spinetail, Speckled Tinkerbird, White-bellied Kingfisher, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-billed Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet and the Yellow-throatedTinkerbird.
Birdwatching in Mabira central forest is great because of the sheer density of birds. You don’t need to go too far into the forest to see the birds. The Grassland Trail is a favorite of birders.
This trail passes through and area with several fruiting trees which attract many of the forest birds. Since, it is a well-marked trail, birders can go alone but a Guide will make the experience more memorable by helping identifying the species through their sounds. BBC
Birds in Mabira Forest
Mabira forest has the only Zip-line in East Africa. It is built to pass on top of the trees giving a clear view of the vast forest canopies. The equipment used is of international standards and was secured from the United States of America.
A group of Volunteers from the Peace Corps helped put up the facility and then trained Ugandans on how to maintain it. Zip-lining is arranged in two sessions – Morning and afternoon. The morning session starts at 8am ending at mid-day while the afternoon session is from 1pm going up to 6pm.
Accessing the forest canopy allows you to see many of the forest creatures including birds, monkeys and squirrels.
The key attraction is the Uganda Mangabey Monkey – sometimes known as the Lophocebus Ugandae. This primate is only found in Mabira forest, some parts of the country and in Tanzania
Sighting them depends entirely on the season of the year and availability of fruits. They tend to move a lot in search of fruits especially during periods of scarcity.
Three groups have been habituated and open to tourism. Tracking the Uganda Mangabey Monkey is led by an experienced Guide who took part of the habituation stages. Apart from the Uganda Mangabey Monkeys, you can also sight the red-tailed and Vervet Monkeys.
Apart from primates viewing, nature walks, zip-lining and birding, visitors to Mabira Central forest reserve can choose to go for butterfly identification, visiting the Environmental Research centres or camping/picnics.
The picnic grounds are well organized with food and access to the forest creatures like primates and birds. There is even a picnic trail which starts from the picnic site taking between 15 and 20 minutes through various forest streams and ancient trees. The hotels arrange for cultural dances and other forms of entertainment by the local people. You can also buy local art works as souvenirs if you are interested.
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Activities Done in Mabira Forest