Mabamba wetland is situated a long Lake Victoria in the area of Entebbe, South of Kampala. This is one of the place and site where the rare Shoebill stork (Balaeniceps rex) can be spotted at any one time of the day, approximately 38% of the global population of the Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea), and the globally-threatened Papyrus Yellow Warbler among other birds of global conservation concern.
The Shoebill feeds primarily on lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus), which is also cherished by the local community. Shoebills are regularly recorded in pairs or in threes in the marsh at Nakiwogo, about 2 km north east of Mabamba Bay. Mabamba has been surveyed in recent years and now boosts of over 260 bird species with one day’s record of 157 species.
More birdlife species to spot at Mabamba Wetland include: White Winged Terns, Madagascar Bee-eater, Yellow Billed Egret and Long toed Plover, Rey-headed Gull. Take a walk along the main road as you search more birds like: African Fish Eagle, African Jacana, Black Crake, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Cape Wagtail, Swamp Flightier, Red Chested Sunbird Winding Cisticola, Blue- Breasted Bee- eater.
Mabamba Wetland as an IBA
Mabamba Wetland is the only place and site, best in the whole world for sighting the Shoebill Stork after Murchison Falls National Park, along with other birds of global conservation concern. The Shoebill can be spotted at any one time of the day in the year on a birding tour. The wetlands boost of a 260 species record, with seven of the 12 Lake Victoria Basin biome species that occur in Uganda being available.
The notable ones after the recent years’ surveys include the elusive Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) which also breeds from the region, the Papyrus Gonolek, the globally-threatened Papyrus Yellow Warbler, the House Sparrow which is a Vagrant, Mosque Swallow (monteiri race), Weyn’s Weaver, White-shouldered Tit, Sand Martin, Brown Snake-Eagle, Eurasian Hobby, Grosbeak Weaver, Blue-headed Coucal, Fork-tailed Drongo, Feral Pigeon, Flappet Lark, Long-Crested Eagle, Stripped Kingfisher, Common Stonechat, Common Greenshank, Little bee-eater, Whinchat, Grey Wagtail, Great Blue Turaco, Grassland Pipit, Orange Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Black-headed weaver, Slender-billed Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Black Headed Gonolek, Ruppell’s Long-tailed Sterling, Grey-Headed Sparrow, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow Wagtail
Stork, Olivaceous Warbler, Tawny Eagle, Carruther’s Cisticola, Ross’s Turaco, Fan-tailed, Widowbird, Ashy Flycatcher, Rufous-napped Lark, Yellow-throated Greenbul, Common Squacco Heron, White-faced Whistling-duck, Fulvous Whistling-duck, Goliath Heron, Slender-billed Gull, Spur-winged Goose, Long-toed Lapwing, African Marsh Harrier, White-browed Coucal, Violet-backed Sterling, name it.
Mabamba has become one of the strong holds for the migrant Blue Swallow with over 100 individuals recorded every year. Like many papyrus swamps adjacent to Lake Victoria, Mabamba is home to the Sitatungas, a swamp antelope which is commonly hunted by local people. It is also a habitat to rare plant species like Sandboxes species.
Regular waterfowl counts since 1993 which show a total of 108 water bird species at the site, of which 26 are Pale arctic migrants and its ability for regularly supporting thousands of roosting water birds, qualified it both an IBA and a Ramsar Site.
It has a record of eight of the twelve species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome that occur in Uganda. Occasional records of the Shoebill Stork, Tawny Pipit and the Madagascar Squacco Heron also exist. The Purple Starling, House Sparrow, Brown Twin spot, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Black-necked Weaver, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Africa-Pygmy Kingfisher, Scaly Francolin, Black Kite, Grey-backed Fiscal, Black-headed Gonolek, Black-crowned Waxbill, Barn Swallow, Helmeted Guinea fowl, Wire-tailed Swallow, Brimstone and the Yellow-fronted Canaries, Little Ringed Plover, Collared Pratincoles, Splendid Sterling, Blue-spotted Wood-dove, Pin-tailed Whydah, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Common Waxbill, Marico Sunbird, Tree Pipit, Grosbeak Weaver, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Cape Wagtail, Africa Wattled Lapwing, Senegal Lapwing, Yellow-throated Long claw, White-headed Saw-wing, Broad-billed Roller, White-browed and the Brown-backed Scrub-robins, Whiskered Tern, Lead-coloured Flycatcher, African Green Pigeon, Sooty Chat, Plain-backed Pipit, Tropical Boubou, just to mention but a few have been recorded here.