Mabira Forest is a tropical rainforest found in the North of Lake Victoria, in Buikwe District between Lugazi and Jinja, Uganda. It is the largest tropical rainforest in central Uganda, covering an area of about 300 sq. km(120 sq. mi) or 30,000 hectares/74000 acres. It lies in a gently undulating country, with many flat-topped hills separated by wide stream valleys. The forest derives its name from the Luganda word “kibira” which means forest. Since there was a series of forests that made up one large forest, it was called ‘Mabira’ as a result of “many forests”. Therefore, tourism activities in Mabira forest are a must because of how fascinating the forest is.
The top things to do and see in Mabira Forest are the Nature Walks, Birding walks, Guided Hikes, and relaxation just a 45-minute drive from Kampala the capital city. Mabira rainforest has 200 kinds of species of trees, in valleys, you see various papyrus swamps, streams, and peaceful waterfalls.
Mabira is home to bush pigs, blue duikers, red-tailed monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabeys, and some occasional leopards that you may not be likely to see. For birders, there are about 315 bird species found here such as Nathan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, White-spotted Flufftail, Afep Pigeon, Grey Parrot, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Sabine’s Spinetail, Cassin’s Spinetail, Blue-throated Roller, African Dwarf-kingfisher, White-bellied Kingfisher, Forest Woodhoopoe, African Pied Hornbill, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Green-breasted Pitta, African Shrike-flycatcher and many others.
Being a natural and tropical rainforest, Mabira forest has a lot to offer when it comes to recreation, leisure, adventure, and other aspects of tourism. Given its richness in terms of natural resources, one can have an experience that they may live to remember once they spend a day or hours exploring the natural rainforest. The tourism activities in Mabira forest are affordable and will give you the best jungle experience. Some of the top things to do include Nature walks, birding watching, butterfly viewing, and guided hikes.
The Mabira Forest canopy super skyway is an experience which when sought, makes you feel like monkeys because it will make you behave like them. It’s the first of its kind in Uganda. It’s a canopy “zip-line” system where you soar between the tallest trees in the tropical rainforest. Guides/sky captains guide you across a network of 5 zip lines that stretch 250 meters across River Musamya. The time for the activity is always between 8 am to noon and from 1 pm to 6 pm. It’s such an interesting activity that you can’t afford to miss.
The Uganda mangabey (Lophocebus albigena ugandae) is a subspecies of the grey-cheeked mangabey (L. albigena), an old world found only in Uganda in Mabira forest in the Minziro Forest Reserve, just over the border in Tanzania. It’s a subspecies of grey-cheeked mangabey, with a shorter skull and smaller face, and in 2018, IUCN recognized it as a vulnerable species and called for its conservation.
There are 3 habituated groups inside the forest and they can be tracked by guides who were part of the Habituation process. While trekking, you can look out for Birds, butterflies, flowering plants, red-tailed monkeys, and so on.
The Mountain Biking trails are the most well-maintained trails for Bikers to blaze through the forest and one can adventure even beyond the forest to communities. Mountain Bikers are rented to Griffin Falls camp and the best bikes are rented to the Nile explorers in Jinja.
Mabira forest is a fantastic place for birding in case you want to undertake this interesting activity. Due to the vast range of habitats in the forest say swamps, trees, bushlands, and others, there is a variety of options to attract birds who call Mabira forest a home. Some of the rare species of birds include; Nahan’s Francolin, Tit Hylia, yellow and grey long bills, purple-throated cuckoo shrikes, Illadopsises, and others. You can spot 50% of Uganda’s forest birds in the Mabira Rainforest, in this case, the remarkable thing is that you cover a small area. Therefore, once you visit, you will find out that Mabira is a birder’s haven.
Our guides are trained to give you a comprehensive forest experience, in this case, we offer forest walks, a long adventurous trek into the backcountry to a gentle meandering stroll through our well-maintained trails. In these treks, you can see more than 4 species of native monkeys in the forest on your 30-minute walks, physical features like streams and rivers, birds, butterflies, and ancient trees in Griffin Falls. Butterfly viewing can be integrated with a nature walk as you can see many species of butterflies in swamps, along river banks, on different flowering plants, and in many other areas.
This is an activity spearheaded by Griffin Falls Camp also known as Mabira Forest Camp found on the edge of a vast trail system in beautiful Mabira forest. No matter your interests, you’ll never run out of ways to enjoy the beautiful forest. Griffin Falls Camp is conveniently located just 10 km off the highway between Kampala and Jinja. After an amazing experience in the forest, you can feel good about where your money ends up because all the profits from Griffin Falls Camp are put into sustainable development projects in the villages in and around Mabira Forest. The Griffin Falls Camp is owned by the Mabira Forest Integrated Community Organization (MAFICO), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). The mission of MAFICO is to improve the livelihoods and welfare of the local communities by conserving the environment through development.
MAFICO encourages stewardship of the forest by its surrounding communities through environmental, networking, and mobilization of 30 community-based Organisations and fundraising for sustainable and beneficial community projects. The proceeds from the camp are plowed back to community projects like tree planting, HIV/AIDS-positive living groups, water and sanitation, and Education.
All you can do to enjoy those activities in Mabira forest as you are whispered by the wild, is to contact us so that we can design your tour package according to the time you have, your budget, and the activities you want to undertake. We also organize, with a lot of professionalism, other tourism adventures like gorilla trekking, birding, chimpanzee trekking, boat cruises, and many others that you might think of. We organize these tour packages in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and DR Congo. Visit our website for the most mouthwatering safari packages that we’ll organize for you at your convenience.