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This 1 day Mabamba swamp tour is a whole day birding experience on Mabamba Bay swamp. The swampy bay is located on the northern shores of Lake Victoria- the largest fresh water lake in the world. The highlight for the tour is to look out for the elusive shoebill stork. Uganda has a number of places where this rare bird species can be seen but Mabamba bay is the most reliable and convenient to spot it. Birding in Mabamba swamp is  done on a canoe that is paddled by an expert local guide, expect sights of numerous water and land birds.

Starting in Kampala or Entebbe, we depart at around 6am after having breakfast at the lodge or place of residence to Mabamba swamp. It takes us about an hour to get there (covering a distance of approximately 50km). On arrival at the starting point, we meet the local guide, get on the canoe and he takes us through the narrow waterways of the swamp to locations where the shoebill stork is likely to be found. The prehistoric-looking bird is named “shoebill stork” because its majestic bill looks like a shoe. It is formed with a sharp hook at the end which helps it to capture lungfish, snakes, baby crocodiles and Nile monitor lizards for food. Other unique features of the shoebill stork include the huge, yellow and human-like eyes.

Apart from the shoebill, the excursion turns out an incredible tour because of other interesting bird species at the bay including the papyrus gonolek, Blue swallow, golden backed weaver, Africa pygmy goose, black-headed weaver, Allen’s and Purple Gallinule, Northern Brown throated weaver, Carruther’s cisticola, Lesser jacana and Vieillot’s weaver among others.

We also have an opportunity to spot the Sitatunga antelope. After the scheduled hours of the canoe ride, we return to the main land and drive back to Kampala.


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