• Entebbe, Uganda

    5 Min drive from Airport

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1 DAY MABAMBA, Birdwatching & Shoebill Tours

Awesome Image

Elusive Shoebill Stork.

Introduction

Though relatively small country, Uganda is one of the best countries for bird watching in the world. Mabamba Swamp is just one of the many interesting birding areas in Uganda. This half day trip will take you to the Mabamba swamp (which means lungfish swamp in the Luganda dialect).

Shoebill is a prehistoric-looking bird. It has a foot-long bill which is five inches wide and has sharp edges and a sharp hook on the end. Its specialized bill allows the shoebill to grab large prey, including lungfish, tilapia, snakes, baby crocodiles and Nile monitor lizards.

1 DAY MABAMBA SWAMP, Birdwatching & Shoebill, Trip Itinerary

Half Day Tour

You will be met by our company representative who will transfer you to the Nakiwogo Landing site where you will meet up with your motorized canoe, and transfer to Mabamba Swamp on lake Victoria. The boat transfer from the Nakiwogo Landing site to Mabamba will typically last ±45 minutes (Oneway) before you meet up with your local mabamba guide who will then join us on the boat for the shoebill Tracking experience across the vast Mabamba Swamp. The guide will also point out other bird species while on the trip. Upon finding, the shoebill stork, you will be allowed ample time to photograph this elusive bird. Thereafter you will head back to the Nakiwogo Landing site (45 minutes transfer on water) and transfer back to your Entebbe hotel.

Best time to visit Mabamba

The Mabamba swamp can be visited at any time of the day but if you wish to enjoy the birding tour, it is best you go in the morning hours. Make sure you carry your sunglasses, hats, insect repellent, sun protection, and a rain jacket in case it rains. The climate of Mabamba swamp is the same as in other areas of Lake Victoria which has an average temperature of 17°C and a maximum temperature of 26°C.

Getting to Mabamba Swamp

Shoebill Stork Facts

Shoebill is a prehistoric-looking bird. It has a foot-long bill which is five inches wide and has sharp edges and a sharp hook on the end. Its specialized bill allows the shoebill to grab large prey, including lungfish, tilapia, snakes, baby crocodiles and Nile monitor lizards. Reaching up to five feet tall with an eight-foot wingspan, shoebills have yellow eyes, gray feathers, white bellies, and a small feathered crest on the back of their heads. They also have long, thin legs with large feet that are ideal for walking on the vegetation in the freshwater marshes and swamps they inhabit.

Shoebills can stay motionless for hours, so when a hapless lungfish comes up for air, it might not notice this lethal prehistoric-looking bird looming until it’s too late. The birds practice a hunting technique called “collapsing,” which involves falling forward on their prey. Shoebills are in a family all their own, though they were once classified as storks. They do share traits with storks and herons, like the long necks and legs characteristic of wading birds, though their closest relatives are the pelicans. They keep cool with a technique called gular fluttering—vibrating the throat muscles to dissipate heat. These birds are very solitary in nature, though, and even mating pairs will feed at opposite sides of their territory. Breeding pairs build nests on water or on floating vegetation, and can be up to eight feet wide. Females lay an average of two eggs at the end of the rainy season. As co-parents, both birds tend to the eggs and young. This includes incubating and turning eggs, and cooling them with water they bring to the nest in their large bills.

One of the most incredible shoebill stork facts is that these birds live a long time. Wild shoebills are thought to live in excess of 25 years. Because they have such a long lifespan, shoebill storks take a long time to grow up. Once the chicks are born, they take three years to reach sexual maturity. Shoebill storks build some of the strangest nests in the animal kingdom. They build them on floating vegetation over relatively deep water. The floating nature of the nest, coupled with its location in thick vegetation, makes it extremely difficult for predators to reach. Another incredible shoebill stork fact is that they are not small birds. Despite their size, they’re not flightless. In fact, shoebills have an eight-foot wingspan. They stand between 3.5-5 feet tall and may weigh as much as 12 pounds. They have long, straight legs, long toes, and lengthy, powerful wings. Their predominant color is slate gray, with tones of light gray, blue gray, and dark gray marking the wings apart from the belly. Their bills are light orange and just might be their most distinctive feature.

Cost Per Person Sharing
01

Rate 2024/ 2025

› 1 Person - USD 200 Per Person

› 2 Person - USD 125 Per Person

› 3 Person - USD 100 Per Person

› 4 Person - USD 90 Per Person

› 5 Person - USD 80 Per Person

› 6 Person - USD 75 Per Person

02

Package Included

› All Airport Transfers

› Traditional motorized canoe boat

› English speaking friendly guide

› Conservation fee for Mabamba

› Transport in 4x4 safari vehicle

› Fuel for the whole trip

› Snacks and refreshment

03

Package Excluded

› Pre and post tour accommodation

› Travel Insurance (recommended)

› Visa fees

› Personal expenses (Tips, Drinks, etc)

› Face Masks (Recommended)

› International flights

› Cost of additional activities

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