While Birding Uganda, consider Mabamba Wetland because it 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 at Mabamba.
The wetlands boost of a 260 bird 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, House Sparrow which is 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, African Pied Wagtail, Pied King Fisher, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Yellow Billed 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 Sitatunga, a swamp antelope which is commonly hunted by local people.
It is also a habitat to rare plant species like Sandboxes species
Shoebill Bird Featuring Safaris
Shoebill Balaeniceps rex
Diet: Lungfishes, Catfish, Tilapia, Frogs, Reptiles, and small mammal
Habitat and feeding: Swamps, marshes, particular floating vegetation, generally muddy areas on fresh water bodies
The Shoebill is a massive bird, growing to heights of 3-1/2ft to 4-1/2ft tall.
The birds nest solitarily, laying one to three eggs in a large flat nest built amid swamp grasses or sedges, usually in remote areas. These eggs measure 80 to 90 mm high by 56 to 61 mm and weigh around 164 g. It takes 140 days of nest-attendance to get from new-laid egg to independent offspring and it takes three to four years to get from newly independent offspring to mature adult.
This species is considered to be one of the five most desirable birds in Africa by ornithologists.