Mabira forest reserve informative safari guide

Yes! this sis one of the kind. Mabira forest is the largest reserve in Uganda. The nearest too the city. The only dream come true safari destination nearest to the capital; of Uganda “Kampala. Breathtakingly well-endowed forest.

This Jewel safaris article will give you in fullness what Mabira forest reserve is known for and what it has for a traveler that is fun oriented, researcher and botanist.


Mabira Forest is a dense rain-forest located in Buikwe district along Kampala– Jinja highway. It covers an area of about 120 square miles. Mabira is home to about 311 tree species with the forest center containing many ancient trees many of which are over 70 years old.

Mabira Forest is one of a kind gem of wildlife. Biologically, Mabira forest is home to diverse species like: plants, butterflies, animals and birds of which some are endemic to Mabira forest alone.

Mabira is home to 219 butterfly species, 316 bird species and 97 of moths. Among the bird species are the Nahan’s Francolin and Papyrus Gonolek. 79 species of the birds in Mabira can only be found in Central Africa.

The forest also has blue duikers, fruit bats, baboons, Bush pigs, the Tree Hyrax, Red Tailed Monkeys, Squirrels, Bushbuck, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, Bush Babies, Leopards (very rare) and various species of snakes.

As a rain-forest, Mabira forest is an important water catchment area serving many streams and other water bodies like River Nile, River Sezibwa, Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga.

History of the forest reserve

The Baganda consider the forest of great cultural and historical significance. The Buganda god of food and rain is believed to live in Mabira forest.

The forest has always provided medicine/herbs that are used to treat all kinds of ailment among the people living in the area and beyond.

Mabira became protected in 1932. Before its protection, the forest was used to extract rubber while some parts were cleared to set up coffee plantations.

As time went on and especially between 1971 and 1979, the forest resources were continually depleted due to poaching, logging and encroachment by neighboring communities.

Deforestation, encroachment and the setting up of sugar and tea plantations led to the loss of over  50 percent of the forest cover. With the return to peace in 1985, farmers illegally occupying the forest were expelled and reforestation programs aggressively implemented by the government.

Apart from the Uganda government, inter-governmental organizations and other Agencies did everything possible to restore the forest and develop Eco-tourism to benefit the communities living in the outskirts of the forest.

Mabira forest is truly loved by the local citizens to an extent that when the government tempted to give it away to the sugarcane company that has plantations around it, everyone went out on a peaceful demonstration agitating for this forest not to be touched.

And the government had to leave the forest untouched. That is the reason as to why it is there till today otherwise it would have been cleared for sugarcane growing.

The main rationale for protesting was that the locals foresaw the climatic change because apparently Mabira forest plays a very vibrant role in climatic


What to do here.

Are you an Eco Tourist? Then this could be your favorite destination to visit. This is the nearest undeniably most visited by many tourists both local and foreign for its abundant activities and what to do.

In fact, Mabira forest receives most of the tourist coming to Uganda primarily to visit forests. The main activities to do at Mabira forest include: nature walks, cycling, birding, wildlife viewing, zip lining, mountain hiking, cultural encounters or simple relaxation and camping/picnics among others.

Mabira forest is also a perfect place to learn about how natural resources and threatened species can be protected. The forest reserve can be explored using an extensive trail by foot, motorcycle or bicycle. All activities should start at the Mabira Eco-tourism Center.


The abundant tree species, the primates in the tall luxuriant trees, the communities around offering cultural encounters, the birds that are endemic to Mabira forest alone and central Africa, butterflies and so many others.

To do any of this, kindly contact us at Jewel safaris and surely we shall arrange you to have a dose of what Mabira gives to its visitors as far as the fun thrilled activities is concerned

Which activity around Mabira forest reserve suits your interests? Whatever it is, we at jewel safaris have it and ready to give it to you at what rate you stand on that luxuriously, mid-range or budget. Talk to us.

Sample packages to Mabira.

1 Day Jinja City tour

3 Days white Water rafting & Bungee jumping Jinja Uganda

3 Days Hiking Mount Elgon tour in Uganda