Mabira Forest Reserve

mabira forest reserve

Established in 1900, Mabira Forest Reserve is a natural tropical rainforest found in central region of Uganda, and it is also the biggest in this region covering of 306 square kilometers. It is located in Buikwe District along the Kampala – Jinja highway.

Mabira is predominantly a secondary forest that has grown for more than 100 years with minimal disturbance hence accumulating an impressive diversity of wildlife which includes: 312 species of trees and shrubs, some of the shrubs have been discovered to be unique to Mabira and not found anywhere else. It is home to 316 bird species, 219 butterflies, 97 moths and 35 species of small mammals such as Duikers, Bushbucks, Squirrels, Red-tailed Monkeys, and the Uganda Mangabey which is found only in Uganda.

red tailed monkey at Mabira Forest Reserve

Mabira Forest is also an important water catchment area and has some rivers that flow into Lake Victoria – Africa’s biggest lake.

Things to do in Mabira Forest

Forest Birding

Mabira forest is a hotspot for forest birds, and is one of the prime destinations for birding tours in Uganda. The bird count in the forest currently stands at about 316 bird species. And with the good trail network what offers easy access to the forest and good views into the different layers of the forest Mabira offers a wonderful birding experience. Some of the top birds in Mabira include: Uganda Woodland Warbler, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Narina Trogon, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Black-billed Turaco, African Grey Parrot, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Green-tailed Bristlebill, and Forest Robin.

Guided Nature Walk and Hike

Mabira Forest has an excellent trail network for easy movement through the dense forest. Walking under the thick canopy, experiencing the peace, serenity and tranquility feels so refreshing and close to nature. You have chances of encountering an array of wildlife such as monkeys, squirrels, colorful butterflies, birds, spiders, insects, snakes, water streams, and hear beautiful songs from elusive forest birds, as well as noises from other animals such as monkeys. You also get to see different species of trees and shrubs, and learn some of the medicinal ones. The site guide at Mabira is very knowledgeable about the forest, and will point out so many interesting features & aspects of Mabira.

Mangabey monkey tracking in Mabira forest

Mabira Forest is home to the Uganda Mangabey a species of monkeys which is found only in Uganda. Mabira forest offers the best chance to see the Uganda Mangabey, and one troop has been habituated for tracking. These monkeys may be seen during the normal forest walk, however for better chances of seeing them up close you can book a mangabey tracking experience where you join a forest guide and track them down and spend an hour observing them.

Zip Lining in Mabira forest

This thrilling adventure offers access to the forest canopy and its inhabitants such as birds, monkeys, squirrels and several features that are rather elusive while on ground. The feeling being high up in the trees, smelling the unfamiliar scents from the trees and seeing all the green around as you glide along is wonderful to experience!

Mountain Biking

Mabira Forest is an excellent destination for mountain biking adventures, through the forest’s trail network.


There are neat, well maintained picnic grounds in the forest for one to enjoy a meal in the peaceful and tranquil natural environment, and yet still have a chance to glimpse some wildlife such as the monkeys, squirrels and several birds.


Camping is available in certain spots of the forest including the main at the Eco-tourism Site.

Book our tours to visit Mabira Forest

1 days Jinja tour with visit to Mabira forest

2 days Sipi falls hike and Jinja tour with visit to Mabira forest

3 days ultimate outdoor adventures Uganda tour

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