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Mabira Forest - Uganda's Green and Wonderful Place for Camping

How exciting is the Mabira Forest in Uganda?

First I must say Mabira forest is very close to the hearts and souls of Ugandans who are so keen to preserve it. This comparatively small green paradise that covers an area of about 300 sq. km (that's about 120 sq.mile) is blanketed by a tropical rainforest - one of the very few left in the country and is amazing rich in flora and fauna.

Located in the central district of Buikwe - between Jinja and Lugazi town, The forest has been in existence since time immemorial and only protected as a forest reserve since 1932 from the encroachers who systematically ate into it for crop cultivation over the years.

Thick Mabira tropical rainforest in Uganda Photo by; Herbert Drywood Opio


River flows through Mabira forest in Uganda Photo by; Herbert Drywood Opio

The unspoiled sections of forest are dotted with a variety of animal life and plant species that make it priceless to the country. Regarded as the core of Uganda's biodiversity, scientist have it that; this forest acts as a water-catchment that regulates and protects the rivers, streams and lakes in the region, part of the micro-climate moderation process and a necessary component of carbon elimination from the atmosphere....

... Such is the factual science - You can't go wrong, can you?

But away from the science, the stunning greenery and beauty of Mabira forest make it the 'real deal' in business sense for eco-tourism - the modern and responsible way of enjoying such places without compromising on conserving the environment but also taking care of the welfare of the people that live close to the forest.

There is however another school of thought that suggests to use the land for other business proposals, therefore ...

Cutting down Mabira! ... But why in this strange world would that happen?

Mabira forest continues to be at the center of controversy with the government's proposal to give away a considerable chunk of the forest to investors for sugarcane growing that has met a substantial amount of resistance from the general public - the latest being the attempt in 2007 that sparked off wide spread confrontations and riots in the country.

I hope this never comes to pass! ... Sorry it gets a little personal here!

Walk through Mabira Forest in Buikwe district, Uganda Photo by; Herbert Drywood Opio


Griffin falls in Mabira forest in central Uganda Griffin Falls - Photo by; Herbert Drywood Opio

This forest is home to quite a good number of primates including some endangered primates like the Lophocebus ugandae (Grey-cheeked Mangabey) - a species of the old world monkey only found in Uganda, rich in tree species - over 300 different kinds, over 200 stunningly colourful butterflies, and abundantly rich in animal and bird life...

...And that's just what has been recorded - If you keep your eyes peeled you will see lots of unique crawling creatures and bugs ... Make your discoveries , you will be thrilled!

Mabira forest offers excellent grounds for camping - the perfect weekend away from the noise of the cities and towns. It comes with calmness and charm - the perfect place to do a bit of yoga and meditation. You will love it here. If you listen intently while strolling through, you might hear the king of the jungle roaring in the far distance as the songbirds sing away.

Beautiful Griffin waterfalls with rocks and forest moss in Mabira forest, Uganda Photo by; Herbert Drywood Opio

Mabira is without doubt popular with visitors. Hiking through the forest will leave you breathless - It's such a rewarding experience as you appreciate the natural beauty along the trail.

There is quite decent accommodation you can get from the Rainforest lodge that will ably pamper you for an unforgettable stay in the forest... and the different camping sites of course - the Griffin Falls Camp Site is a very popular one. If you don't have your own tent, you could book a banda.

You will love it here! Here is a nice one to set the tone;

"I love the sound of the trees in the breeze. If the forest is so clearly musical, why can't it play the guitar while I sing Nirvana covers?" - Jarod Kintz, Xazaqazax ... I am sure Mabira forest will do - Come visit!

Been to Mabira Forest?

Why not share your experience with us here; The other readers would love to hear your tips, see your photos, and read about your experiences. So please share them with us here.

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I've never understood why many Ugandans are afraid to venture into Mabira Forest, never mind driving past. I guess it has to do with the stories of people …

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