Forest Reserve is the largest block of moist semi-deciduous forest remaining in the central region of Uganda. Mabira Forest has got an ecotourism site and this site is on the edge of Najjembe village approximately 500m north of the main road. Coming from Kampala, it is signposted to your left just before you reach the roadside market at Najjembe. The Mabira Forest Tourism Project was set up in 1995 to enable sustainable income from the forest through the creation of a recreational and educational resource for citizens, foreign residents and visitors from abroad.
Mabira Central Forest Reserve is located on the main Kampala-Jinja Highway in Mukono District. It is 54km from the City Centre of Kampala and 26km from Jinja Town. The Eco-Tourism site is about half a kilometer from the road head along a short dirty road off the Najjembe trading centre.
The Forest is therefore accessible by all vehicles throughout the year.The site is readily accessed by public transport. From Kampala take a taxi from the old taxi park heading towards Jinja and get off at Najjembe market. The journey takes approximately 1 hour.
A huge and beautiful forest of 306 km can be explored via an extensive trail network. Guided and unguided trails are available. For the energetic, there is a circular 25 km bike trail that links the forest to the surrounding sugar and tea plantations.
Recorded tree species are 312 including the endangered Cordia Millenii, Mililia Exclesa, the Warbhugia Ugandanesis and the vulnerable Prunus Africana which cures Prostate Cancer and boosts the Human Immune System.
The Macaranga trail is characterized by the macaranga species of trees. Discover how these trees protect themselves against forest predators.
There are 315 species of Birds including the Nahan’s , Francolin, Cassin Hawk Eagle, the Forest Wood hoope, the Purple throated Cuckoo, the Tit Hylia, the Red Headed Blue Bill, the Black bellied Seed Cracker, the Shining Blue Kingfisher and the Blue headed Crested Monarc. Some of these species can only be found in Mabira.
Birdwatchers will enjoy the grass trail loop, which offers good views in to the broken canopy, which together with an abundance of fruiting trees; make sightings of large numbers of forest birds a real experience.
218 Butterfly species have been recorded and butterfly viewing trail makes your experience a memorable one.
This trail takes approximately 2 hours from the forest centre and it is characterized by many flowering plants including plants such as Lantana Camara. These flowers act as an attraction to butterflies and birds such as the throated bee eaters enjoy this forest edge environment. Taking this trail gives a treat to bird watchers.
Enjoy scenic viewing by taking a trip to the view point at the top of the radio tower on the radio hill. Climb to have marvelous panoramic views over the forest.
There is a special cycling circuit which offers a challenging trail to the top of Namusa Hill for experienced cyclists and an alternative route along the Wagala ridge pylon clearing for less experienced cyclists.
The trail follows a quiet forest road for 8km into the heart of the forest, at Ssese village visitors can chose to follow the 5km loop up to Namusa Hill or turn left to follow the pylon clearing. The two trails meet and continue towards Lugazi. The more adventurous may like to search for the Griffin Water Falls, simply ask directions at the houses half way up the hill when you have crossed a bridge over the river.
Other unique features such as small mammals, Moth species may be seen by taking Gangu Ridge trail, which is the longest trail and leads intoshaded thick forest far away from the main highway. It takes approximately 3-4 hours and involves a trek through primary forest across three valleys including the Gangu valley. The trail has two resting points from which you can view birds; forest primates and you may spot the elusive bush pig.
The picnic Trail from the picnic site lead self guided trail journeys into the forest meandering through regenerating forest along the valley of one of mabira’s main forest streams. This is ideal for children and visitors on a tight time schedule.
Specialized, knowledgeable and courteous local guides are on site ready to take you for an exciting interpretative Forest Walk.
Mabira Eco-Tourism Drama Group, a community Interest Group entertains visitors with cultural music, dance and drama.