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Mabira Central Forest Reserve is one of the biggest natural rainforests in Central Uganda - covering more than 300 square kilometers of land. Located along the Kampala - Jinja highway, Mabira is a well-known forest in Uganda whose protection led to big protests from the general public.

While Mabira might not feature on many Uganda safari itineraries, it is a great sport for birders who want to spot some birds without leaving Kampala for long.

Mabira forest is a natural home to 312 tree species, 315 bird species, 28 small mammals, and more than 320 butterfly and moth species. All this biodiversity just near Kampala is why Mabira is becoming increasingly popular, especially with the city residents of either Kampala or Jinja.

Mabira Forest is home to the largest population of the Uganda Mangabey, and Old world Monkey found only in Uganda and Tanzania's Minziro Forest Reserve.


While you are in Mabira, you can enjoy the following activities.

  • Camping and Picnics
  • Bird watching
  • Butterfly identification
  • Mountain biking
  • Photography
  • Nature Forest Walks
  • Uganda Managbey Tracking
  • Canopy Ziplining

When To Visit

Mabira Forest can be visited at any time of the year but the best months are during the dry season months from January to Early March and June to August.

Mabira is however a thick rainforest located near Africa's biggest freshwater water lake (Lake Victoria) and all the months of the year do have at least 10 days of rain.

As long as the rest of your trip is favourable, Mabira can easily be added on. As the people in Kampala and Jinja will tell you, it can rain twice a day in some areas and be completely dry in others.

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Getting There

Mabira Forest is located 54 kilometers from the Kampala City Center along the Kampala Jinja Highway. Mabira is 26 kilometers from Jinja town, just east of the source of the Nile river.

Most trips that go to Jinja for white water rafting and other adventure activities usually stop over in Mabira for some exciting activities before continuing to Jinja and Eastern Uganda. Being on a very busy highway, Mabira is very easy to access by road and unmissable since the road cuts through the forest.

Where To Stay

While most visits to Mabira usually don't stay the night, there are some options for those who want to sleep in the confines of the forest. You can also choose to camp and feel closer to the natural ecosystem.

The most commonly chosen options of accommodation are in Jinja, Kampala, or Mukono which are all close by and have a wider range of accommodation options as well as more possibilities for nightlife.