Thursday, 8 June 2017



Mpanga forest is rather a compact patch of natural evergreen rain forest covering an approximate area of 453 hectares. It is situated in Mpigi District, Mawokota – 37 kilometers southwest of Kampala and it is conveniently located meters away from the Kampala - Masaka highway, providing a conducive accessibility. It takes only 1 hour to drive to Mpanga forest from Kampala.  
Mpanga forest is a magnificent escape for avid nature / bird lovers undertaking birding safaris in Uganda!

The forest supports amazing counts of biodiversity in such a small area! It has over 500 tree and shrub species, 300 species of birds, 97 butterflies, and 112 moths. 3 species of monkeys can be viewed in the forest including red-tailed, black-and-white colobus and vervet monkeys. There are also a number of small mammals including banded mongoose, squirrels, pottos,   pangolines and bush babies. Spending a night in Mpanga Forest provides endless chances of spotting the rare nocturnal pottoss and bush babies.
The forest is an eco-tourism site managed and protected by the National Forestry Authority. Some of the remarkable tree species include the Celtis Family species characterized with large buttress and the Ficus family as well as the phenomenal Mahogany trees. Mpanga Forest is Uganda’s exclusive birding locale for classic birding safaris, with species like Weaver birds, Owls, Grey Parrots, black and white casqued hornbills and cuckoos among others.
Uganda birding tour, birding safaris in Uganda

A birding tour at Mpanga Forest starts with a briefing at the visitors’ information center area at the extreme margin of the forest. This section offers plenty of birds that can be viewed from the interior of the forest and in flight.  After the visitors’ center area you will proceed into this thick forest taking a clear walking trail. The well preserved nature trail runs the entire length of the forest until the water stream which is said to host the Shoebill stork occasionally and an important habitat to many other water species. It can take up to three hours to bird along the entire trail and you will eventually appreciate the beauty of this forest with sightings of over 50 bird species.
Some of the notable bird species that thrive within Mpanga Forest include: -

Black-headed Heron, Hadada Ibis, Cattle Egret, Long-tailed Cormorant, Purple Heron, Black Kite, Egyptian Goose, Lizard Buzzard, African Harrier-Hawk, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Crested Guinea-fowl, White-spotted Flufftail, Palmnut Vulture, African Green-Pigeon, Grey Parrot, Great Blue Turaco, Red-eyed Dove, Red-chested Cuckoo, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Yellow bill, Diederik Cuckoo, African Palm Swift, Pied Kingfisher, Speckled Mousebird, White-breasted Nigrofinch, Shining-blue Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Crowned Hornbill, among others. 

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