Whether travelling solo, couple or group of women travellers, tracking the impressively famous shoebill in Mabamba Swamps located in Bussi Island near Entebbe (Lake Victoria) would be a great experience.
The Shoebill (Baalaeniceps rex) also known as Whalehead or Shoe-billed Stork, is a very large stork-like bird. It derives its name from its enormous shoe-shaped bill. Its has a somewhat stork-like overall form and has previously been classified with the storks in the order Ciconiiformes based on this morphology.
However, genetic evidence places it with the Palecaniformes. The Adult is mainly grey while the juveniles are browner. It lives in tropical large swamps. And in Uganda, we find it mainly in Bussi Islands in Mabamba Swamps.
The Mabamba Swamps west of Entebbe is one of the best and most convenient places to track and see the elusive Shoebill. After a few minutes in a small canoe, the papyrus reeds open up into flat grassy wetlands where a number of Shoebill can regularly be seen.
The bird is easiest seen in the morning when they stalk their main prey, the mud-fish or frogs, but may be spotted all day. They may stand absolutely still for long periods awaiting the movements of their prey and then suddenly strike with a marvelous accurate speed.
Although one can reach Mabamba by road, we highly recommend our women travellers to take the boat tour across Lake Victoria. Reaching Mabamba by boat, rather than by car, gives you an opportunity to see many of the birds that you may otherwise miss. Sometimes even the Shoebill may elude you in the canoes only to be seen as you approach, or leave, by the bigger boat.
Interesting Article: Solo Women Travelers in Uganda
Apart from the Shoebill, women bird watching enthusiasts can enjoy over 300 other bird species in Mabamba like the African Firefinch, African Fish Eagle, African Green Pigeon, African Hoopoe, African Jacana, African Marsh Harrier, African Pigmy Goose, Black Crake, Black Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Blue Swallow, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Brown Parrot, Cattle Egret, Common Bulbul, Common Moorhen, Common Sandpiper, Common Sqacco Heron, Crowned Hornbill, Double Toothed Barbet, Eastern Grey Pantain Eater, Glossy Ilbis, Goliath Heron, Great Blue Turaco, Great Cormorant, Great White Egret, Great White Pelican, Green Cuckoo, Grey Heron, Grey Parrot, Grey Woodpecker, Grey-crowned Crane, Gull-billed Tern, Hadada and more.
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We organise and plan bespoke bird watching safaris for women to popular destinations in Uganda and East Africa. For an extension to track Shoebill in Mabamba, contact our tour experts to help you create a memorable trip with this famous shoe bird.