Mabira Forest | Uganda forest reserves |  forests in Uganda 

Mabira Rainforest a favourite add on your trip

The Mabira forest is a rainforest covering about 300km²in Uganda and located in Buikwe district between Lugazi and Jinja. It has been protected as Mabira Forest Reserve since 1932. It is home for many endangered species like the primates.

The Mabira forest was leased in 1900 by the East Africa and Uganda Exploration company, who set up Mabira forest Rubber company expecting to obtain 500,000lbs per annum from the forest but that proved unrealistic. Because the cost clearing the dense forest was too expensive so the company resorted to planting cultivated rubber and coffee.

In 2007, there was a deforestation plan by the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited jointly owned by the Uganda Government and the Mehta Group clear 70km² for sugarcane plantations, but the plans were disputed within Uganda because the environment activists argued that there will be loss of hundreds of endangered species, increased erosion, regional climatic changes and other deforestation effects.

The top things to do and see in Mabira Forest are the Nature Walks, Birding walks, Guided Hikes, relaxation just 45minute drive from Kampala the capital city. Mabira rainforest has 200 kinds of species of trees, in valleys you see various papyrus swamps, streams and peaceful waterfalls.

Mabira is home to bush pigs, blue duikers, red-tailed monkeys, Grey-cheeked maangabeys and some occasional leopards that you may not likely to see. For birders, there are about 315 bird species found here such as Nathan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, White-spotted Flufftail, Afep Pigeon, Grey Parrot, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Sabine’s Spinetail, Cassin’s Spinetail, Blue-throated Roller, African Dwarf-kingfisher, White-bellied Kingfisher, Forest Woodhoopoe, African Pied Hornbill, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Green-breasted Pitta, African Shrike-flycatcher and many others.

Things to do and see in Mabira Forest


Mabira forest is home to 315 species of birds including these rear ones the Nahan’s Francolin, Tit hylia, yellow and grey longbills, purple-throated cukoo shrikes, illadopsises and others. You can spot 50% of Uganda’s forest birds in Mabira Rainforest, in this case the remarkable thing is that you cover a small area.

Nature walks/ Forest walks

Our guides are trained to give you a comprehensive forest experience, in this case we offer forest walks, long adventurous trek into the back country to a gentle meandering stroll through our well maintained trails. In these treks you can see more than 4 species of native monkeys to the forest on your 30 minute walks, birds, butterflies and ancient trees to Griffin falls.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking trails are the mostly well maintained trails for Bikers to blaze through the forest and one can adventure even beyond the forest to communities. Mountain Bikers are rented to Griffin Falls camp and the best bikes rented to the Nile explorers in Jinja.

Forest canopy – super skyway

Experiencing the Mabira Forest canopy just makes you behave like monkeys! The first of its kind in Uganda. The Mabira Forest Canopy Super Skyway is a canopy “zip-line” system that sends you soaring between the tallest trees in the rainforest, here sky Captains/ guides cross a network of 5 zip-lines that stretches 250 metres across River Musamya. The activity is always done from 8am to noon and from 1pm to 6pm.

Uganda Mangabey Monkey Trekking

These monkeys are a rare species found in the Mabira rainforest and in few locations in the country as well as in a small area bordering Tanzania. There are 3 habituated groups inside the forest and they can be tracked with Guides who were part of the Habituation Process.

Other things that can be seen in this trek are Birds, Butterflies, flowering plants, ancient trees that have been there for centuries and red tailed monkeys.

mangabey money trekking in mabira

Other activities include;

Environmental Education

This is a major component of  Mabira Forest Integrated Community Organisation (MAFICO) mission. Griffin falls camp is appropriate for any level of Education. There are programmes designed for primary and secondary schools as well as Guides capable of assisting with university or professional level scientific research.

Team Building Activities

The camp is a good spot for team building activities like treasure hunt, seed tag game for corporates and other organisations.


Griffin falls camp has a variety of accommodation options, all of which are surrounded by Mabira Forest. You expect a peaceful symphony of forest songs to replace the usual blare of city noises and playful Red Tailed Monkeys to replace your neighbours.

Mabira Forest Camp – Griffin Falls Camp

This is also known as Mabira Forest Camp found on the edge of a vast trail system in beautiful Mabira forest. No matter what your interests are, you’ll never run out of ways to enjoy the beautiful forest. Griffin Falls Camp is conveniently located just 10 km off the highway between Kampala and Jinja.

 After an amazing experience in the forest, you can feel good about where your money ends up because all the profits from Griffin Falls Camp are put into sustainable development projects in the villages in and around Mabira Forest.

The Griffin Falls Camp is owned by the Mabira Forest Integrated Community Organisation (MAFICO), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). The mission of MAFICO is to improve the livelihoods and welfare of the local communities by conserving the environment through development.

MAFICO encourages stewardship of the forest by its surrounding communities through environmental, networking and mobilization of 30 Community Based Organisation and fundraising for sustainable and beneficial community projects. The proceeds from the camp are ploughed back to community projects like tree planting, HIV/AIDS positive living groups, water and sanitation and Education.

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