The new Mabamba Lodge at Mabamba Swamp

Claudia Finn of the newly opened Mabamba Lodge ( writes

Mabamba has undoubtedly put itself on the map for serious birders and wildlife enthusiasts. With a number of visitors particularly from Europe with the quest to spot the globally – threatened shoebill. Mabamba promises to be the very best in birding experiences with great diversity of bird life and habitats in Uganda. This fondness of nature has also been depicted in the construction and designs particularly at Mabamba Lodge, blending structures into natural environment. 

Mabamba Lodge has been designed to blend into the local surroundings, withcommunity, culture and conservation at the core of its development and function. Located on 4.5 acres of Land within a scenic village of Mabamba characterised by lake, thick green vegetation, rolling hills and prime birding territory of Mabamba Bay Wetland, Mabamba Lodge is privileged with lake shore access which facilitates a smooth boat ride to the swamp, giving customers an ease of returning every day to a comfortable bed and a good meal at the end of their birding days. 

The development of Mabamba Lodge came about in a serene and tranquil setting which presented a dichotomy of opposing realities. At first we saw the beauty of weaver birds chirping on an isolated tree close to the lake shores. On the other, an isolated piece of land void of any trees subject to deforestation and degradation. It is reported amongst the community that the land Mabamba Lodge sits on used to be a woodland with vast wildlife habitat  but due to burning of  wood and use of charcoal amongst the community, this inefficient and unsustainable energy use has  lead and continues to add to a wide number of environmental destructions. During our first encounter of the village visit, we recognised  Mabamba was  a home to a variety of birds species and with this we wanted to participate particularly in areas relating to bird-life conservation and in 2023 we continue to do so.

The development  of Mabamba Lodge, which started on  gardening and plantation of trees 7 years ago, continues to carry out its main goal  of safeguarding vital habitat and restoring the biodiversity. In March 2022, we planted 100 bird friendly local trees in order to attract a wide variety of bird species, additionally with the aim to promote & celebrate local tree species. This scheme is supported by every single customer who walks through those gates. For non-residents, a free of 5,000ugx which comes with a soda and 2,000ugx goes back to the planting of tree, our aim to take this initiative out into the village. Through our missions we aim to inspire a positive and meaningful guest experiences through the understanding of how to hold a loving and interconnected relationship with nature and with the surrounding communities. 

Mabamba Lodge, we recognise the privileges and responsibilities of being part of community, and therefore we are committed in celebrating local culture, supporting local  communities and minimising our impact on the environment in hopes to inspire a sustainable future to come. Since we firmly believe in the importance of culture & community as part of our targets we support & celebrate emerging Ugandan artists and promote cultural  awareness. We have a craftshop and space that promotes artists work – current residents include Signo (Robert Kavuma), Micheal Lutaya and Mabamba Women’s Weaving Club. We believe on the importance of art and creativity, with its ability to connect us, deepen our experience and strengthens our local economy and with this builds our community. Customers who choose their stay at Mabamba Lodge not only contributes significantly to our conservation vision but positively create avenues for local economic freedom amongst the community. 


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