Mabira Forest in Uganda
The Mabira Forest is a rainforest area covering about 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi) (30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) in Uganda, located in Buikwe District, between Lugazi and Jinja. It has been protected as Mabira Forest Reserve since 1932.
Mabira forest was leased in 1900 by the East Africa and Uganda Exploration Company, who then set up the Mabira Forest (Uganda) Rubber Company to handle the concession. Their hopes of obtaining 500,000 lbs per annum from the forest proved unrealistic: the cost of clearing the dense forest around individual trees was too expensive, particularly on account of the poor yields which they got for each tree.
As a result the company moved from exploiting wild rubber to planting cultivated rubber, and also coffee. Mabira forest is known for hosting a variety of over 316 bird species; which include Nathan’s francolin, paradise fly catcher, purple-throated cuckoo shrike, sooty boubou to mention but a few – bird lovers are welcome to Mabira forest!
Tourist activities in Mabira forest include birding, nature walks, and cultural safaris
This is one of the most interesting activities carried out in the forest reserve, during the forest walk your eyes will be sighting out different species such as butterflies, different tree species, primate species such as red tailed monkeys, vertvets, gre-cheeked mangabeys , species of birds can all be spotted out.
Accommodation in Mabira forest include Kingfisher Hotel, Geo Lodge, Mabira forest Camp, The rain Forest Lodge among others.
Importance of Mabira Forest to the economic development of Uganda:
Mabira Forest generates convectional rain fall.
Mabira Forest hosts dangerous animals which would have eaten people.
The forest act as a tourist attraction – many tourists from many corners of the world come to Uganda to see the largest tropical forest of East Africa.
The forest is a source of herbal medicine – Leaves, stems among others are used to cure diseases.
The forest offers fresh air for breathing.
The forest harbors dangerous insects like tsetse flies, mosquitoes among others. Such insects spread sleeping sickness and malaria respectively.
The forest is a source of fire wood.
The forest provides timber for constructional purposes.
The forest is a source of fruits like jack fruit, passion fruit, oranges and more.
Mabira Forest is a source of Rivers.