Nkima Forest Lodge – Mabamba Uganda.
Nkima Forest Lodge is located in its own patch of indigenous forest on Nansubuga hill overlooking the Mabamba Wetlands. The lodge has been built with minimal disturbance to the surrounding forest and the open grassy area on top of the hill.
The area is a birding hot spot in Uganda and the local community arrange boat trips into the swamp to view the Shoebill Stork and other birdlife from the nearby Mabamba landing site. The forest has numerous bird species, as well as Red- tailed monkeys (after which the lodge is named) and Vervet monkeys.
The site also has many species of butterflies and insects, as well as smaller mammals such as squirrels, mongoose, and bushbabies. Bushbucks and duiker have occasionally been spotted. This is a small haven of wilderness within easy reach of Entebbe and Kampala that is perfect for those seeking peace, fresh air, and escape to an area of great natural beauty.
The Rooms at Nkima Lodge
Nkima lodge has four double (or twin) ensuite rooms and two family cottages (with two separate rooms and a shared bathroom). The rooms are situated separately with their own private deck in the forest and are designed to enable views into the canopy, and to maximise natural lighting. Hot water is provided by solar heaters and there are solar powered lights and charging sockets for phones/laptops, etc. The lodge is fully off grid with a reliable solar power system and water supplied from its own bore hole, which has been tested and is good for drinking.
Dining Area, Bar and Lounge
The main lodge area has a dining area, bar and lounge with comfortable seating, which can be opened up on three sides during the day to allow a cool breeze and views of the grassy glade surrounded by forest. The lodge offers freshly cooked food with a limited, but changing menu covering a range of cuisines and caters for all dietary requirements. The Chefs have been trained by the owners, who take a personal interest in the quality of the food. forest with views across the Mabamba wetlands, perfect for an evening sundowner or a quiet spot for sitting and reading in the shade.
A short distance from the main lodge there is an outdoor fire pit with sunset views over the forest canopy and the wetlands beyond. Through a small patch of forest beyond the fire pit and hidden from the main lodge there is a swimming pool with a protected shallow area for children and a small deck with chairs and loungers. There are hammocks at various spots for resting or reading in the cool of the forest.
Mabamba Wetland Shoebill Watching tours:
One of the main reasons for coming to Nkima Forest Lodge is to see the rare Shoebill Stork in its natural environment in the wetlands. The local community organise boat tours with expert guides to see the Shoebill as well as other wetland bird species. These trips are popular both with birders and non-birders, and give a unique opportunity to experience the natural wetlands environment. By staying at the lodge you will be able to arrive at the Mabamba landing site in the early morning , which is the best time for seeing the shoebill and other birdlife.
There are over 140 species of birds that have been seen from the lodge. We maintain a bird list for visitors. Non birders will enjoy the noisy large Black and white casqued hornbills, western banded snake eagles, the Great Blue Turacos, African grey parrots and the Pied hornbills. Specialist birders can look out for the White spotted flufftail, the Vanga flycatcher, the whistling cisticola, the Snowy headed robin chat, the Western nicator and the red-bellied paradise flycatcher. The owner is knowledgeable about the birdlife in the area and we can arrange specialist bird guides on request.
There are a number of short and longer walks that can be taken directly from the lodge. A perimeter walk around the property takes you through the forest and includes a visit to an old fig tree, of spiritual significance to the Mabamba clan, one of the many clans that make up the Baganda, the largest ethnic group in Uganda. There is a short walk along the top of the hill, which leads to a viewpoint with great views of the Mbamba wetlands to the west, Bussi Island to the south and Entebbe to the east. Longer walks can be arranged to Mabamba village and along the forested edge of the wetlands below the lodge. We offer guided walks for residents on request.
The lodge has 6 mountain bikes for hire by guests. There are numerous cycling routes in the area including a shorter circuit of the surrounding area below the hill, or longer trips on Bussi island, which can be reached on a short boat ride and has excellent tracks for cycling with very few vehicles, or towards Kasanje through the nearby villages.
We have two canoes available for hire for paddling along the channels in the wetlands.
Shoebill Adventure Park:
This nearby attraction on Bussi Island can be reached by boat from the Mabamba landing site (or by boat and cycling). The Park offers an aerial rope adventure challenge with 3 levels of difficulty all ending in a zip line down to a sandy beach.
The lodge has a large selection of board and card games available for residents as well as croquet and boules/bocce.
Children love to try their skills at catching and identifying the many butterflies on the hill with small nets provided by the lodge. They are of course released after identification.