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Location Uganda, Mpigi
Central coordinates 32o 20.00' East  0o 5.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 16,500 ha
Altitude 1,130 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001


Site description Mabamba is an extensive marsh stretching through a long narrow bay, fringed with papyrus Cyperus papyrus towards the main body of Lake Victoria. Miscanthus and Cyperus species dominate, but there is a narrow open water channel and a small patch of water-lilies Nymphaea. There are also areas of sedge Cladium, and sometimes drifting papyrus swamp islands. The Bay forms part of Waiya Bay, south-west of Nakiwogo Bay; these are all to the west of Entebbe International Airport. This IBA is one of the best marshy areas along the northern shores of Lake Victoria.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Shoebill Balaeniceps rex resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea winter  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Carruthers's Cisticola Cisticola carruthersi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Scrub-warbler Bradypterus carpalis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Pied-babbler Turdoides sharpei resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-chested Sunbird Nectarinia erythrocerca resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Papyrus Canary Serinus koliensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Mabamba Bay Wetland System Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 2,424 protected area contained by site 2,424  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Mabamba Bird Guides and Conservation Association 1998


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
tourism/recreation -

Other biodiversity Like many papyrus swamps adjacent to Lake Victoria, Mabamba contains the ungulate Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt) which is commonly hunted by local people. More information on other fauna will become available after detailed studies of the area.

References Anon. (1950), Arinaitwe (1997), Balirwa (1998), Wanda (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mabamba Bay. Downloaded from on 31/08/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife