As is our custom, in preparation for climbing Rwenzori Mountain, my friends and I do a long walk every two weeks. Today we decided to walk in Mabira Forest. The Mabira Forest is a rainforest area covering about 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi) (30,000 hectares (74,000 acres)) inUganda, 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 primate Lophocebus ugandae. The forest has many trees that are used as herbs throughout Africa, it is ever green all year round and there are a variety of birds to see, including the Great Blue Turaco, Nahan’s Francolin, Papyrus Gonolek and the Black Hornbill.
The choice of Mabira was to enable us get the feel of walking in the ‘wild’, since most of our walks have been in and around Kampala city. Mabira offered us the opportunity to walk in our climbing boots, through mud, a bit of bog, over rickety bridges, and through thick vegetation. It was a beautiful walk, and we broke a sweat. The 3 hour walk was every bit worthwhile and I recommend it for those who want to do a nature hike.
One interesting fact I learned today is about the mangoose – one of the animals that can be found in Mabira Forest. I learned that it is a democratic animal. Mageese often live together in groups of 40 and they have a designated leader. When they find a snake (which is one of the creatures they eat), it is the leader’s job to kill the snake and then cut it into pieces for sharing. The leader is supposed to ensure that there is one piece for each mangoose in the group. If the group is 40 and the leader cuts only 39 pieces, the mangeese will walk away from that snake. I think we could learn a thing or two from these creatures about how to equitably distribute resources!
Below are some of the pictures from our nature walk today.