Mabamba Shoebill Safari

One of the highlights for anyone visiting Entebbe (even before or after a gorilla safari) is the canoe ride through Mabamba Swamp to see the prehistoric looking Shoebill Stork.  I booked with Mabamba Shoebill Tours based in the Sunset Hotel in Entebbe on Church Road which was just down the road from Lake Heights Hotel.  The manager, Olive was very friendly and helpful as were all her staff.  It’s great how they involve the local community, eco-tourism in action!  The price was very reasonable at $150 for both of us.

The driver picked us up early and we drove through the town to the boat dock.

My husband Ina, the driver and Vincent the guide

Red-eyed Dove near the dock

Fishermen at work

Bird making use of floating junk as a fishing launch!

Entering the Mabamba Swamp

Vincent on the lookout for Shoebills

Beautiful Malachite Kingfisher Weaverbirds

At last we spot our target bird, the amazing Shoebill Stork!

The Shoebill flew away and we tried to follow but the water was too low and we ran aground.  I was nervous until they pushed us free and headed back to the main waterway.

US Air Force plane flying overhead as we head back to shore.  I have no idea why it was there, I didn’t even know what it was until I got the pic uploaded!

Hotel Review: Lake Heights, Entebbe

I had some special criteria when choosing the accommodation for our 2 night stay in Entebbe.  I wanted a nice birdy location and I wanted it to feel African.  Finally, it had to be bookable through the Flying Bue/Pointshound portal so I could get 10,000 miles bonus!  After doing some searches, I found the Lake Heights Hotel in Entebbe.  As an added bonus, people on eBIrd had reported seeing African Grey Parrots fly over!

I had emailed them ahead of time and their driver was waiting for us at the airport.  He led us out to the minibus and it was about 8 minutes to the hotel.

Security is tight and we felt very safe there.

The grounds are beautiful…………….

………..the staff very friendly……………………..

…………………and the room was awesome!

The decor was simple but elegant.

The bathroom was spacious and very clean.

The pool was beautiful albeit somewhat too cold to swim (April) but still a nice place to hang out.

There’s a roof top bar and you can also have them bring food up from the restaurant below.

From the rooftop, the view gets even better!

We did see a few birds but we also were out most of the day so not much time to bird the grounds.

The breakfast buffet had a lot of choices for both African and Western palates.

The last night there was a BBQ with delicious roast meats and live entertainment.

On top of all that, the wifi was very strong and they were nice about letting us use the facilities up to 11pm (after the BBQ) when we had to go to the airport in their shuttle for a 3am flight.  I really loved this place and would definitely stay there again if we returned to Entebbe!

Flight Review: Dubai-Entebbe On Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways is one of the most interesting airlines of Sky Team for its vast African network.  I used 20,000 Flying Blue miles each for our routes Dubai-Nairobi-Entebbe in economy.

Since we would have a full day of activities in Dubai, I figured we would be exhausted enough to get some sleep on the Dubai-Nairobi leg and I was right.  LOL, I’m a ghost of myself in this shot as we waited to board!

A few quick snaps of business class as we walked to our seats which were in the 3rd row of economy.

I wasn’t hungry but my husband ate the meal.  I was asleep pretty quickly.

I woke as we made final approach to Nairobi.

We had a few hours to kill so I walked around the shops but didn’t buy anything as I knew I would get better deals in the markets. 

My husband snagged an amenity kit as we disembarked and was now showing it off.  These are more his colours than mine so I let him keep it.  The socks are cute, maybe I’ll confiscate those!

Time to board the next flight to Entebbe.  This was a short flight, around an hour or so and the economy seat was fine.  I wouldn’t use miles on business unless it was long haul and a lie-flat seat.

Arriving in Entebbe, we had our visas printed out and $50 each ready to go, everything went smoothly.  I was pleased to see they take conservation seriously in Uganda!

Proudly displaying the national bird of Uganda, the Crested Crane in the arrival hall.

A little Weaverbird was the first bird to welcome us to Uganda. And now let the Godmother of All African Adventures begin!