Mpanga forest reserve located along the Kampala – Masaka high way just after the Mpigi district. It has existed way back in 1953 as a scientific research center.
It’s a great birding site rewarding visitors with wonderful bird views. The Mpanga forest reserve is usually visited by tourists on their way to the west during a stopover.
At this reserve, they are treated to the wonderful sights and sounds of the forest, enjoying the beautiful views of the various bird and butter fly species of the forest. Just like any other ecosystem, Mpanga forest too has a lot to offer its visitors among which include;
Drum making witnessed from the Royal Drum making village Mpambire, a small village away from the forest. These drums are very crucial in the African societies since they are used as means of communication especially in the rural African communities.
Drums have always been used by locals to communicate both the good and bad news and for every occasion, a different sound track is produced or used. At times they are used in entertainment especially when playing traditional dances and music which are quite very entertaining.
Mpambire is a wide drumming site with a variety of different types of drums. These drums are made from about five different tree species which are all habituated by the Mpanga forest reserve.
Mpanga forest also offers great day and night forest nature walks through its properly outlined forest trails. These trails can last from 30 minutes to 24 hours depending on personal interest.
The night forest nature walks allow visitors to see wildlife species that reside in the forest and only around in the nights and on movement during the day.
Many of Mpanga forest trails connect to the surrounding local villages and farming grounds giving tourists a clear insight of the way of life of the natives living around the area.
The butterfly loop trail is considered the shortest trail through the Mpanga forest reserve but offer visitors great views of the various vegetation types with in the forest, the clear wildlife views of bush babies and leopards among others. This loop stretches for about 1kilometer distance through the forest.
The Base Line Trail
It offers great sights of the forest canopy and several bird and butterfly species as they fly around the clear blue sky of the forest in the sunny days.
This trail is also well recommended for motorcycle biking and usually brings visitors to close views of the local villages living around the Mpanga forest reserve area.
This trail covers a distance of 5 kilometers and links to the Base Line trail of Mpanga forest. It can be hiked for about 3 hours offering visitors wonderful sights of the forest streams, gentle hills, root structures and buttresses, fungi, butterflies, snakes, monkeys and some bird species.
Camp site and picnic area
At the camping and picnic site, tourists get a chance of seeing the Red tailed monkeys playing from the site compound and even stealing fruits from the campers’ tables which is such a wonderful encounter. In case of any easing issues, the camp site provides great latrines, camp shelters and fire area.
Nabajjuzi Wetland is a Nature Reserve in Masaka
Just out of Masaka on the way to Mbarara, these Ramsar site–listed wetlands offer excellent opportunities to spy two of Uganda’s most elusive animals: the shoe-bill stork and the sitatunga.
Camp Ndegeya Sculpture Park, Arts Centre in Masaka
This community arts Centre in Ndegeya village, 7km from Masaka, has a cool outdoor sculpture park and holds art events throughout the year, including Fiestart in August.
Lake Nabugabo Holiday and Conference Centre
The centre is located at the shores of Lake Nabugabo in Masaka district, about 21 kms from Masaka town. The estate was originally sponsored by missionaries and later handed over to the Church of Uganda for use as a holiday resort and conference centre.
There are a number of activities carried out and these include; canoeing, Sport Fishing and recreation on the sand beaches, Bird watching, swimming and camping. Besides camping they also have holiday resort accommodation facilities.
Sand Beach Nabugabo
This is located about 23 kilometers from Masaka town, at the shores of Lake Nabugabo. It is popular for annual canoeing competitions. It is also popular for motor rallying events, fishing, and camping, beautiful bandas/cottages.
Other activities include recreational activities like beach volleyball and beach football. It is an excellent place for family outings.
Bird watching is one of the activities that were recently launched and this is done either around the lake area on the side of the beach. One can also take a canoe to an Island in the lake or on the other side of the lake across the beach.