The Mabira rainforest covers about 300sqkm of land between Lugazi and Jinja in Eastern Uganda. In 1900 it was leased by the East Africa and Uganda Exploration Company, who then set it up for Mabira Forest (Uganda) Rubber Company to handle the concession where their hopes of obtaining 500,000 lbs per annum from the forest proved unrealistic since the cost of clearing the dense forest around individual trees was too expensive. As a result the company moved from exploiting wild rubber to planting cultivated rubber, and also coffee hence the forest and its species were saved from Exploitation –the forest was later protected as Mabira forest Reserve since 1932 as a home for endangered primate species like the Lophocebus ugandae.
However in 2007 a Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited, jointly owned by the Government of Uganda and by the Mehta Group announced plans to clear one-third of the Mabira Forest for sugarcane plantations which was proposed to the government and defended by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who said, ‘’ he shall not be deterred by people who don't see where the future of Africa lies”, and with support of his Cabinet Mabira Forest was to be de-gazetted and transferred into SCOUL. The deforestation plans were disputed which caused fear among the environmental activists to loss hundreds of endangered species, causing increased erosion and damage of livelihoods of local people which could too spear head negative impacts on water balance and regional climate. It further concentrated absolute strain between the supporters who hoped for the creation of jobs as a cabinet paper said that the plan would generate 3,500 jobs and contribute 11.5 billion Ugandan shillings to the treasury while the Environment activitists (Nature Uganda and other Bodies) fought to protect the environment. Deforestation was too opposed by the Kabaka (King) of Buganda His Majesty King Ronald Mutebi 11 and the Anglican church of Mukono who offered alternative land for sugarcane production.
Despite the struggles, the environmental activists warn the case and Mabira Forest as well as its land was saved to preserve natural species for future generations. Currently a Visit to Mabira earns one an exclusive experience with:
1. An Ultimate Forest Exploration walk
2. One Day Birding Experience
3. Primate Viewing
4. A Road side Market where a Tourist is well assured of a unique taste of African Fresh barbeque of Chicken, beef, goats meat, Gonja Who doesn’t enjoy Africa, it’s all Fun!!
5. Luxury and budget Accommodation all surrounded by the calls in the Eco