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Address:
Forest volunteers Uganda
P.O Box 329 Lugazi, Uganda.

Tel:
+256-776 634926
+256-751 955671

Email:
info@forestvolunteersuganda.org
Website:
www.forestvolunteersuganda.org

About Uganda

Uganda is uniquely positioned and sits on the equator and has the biggest part of Lake Victoria, the largest inland lake in Africa. Uganda is the source of the longest River (NILE) in the world.
Often called “the pearl of Africa”, the country is rich with culture as well as being filled with a wide variety of plants and animals. The country is marked by biodiversity and its people are no exception. Her identity is composed of many independent tribes of over 30 million people with more than 40 spoken languages.

The country is almost the same size as Britain or the American state of Oregon. Much of her biodiversity is concentrated in protected areas (Forests and National Parks). Margherita peak of the Rwenzori mountain range is the highest point in the country and referred to as the “Mountains of the Moon” where the interesting phenomenon of snow on the equator is found and it has become a land mark of physical splendor.

However, Idi Amin’s (former dictator president) antics and Uganda’s long string of tragedies in the 1970s and 1980s is etched into the Western consciousness to such an extent that some people, wrongfully, still regard the country as dangerously unstable. The reality is vastly different. Stability has returned to all parts of the country, even the north which used to be unstable with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels led by Joseph Kony,. Therefore volunteers are welcomed with open hands.
Despite the trials and tribulations of the past, Ugandans have weathered the storm remarkably well. You will not meet a sullen, bitter or cowed people. Rather they are smiling and friendly, with openness absent in other places – truly some of the finest folk in Africa.
English is the official national language, taught in grade schools and universities, used in offices and courts of law, used by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts. Out of the over fifty (50) local languages; Luganda is the most widely used of the Ugandan local languages, preferred for native language publications in the capital and taught in some schools. Swahili is not a native language, but widely used in the northern and eastern parts of the country.

About Mabira Forest and Environs

Mabira Forest gets the name from Ganda root word amabira meaning vast land covered by forest vegetation  It was home for the Nakalanga  a Ganda word for dwarf,  people with big heads, English pygmies claimed to be reminants of the first man in Africa.
Mabira is a border line between the two kingdoms, east of the forest is the Busoga kingdom while west and north of the forest is the great Buganda kingdom.

The geographical location of Mabira Forest reserve is between 0º 24’ and 0º 35’ north (latitude) and 32º 52’ and 33º 07’East (longitude). The reserve occupies gently undulating terrain with numerous flat- topped hills of altitudinal range of 1070- 1340 metres above the sea levelMabira Forest covers an area of 306 square kilometers (29,964 ha) in Mukono and Kayunga districts in central Uganda with a total boundary length of 347.4 km.

Physical features
The reserve occupies gently undulating terrain with numerous flat topped hills, at an altitude of 1070- 1340m above the sea level notable among others are Namusa hill believed cultural, that was vacated by the royal family when the area was infested with the simulium fly in the early 40 and ,Najjembe hill.

Climate
Mabira forest reserve experiences tropical climate conditions with two major rainy seasons a year, April - may and October – November. However, this pattern of rain fall has started changing resulting in prolonged rainy seasons. The reserve receives an annual rain fall of 2000mm. The temperature ranges are minimum 16º- 18º and maximum 28c -29ºc. Humidity levels can go as high as 90%.

Drainage
The forest is drained by two rivers, Musamya and Sezibwa, the two rivers have a mythological origin believed to have been born, with their sources in Buikwe and Ngogwe sub counties south of Mabira Forest. The two have their confluence outside the forest in kayunga district and flow north wards to empty into Lake Kyoga and finally in the River Nile International waters
However Musamya River is polluted by the Sugar Corporation Of Uganda Limited established in 1924 and owned by the Mehta group of companies.

Education
The literacy rate around Mabira forest is 60%. With an average of 2 secondary schools in each of the 6 sub counties and 15 primary schools per sub county (both government aided and private

Population
The average population of the forest people living with in and around is approximately 300,000 people. Among the economic activities are subsistence farming, road side market vending, waged plantation workers, illegal forest activities etc

Health
The area has a low coverage of first line health units with malaria and respiratory diseases most reported.

Transport
Inter village connection is very difficult during the rain season given the nature of the soils and the roads though the forest is bisected by a tarmac from Kampala to Jinja.