Africa’s leading research and training center

Who We Are

The Makerere University Biological Field Station, or MUBFS for short, is one of Africa’s leading research and training centers. The field station is located in Kibale National Park at the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda. Here, there are many easily accessible natural habitats like old growth forests, papyrus swamps, rivers, and crater lakes as well as modified habitats such as logged, natural regeneration, large carbon-offset regeneration, and agricultural fields. 

In addition, this location is a window to research both park-people related issues and evaluate the success of various conservation efforts (education, tourism, local-community led projects, etc.) Researchers and student field courses can work with the English-speaking communities around the park learning about the many social issues affecting rural communities. Anyone can start a course, courses are also offered by various universities.

The field station first started in 1970, but it expanded greatly in the early 1990s: both in terms of research fields supported and, in the logistics, provided for researchers and programs taught. Today the field station can easily provide food and lodging to support field courses of up to 60 students. There is a lecture hall, library, cafeteria, and meeting room, which all make running courses easy and efficient. We can even arrange bus transportation starting from airport arrival. For researchers coming for extended stays there are guest houses and duplexes with their associated cooking facilities, shower stalls, and outhouses. Food can be easily purchased from Fort Portal that is only 15 km away, and there are a number of excellent cooks in the local villages that can make meals as well.

For both researchers and student field courses there are over 150 km of maintained trails in the area to provide access to the forest (see the Trail Map). Records of many past publications and government reports are available in the local library to be used for research or teaching purposes. There is even access to continuous long-term data on the environment and some animal species dating back to 1970, with more extensive monitoring starting in the mid-1990s (for more information about this data email colin.chapman.research@gmail.com).

In collaboration with national institutions, the Makerere field station provides consultancy services to the government and other organizations in Uganda. Consultancy services include tailor made training in different fields of environment and natural resources, assessment and monitoring of environment and natural resources therein environmental impact assessments and audits, project monitoring and evaluation and facilitation.