Lake Mburo National Park, the savanna interspersed with rocky ridges, forested gorges with patches of papyrus swamp and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland lined with many lakes makes it a compact gem with many amazing wonders away from this world. Though this park is the smallest, it offers amazing experiences closer to you than any other park as it is 4 hours away from the Capital city of Kampala between Masaka and Mbarara district,taking approximately 4 hours’ drive time to arrive.
Endowed with several attractions, Lake Mburo is the perfect stopover as you travel to the South west of Uganda to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Park as it breaks the long journey and doubling than just an interlude to a journey with its delightful contrast to Uganda’s other wildlife destinations.
Lake Mburo National Park lies in the rain shadow between Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains and it contains much of woodland with no elephants to tame the vegetation. Together with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 50 km-long wetland system linked by a swamp with 5 of these lakes lying within the park’s borders.
Wild life in Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park even as small as it is, it inhabits numerous birdlife and wildlife species and these include; hippopotami, impala, warthogs, elands, buffaloes, jackals, leopards Zebras, Elephants,, Lions,Topi, Oribi, Reed bucks, Bush bucks
Other species include; hearte beasts, spotted hyenas, civets, forest hogs, warthogs, bush pigs. Primates in the Park include Red tailed monkeys, Blue monkeys, Black and White Colobus monkeys, Vervet, Baboons, and Mangabey and Reptiles including geckos, snakes, chameleon and more. Lookout points are perfect for a picnic watching the hippos, while a young population of giraffe provide more captivating moments. Leopards hide in the trees and although they’re elusive during the day, would be found at nighttime game drives on the prowl.
Birdlife is prolific in Lake Mburo National Park thus the park is ranked as one of the major birding hotspots in Uganda recorded with 350 different bird species including; the Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned Crane, Black-bellied Bustard and Brown-chested Lapwing, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Brown Parrot, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, White-headed Barbet, Red-faced Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, White-winged Tit and Finfoot, rare Red-faced Barbet.
The park is a very ideal wildlife safari to visit by all travelers around the world due to the remarkable experiences it offers to all and if you’re keen on birdwatching then Lake Mburo should be high on your list.
Activities in Lake Mburo National Park
Even as the smallest park in Uganda,it has various splendid activities to engage in as you encounter different wildlife and birdlife in one vicinity. Below are some of the activities you can engage while on your visit to this park:
Launch Trip on Lake Mburo
These are also very ideal for travelers who want to experience Uganda’s unique touch of Nature on a boat cruise with amazing adventure experiences with remarkable views at the vegetation around the Lake, brilliant bird species, Hippos and crocodiles.
Lake Mburo National Park offers beautiful birding experiences in the swampy valleys and podiums close to the salt licks as well as the Rubanga forest.The bird species include; the Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned Crane, Black-bellied Bustard and Brown-chested Lapwing, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Brown Parrot, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, White-headed Barbet, Red-faced Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, White-winged Tit and Finfoot, rare Red-faced Barbet.
Game Drives through the Park allow you to see many animals and birds as you guide helps of you identify the various species of birds and mammals like the Eland, Impala Antelopes, Giraffes. Burchell Zebras and on a luck day the reward of viewing leopards and lions.
Nocturnal Game Drives
Night Game Drives in this Park are one of the memorable activities you can conduct where you will spot the creatures of the night such as Bush Babies, Porcupines, leopards, even lions on the prowl in the park and it lasts 21/2 hours.
Nature Walks and Hiking
The park also offers hiking and nature walk encounters requiring in the company of a skilled ranger to locations like the salt lick at Rwonyo, Shores of the Lake, Hilltop and Rubanga Forest.
The walk to the top of the hill rewards travelers with scenic views at 9 of the 14 lakes in the region.
Sports’ Fishing at Lake Mburo National park takes place at Mazinga and is an incredible safari activity to experience by all interested travelers around the world.. The lake comprises of about 6 fish species with the Tilapia being the most prominent fish caught annually.
Horseback safaris can only be experienced at Lake Mburo National park as an ideal safari activity involving transferring you around the park with a skilled ranger guide riding on a horse as you watch the various wildlife animals interact and enjoy their natural vegetation habitat to the fullest.
Lake Mburo national park has got thrilling activities that keep its visitors always on the desire for more.
Accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park
This park is the closest to Kampala offering travelers a quick get away into the wilderness in just a short time of 3-4 hours. The Park is also used as a stopover for many safaris as they head southwest to Bwindi Park and Mgahinga Park to cut the long drive short. This Park offers different accommodation options in accordance to the needs of the client and they include:
- Mihingo Lodge
- Mantana Tented Camp
- Arcadia Cottages
- Rwakobo Rock
- Mburo Safari Lodge
- Mpogo Lodge
- Eagle’s Nest Lodge
- Rwonyo Camp Site
Climate and the best time to visit Lake Mburo National Park
The park can be visited anytime of the year,though the best time for viewing game is during the two dry seasons: from June to August, and from December to February with most precipitation expected in April and November with passable tracks while in the rainy season the tracks are slippery, muddy and impassable.
How to get Lake Mburo National Park
Located in the western part of Uganda and the nearest from the capital city (Kampala) with a drive distance of approximately 228 km lasting 3-4 hours’ drive time. The park is located in Kiruhura District between Masaka and Mbarara district.
The park can be accessed through the Sanga gate about 20 km for lyantonde and if you are driving from Mbarara through the Nshara gate approximately 50 Km from Mbarara.