Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest savannah park in Uganda situated in western part of Uganda in Kirihura district next to Mbarara district, the park is the closet national park to Kampala the capital city of Uganda and it is just a 3 hours (228 kilometers) away. Lake Mburo national park is the only park in Uganda containing an entire lake and the only home to impalas in Uganda. The park is strategically situated along the highway connecting to other major national parks including Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale forest national, Bwindi impenetrable national park and Lake Bunyonyi.
Lake Mburo National Park covering an area of 260 square kilometers consists of varied habitats ranging from acacia woodland, dry hills, rocky outcrops, bushy thickets, open and wooded savannah, seasonal and permanent swamps. The park
Lake Mburo national park is a home to a reasonable population of wildlife and birdlife, wildlife in the park has been recorded to be over 68 mammal species including impalas, Topi, Eland, Zebras, Defassa waterbuck, buffaloes, hyenas and leopards and an only Lion. Crocodiles, monitor lizards, and Hippos.
Birdlife in Lake Mburo National Park has been recorded to be over 315 bird species living in the varied habitats of the park, these birds include Crested Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Red necked Spur, common Quails, Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Blue-napped Mousebird, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Bee-eaters, Cheeky bronze-tailed starling, crowned crane, rare African Finfoot, shoebill, African fish eagle, malachite, and pied Kingfishers among others.
Safari activities to do Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo national park is a remarkable destination for wildlife viewing, regardless of its small size the park offers rewarding game drives which are done in a comfortable 4X4 wheel safari vehicle with open roof. As you drive on various tracks running through the savannah plains of the park you will get to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the park and watching abundance of animals such as zebras, Topi, Eland, Zebras, Defassa waterbuck, buffaloes, hyenas, leopards, Lion, Crocodiles, monitor lizards, Hippos and impalas which can only be found in this park. game viewing in Lake Mburo national park is best done in the early morning hours or late afternoons when the animals are more active, night game drives are also offered in the park offering an opportunity to spot nocturnal animals such as lions, hyenas and others which are hard to spot during day.
Boat safaris in Lake Mburo national park are done on Lake Mburo which is the largest lake among the chain of lakes in the park, this lake is a major source of water to the wildlife living in the park meaning it attracts a number of animals and birdlife. Boat safari in Lake Mburo national park last for about 2 hours and while sailing on the calm waters you will have an opportunity to enjoy the distant scenery of the park and watch a number of animals and birds. Some of the animals to look out for include monitor lizards, crocodiles, hippos, buffalos and the shy bushbuck among others ad the bird include Pied and malachite Kingfishers, fish eagles, Hamerkop, African fin-foot, and the Shoebill on the shores of the lake.
Horseback safaris are most eco-friendly way of exploring Lake Mburo national park from the back of horse, this exciting activity offers an opportunity to get close to wildlife in the park and easy the various scenic views. Horseback safaris are offered from Mihingo Lodge and as you ride through the savannah plains of the park dotted with rolling hills you will encounter many animals such as impalas, topis, bushbucks, waterbucks, duikers, elands, warthogs and zebras.
Sport fishing in Lake Mburo national park is specifically done in the Mazinga lake area which was designated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, this lake contains 6 species of fish with tilapia as the most common fish type. To carry out sport fishing in Lake Mburo national park you need to carry your own fishing equipments, you will also need a fishing permit acquired from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Lake Mburo national park is a rewarding destination for bird watching safaris, the park is a home to over 315 bird species recorded to live in the park. While on bird watching safari in the park the best sites to visit to watch birds are the areas near swampy places like Warukiri, Rwonyo jetty and the viewing platform overlooking the saltlick. Some of the bird species to look out for in Lake Mburo national park include bare-faced go away bird, white-headed barbet, Red-shouldered cuckoo-shrike, white-winged tit, Long-tailed Cisticola, Brown parrot, Grey crowned crane, Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, and black – bellied bastard among others. You can also visit Rubanga forest in guidance of a warden, in this forest you will spot African fin-foot and Red-faced Barbets.
Lake Mburo national park is a beautiful park for walking safaris which are done in company of a ranger, nature walks start as early as 07:00 am and while walking through the park using designated trails you will encounter hyenas returning to their dens, hippos returning to the waters. Nature walks in Lake Mburo national park are done on a trail running through the western side of the lake to the top of the hill offering you amazing views of 9 out of 11 lakes and the surroundings.
Community walks and Cultural experiences
Community walks and cultural experiences in Lake Mburo national park are offered in the neighboring communities situated close to the park, these communities are homesteads for the Hima people and during your visit you will engage in activities like milking the cows and making local products from the milk such as ghee, be entertained by local dances and drama, listen to local stories and witness the making of crafts.
How to get to Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo national park is located between Mbarara and Kampala and it can easily be accessed from these cities, from Kampala the capital of Uganda it is a 4 hours drive (221 kilometers) to the park’s headquarters using Kampala – Mbarara highway. From Mbarara it is a drive of 47 kilometers to get to the park’s headquarters. For those from Kampala, the park is accessed using Nshara Gate and for those from Mbarara the park is accessed using Sanga gate.
Where to stay in Lake Mburo national park
In Lake Mburo national park there is a number of safari lodges and camps offering accommodation to tourists on a safari in the park, these accommodations are categorized as budget, midrange and luxury. Accommodation in Lake Mburo national park include Rwonyo Rest Camp, Mantana Tented Camp, Arcadia Cottages, Mihingo Lodge, Lake Mburo Safari Lodge, Rwakobo Rock, Eagles Nest Camp among others.