Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda
Measuring 260 square kilometers, Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest of Uganda's savanna national parks. It is conveniently located along the Kampala - Mbarara highway in Kiruhura District. In spite of its small size, Lake Mburo National Park is a Uganda safari gem. It is Uganda's prominent safari destination for great sightings of zebras, the gigantic elands, topis, buffalos and impalas. Its landscape of grassy rolling hills and beautiful lake shores contains a combination of mosaic habitat, dry hillsides, rocky outcrops, bushes, thickets, open and wooden savannah forests, swamps and lakes. These support an impressive diversity of plants, animals and bird species. There are 68 species of mammals that include zebras, roan antelope, leopards, hyenas, jackals, eland, buffalos, crocodiles and impalas. 350 species of birds have been recorded of which 5 species are found only in Rabongo forest, and there also about 60 specialist birds. Generally the park has open water birds, lake shore and papyrus swamp birds, seasonal swamp birds, woodland birds, grassland birds, and forest birds.
The park has a massive wetland system that includes five lakes and several swamps. The biggest and most popular of the lakes is Lake Mburo. It is the iconic feature of the park that gives the park its name. Lake Mburo is a haven for wildlife adventures especially launch rides. Lots of birds and animals throng the shores of the lake. Crocodiles and hippos are permanent, while antelopes and zebras come to drink and cool off the scotching heat especially during the dry season. There are a variety of birds including Malachite Kingfishers, African Fish Eagles, Pied Kingfishers, Herons, Pelicans, Blued-headed weavers, Cormorants, Green-necked doves and the rare Shoebill.
What to do in Lake Mburo National Park:
The park has several tracks on the eastern hinterland where a variety of game can be sighted on a game drive. It is popular for herbivores including zebras, impalas, elands, buffalos, topis, and Roan antelopes. There are predators such as leopards, hyenas, and jackals but are not in abundance. Chances of sighting them are minimal.
The diverse natural habitats of Lake Mburo National Park host a diversity of bird species. There has been about 350 recorded species of birds spread across the various habitats of the park. Key species include Papyrus Yellow Warbler, White-winged Warbler, Saddle-billed Stork, Brown-chested Lapwing, Red-faced Barbet that is only seen in Lake Mburo, the endemic African Finfoot, the rare Shoebill, Caruther's Cisticola, Tabora Cisticola, African Scops Owl, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill. There are a number of forest species in Rabongo Forest including Blue-breasted kingfisher, Hairy-breasted Barbet, and the Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird.
Boat ride on Lake Mburo
Lake Mburo is a wildlife magnet teeming with lots of birds and animals along its shores. The relaxing two hour boat ride on the lake is fantastic for sightings lots of hippos and crocodiles, buffalos, antelopes, birds such as pelicans, fish eagles, cormorant, herons, and luckily the shoebill stork.
Guided Nature Walks
The early morning guided nature walk is a thrilling adventure where you get to silently observe and admire nature. Expect sightings of nocturnal such as mongoose and hyenas, beautiful sceneries, birds, zebras, warthogs among others. The nature walk lasts about two hours.
Lake Mburo is a great spot for recreational fishing. It is rich in Tilapia and six other known fish species. One requires a fishing permit issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Fishing equipment can be availed in the park but you could too come with yours.
Nothing beats the horse ride to the adventure of exploring the vast beauty of Lake National Park. Traditional game drives limit you to the designated game tracks, so you can't go off track to get up close or check around hedges and bushes for game. The horse ride is limitless, treating you to closer and much more wildlife sightings.
Getting to Lake Mburo National Park
- Kampala - Masaka - Kiruhura - Lake Mburo National Park, 3.5 hours drive