Lake Mburo is one of the smallest savannah national parks in Uganda located in the western part of the country covering 470 kilometers squared with an altitude of 1,220m-1,828m above sea level. The park is the perfect weekend getaway from Kampala because it’s the closest to the city. Though lake Mburo is small, its size should not be undermined as its blessed with 13 lakes with 5 lakes found within the park, 350 species of birds and several animal species and 68 species of mammals.
Lake Mburo national park is the only place where tourists can explore the whole park on foot and even on a horseback organized by Mhingo lodge. The park’s size should not be underestimated because of its really a true gem and also a good stopover when coming from Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or Queen Elizabeth.
Activities in Lake Mburo
Lake Mburo national park is home to various animals for example Impalas, mountain reedbuck, Oribi, Waterbuck, warthogs, Leopards, hyena, hippos, crocodiles, reedbucks, zebras, giraffes, hippos, bush pigs, duikers and so much more. The best time for wildlife watching is in the morning and afternoon hours.
Lake Mburo national park is an ideal )lace for bird enthusiasts with over 300 species of birds recorded, the best places for birding is at the Miriti and Waruikiri swamp valleys, around Rwonyo rest camp and the good viewing points at the salt lick some of the birds that can be seen at Lake Mburo like the Burchell zebra that can only be found in Lake Mburo national park others include; Rufous-bellied Heron, African finfoot, papyrus yellow warbler, Abyssinian ground hornbill, white-winged warbler, Carruthers cisticola, saddle billed stork, brown chested lapwing, African scopie owl, hairy breasted barbet, blue-breasted kingfisher, and yellow-rumped tinkerbird among others.
The boat cruises at Lake Mburo national park are mainly conducted in Lake Mburo, you will explore the lakes flora and fauna with many wild animals streaming at the lake shores coming to quench thirst especially in the afternoon. There are also a lot of water birds to be seen like African fish eagle, malachite kingfishers, rufous long-tailed starling, pied kingfishers, rare shoebill, barefaced go away bird, Nubian Woodpecker, emerald spotted wood, green wood hoopoe and white-winged tit among the rest.
Lake Mburo national park is the only national park in Uganda where tourists can view the game on a horseback safari. This interesting activity offers one in a lifetime experience as you intermingle with many of Zebras and antelopes in the wild. The cost for horse riding safaris is charged according to the hours you spend riding ranging from 1-3 hours.
The whole of Lake Mburo national park is open up for walking safaris; you can walk to the salt lick where you will greater views of wildlife coming to lick the salt, early morning walks can be taken through the lake where you will see lots of Hippos and hyenas returning back from hunting. Tourist can also walk through the hillside and have views of endless savannah plains and all the parks lakes.
There are a lot of places where you will encounter African traditional culture. The Igongo cultural center lives an insight to the tribes of south western Uganda in Museum while the Rwenjeru campsite gives a cattle grazing and watering adventure, the Rwambaatra group do local traditional dances which you can join and the Rubale fishing community gives fishing adventures plus learning the local fishing processing methods.
There are a lot of lakes to fish from while in Lake Mburo national park, but the most commonly fished lake is Mburo with 6 species of fish with Tilapia being the most common. Fishing will require acquiring a fishing permit from Uganda wildlife authority and the activity should be done at the Mazinga designated area.
Rubanga forest in Lake Mburo national park is one of the best places for birding, there are over 40 species of birds found in the forest plus some unique plants and trees, there are also a lot of primates like the black and white Colombus monkeys, olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys and so much more.
Another unique way of experiencing the wilderness in Lake Mburo national park is by getting on a bike. This exposes you to a unique encounter with wildlife other than in a car. Tourists can rent the bikes or come along with their own bikes and the activity takes as long as you want with no limited time.
While traveling to Lake Mburo national park, tourists can stopover at the equator, the equator is an imaginary line that separates the two halves of the world so you can stand on the Northern and Southern hemispheIt’s Its also a great place to take photos from with many craft shops selling local African unique designs you can buy and take home for memories.
Best time to Visit
Lake Mburo national park can be visited all year round but the best time is in the drier seasons of June to September and December to February. The dry season is when it’s very easy to spot wildlife and November to April is the best time for bird enthusiasts as migratory birds are present during this time of the year.
Accommodation at Lake Mburo
Lake Mburo national park has got a variety of accommodation facilities from which you can stay in ranging from budget, midrange and luxury accommodation. Some of the lodges you can stay inLakele at lake Mburo are; Mihingo lodge, Rwonyo rest camp, mantana tented camp, lake mburo safari lodge, Rwakobo rock, Eagles nest lodge and many others.
Lake Mburo national park can easily be reached from Kampala within 4 hours time by road, this can be through Lyantonde or you pass through Masaka-Mbarara road.