The park is a beautiful mixture of savannah, rocky ridges, forested gorges, papyrus patches, and narrow bands of woodland lined with many lakes makes making it an absolute gem with many amazing wonders. Although it is the smallest park, it creates an everlasting memory. It is just a 4 hour a drive away from the capital city of Kampala between the Masaka and Mbarara districts.
Blessed with a multitude of attractions, Lake Mburo is the best point to stop and refresh as you travel to the South west of Uganda to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Park. Lake Mburo National Park lies between Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains and it contains much woodland having no elephants to control 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.
Wildlife and Bird life in Lake Mburo National Park
Considering its small size, it surprises travelers with a vast number of bird and wildlife species including hippopotamus, impala, warthogs, elands, buffaloes, jackals, leopards, zebras, elephants, lions, Topi, Oribi, Reed Bucks, Bush Bucks, Hearte Beasts, spotted hyenas, civets, forest hogs, warthogs, and bush pigs. Primates in the park include Red-Tailed monkeys, Blue monkeys, Black and White Colobus monkeys, Vervet, Baboons, and Manga-Bey. In addition, there are many reptiles such as geckos, snakes, chameleons and more. This park is ideal for a picnic, watching hippos, and viewing giraffes. Leopards hide in the trees and although they’re elusive during the day, they can be found to be on the prowl during nighttime game drives.
Due to amazing 350 species of birds, Lake Mburo National Park is rated as one of the major birding hotspots in Uganda. These 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, and the rare Red-faced Barbet.
The park is an ideal place to enjoy a wildlife safari and is visited by travelers from around the world due to the unforgettable experiences it offers to all and if you’re keen on bird watching, then Lake Mburo should be high on your bucket list.
Top things to do in Lake Mburo National Park
This park offers encounters with both wildlife and birdlife in the same vicinity. Below are some of the activities you can engage while on your visit to this park:
Launch Trip on Lake Mburo
This is a great experience for travelers who want to experience Uganda’s variety of nature on a boat cruise with amazing scenic views of the vegetation around the Lake, brilliant bird species, hippos and crocodiles.
Birding experiences are concentrated in the swampy valleys 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, and the rare Red-faced Barbet.
With game Drives through the park, one can see many animals and birds led by a tour guide who helps you identify the various species of birds and mammals such as the Eland, Impala Antelopes, Giraffes. Burchell Zebras and if you’re fortunate, you may encounter lions and leopards along the way.
Nocturnal Game Drives
Night Game Drives in this Park are adventures of a lifetime and will create many long-lasting memories. One can encounter the Bush Babies, Porcupines, leopards, and even lions on the prowl. A traveler gets to experience all this within a 3 hour drive.
Nature Walks and Hiking
The park also offers hiking and nature walks requiring 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 of 9 of the 14 lakes in the region.
Sport Fishing at Lake Mburo National park takes place at Mazinga and is an incredible safari activity to experience by all interested travelers. The lake is comprised of about 6 fish species with Tilapia being the most prominent fish caught annually.
Horseback safaris can only be experienced at Lake Mburo National Park. This is an ideal safari activity involving going through the park with a skilled ranger guide riding on horseback as you watch various wildlife interacting and enjoying their natural vegetation and habitat.
Accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park
This park is the closest to Kampala offering travelers a quick get-away into the wilderness in just 3-4 hours. The Park is also a stopover for many safaris as they head southwest to Bwindi Park and Mgahinga Park to make the long drive short. This park offers different accommodation options in accordance to the needs of the client which include:
- Mihingo Lodge
- Mantana Tented Camp
- Arcadia Cottages
- Rwakobo Rock
- Eagle’s Nest
- UWA Campsite and Bandas
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: June to August and December to February with most precipitation occurring in April and November.
How to get to Lake Mburo National Park
This park is located in the western part of Uganda and nearest to the capital city of Kampala with a distance of approximately 228 km and a drive lasting 3-4 hours. It is located in Kiruhura district between Masaka and Mbarara district.
The park can be accessed through the Nshara gate, about 20 km from lyantonde and if you are driving from Mbarara through the Sanga gate, approximately 50 Km from Mbarara.