Lake Mburo National Park. “Whispers of the Wild”
Lake Mburo National Park is located in Western Uganda and the closest park to Kampala. It is the smallest savannah park in Uganda under laid by pre-Cambrian granitic rocks and sandy soils.
The name Mburo was derived from a tale about two brothers, Kigarama and Mburo who lived in the savannah plains of the area known as Karo Karungi. Kigarama has a dream that the area would be flooded by heavy rains leading to destruction of property. When he shared the dream with his brother Mburo, he disagreed. Kigarama therefore decided to leave the area and settled in the overlooking the hills. Days later, it rained and flooded drowning Mburo and his property.
The area was initially a settlement for the Banyankole/Bahima pastoralists. Lake Mburo National Park was first gazetted in 1933 as a hunting area and later it was elevated to a game reserve in 1963. In 1983, it was upgraded to a national park. Lake Mburo National Park is one of the parks in Uganda where the local communities co-exist with the animals.
Lake Mburo National Park is an ideal destination for tourists who wish to make stopovers while a transferring from Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or to Kibale Forest National Park.
The best time to visit Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park can be visited all year round but the dry season is the best time for wildlife viewing as animals can be seen gathered around water sources in the park. The dry season is in the months of June – August and December – February.
Attractions in Lake Mburo National Park
While visiting Lake Mburo National Park, you are likely to see many large mammals and bird species as you advance through the park. The park is rich in several mammal species including large herds of burchell’s zebras, Defassa waterbuck, Bohor’s reedbuck, Common duiker, topis, Oribi, African cape buffalos, hippos, klipspringer, Savannah baboons, Harnessed Bushbuck with absence of elephants. Aquatic animals like Nile monitor lizards, crocodiles maybe seen on the shores of the lake and for those with great interest in birding, you will spot species like Coqui Francolin, Red-Faced Barbet, Spot-flanked Barbet and Black-bellied Bustard
Lake Mburo National Park is largely covered by grasslands and acacia trees that harbour all these animals.
All these stunning attractions can be explored on a game drive, boat cruise, and horseback ride, on foot and by cycling in the park.
Activities in Lake Mburo National Park
Day and Night Game Drive
Take a morning game drive through the tracks of the park with an armed game ranger identifying several birds and animals like burchell’s zebras, giraffes, buffalos, elephants and many more others.
The night game drive is also taken in company of an armed ranger in search for nocturnal animals like hyenas, bush babies, leopards.
Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best birding destinations in Uganda with a variety of bird species to spot like Coqui Francolin, Black-bellied Bustard, Red-faced Barbet, Dusky Lark, Crested Barbet, Brown-chested Lapwing and others.
A great opportunity to catch sight of animals while riding on a horse. This is the only park that offers horseback riding safaris in Uganda giving you a close moment with the animals.
Guided Nature Walks
The guided nature walks can be taken anywhere in the park with an armed game ranger and get a close encounter with the animals.
A boat cruise is one of the popular activities in Lake Mburo National Park that unveils you to beautiful views of flora and fauna. Crocodiles, hippos and different bird species like; Narina trogon, Egrets, African fish eagle, Marabou stork, African finfoot can be seen on the lakeside as you cruise on Lake Mburo.
Visiting Lake Mburo National Park, you get an opportunity to encounter the local people and explore their culture by participating in some activities like animal grazing, preparing local meals and get entertained by the traditional local dancers.
A visit to Igongo Cultural Centre
The cultural centre is located a few kilometres away from Lake Mburo National Park. It showcases the history and culture of the people of Ankole hence giving you an opportunity to learn about way of life of the different tribes.
How to get to Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is situated between Masaka and Mbarara and can be accessed from Kampala via Masaka, from Kibale via Ibanda and Rushere from Queen Elizabeth National Park via Bushenyi and Mbarara. There are different gates used to access the park; the Kyanyanshara gate, Sanga gate and Nshara gate being the main gate to the park.
Accommodation facilities in Lake Mburo National Park
- Eagle’s Nest
- Hyena Hill Lodge
Mid – range options
- Rwakobo Rock Lodge
- Kigambira Lodge
- Mihingo Lodge