Lake Mburo National Park is known as Uganda’s 3rd smallest National Park, and the closest park to the capital city Kampala. It’s just a 3 hours’ drive from Kampala passing via the equator to the park headquarters, it’s very possible one to go on a safari and then come back on that very day and return for a night in Kampala.
It’s a good stopover to adventurous travelers most especially from the western part of Uganda. The chain of lakes, the plain savannahs of acacia woods, and swampy vegetation, rocky outcrop ranges and a banquet of wildlife forms this unique feature of Lake Mburo National Park. The abundant wildlife species that inhabit the park such as gigantic eland antelope, impalas and hundreds of zebras, decorates the game views of this tiny savannah palms with a variety of bird species including the rare shoebill stork. This beautiful tinny park displays a particular biota not found elsewhere in other Uganda national park games such as the Impalas, elands and klipspringer can’t be seen anywhere in Uganda but only here in lake Mburo national park . Lake Mburo lakes, rolling scenery and swamps is the real African scenery compared to meet the Tanzania savannah hence worth to visit. Lake Mburo national park is one of the few parks that allows night game drives and it offers the best spot for predators especially leopards, their higher chances of spotting a leopard actively hunting. The chain of lakes joined by continuing savannah is rich in flora and fauna with about 69 mammal species including the big three lion, leopard and buffalos, others mammals including hippopotamus, crocodiles these can be seen while on a boat cruise on the lake, antelope species, zebras and giraffes which were introduced from Murchison falls just to mention but a few.
Lake Mburo National Park is located jokily on the highway that connects the western region to Kampala capital. It’s one of Uganda parks which are located in western Uganda region in Kiruhura district in Nyabushozi County. The park simply connecting via the Masaka – Mbarara road, it can be accessed by either road or by air flying to Mbarara and drive to the park. It’s a drive of around 4 hours driving from kampala which covers a distance of 240km from the capital city, and flying by a plane, it can take about 45min from kajansi airstrip to Mbarara airstrip from here you will be picked up by your safari driver and take a beautifully scenic drive of roughly one hour to the park/your booked accommodation in the park.
What do at Lake Mburo National park?
Wildlife game drive
With little or no doubt, game drive is the major safari activity done in Lake Mburo national park. The park has been proved to host quit a number of wildlife species which can majorly be encountered on a game drive and many are rarely seen in other Uganda national parks. All game drives are guided by well experienced ranger guides and they know all the tracks abundant with wildlife species. The park hosts over 68 mammal species, with specials which can only be located here including eland, impala, klipspringers and brochette zebras among other forest dweller.
Chances of sighing various species of birds are very high during the game drive, at any moment you a spot a bird and your guide will always be vigilant to sight a different so always be focus with your binoculars with over 300 bird species that inhabit the park. In case you need a night game, it’s done on a request, a night game drive rewards greatly with spots of leopards actively hunting, spotting of other wildlife species like genet, bush pig, mongooses and hyenas etc.
The lake Mburo has provided another chance of spotting a wide biodiversity of animal species that live and feed on the lake with the park to mention some include crocodiles, hippos, monitor lizards, and great number of wildlife which can be sighted along the shores of the lake lousily relaxed or feeding all makes a colorful boat ride. The boat ride will as well give you a chance to watch many species of birds both land and water bird species which can be sighted and counted. To mention some include the African fish eagle, cormorants, egrets, blue headed weavers, pelicans, pied kingfishers among many sighting. The boat launch cruise here last for 2 hours of exploring nature on a breath taking boat ride, you can decide to go for that one that begins in the morning at 10am and in the evening at 2pm.
Many travelers (bird lovers) to this park go for bird watching experience, Bird lovers can spot various species of birds on several adventures bit a walking tour, horse riding, game drive, boat ride, and quad biking to ensure tracking as many bird species as they can. However, the most and best bird spotting area is the Rubaga forest trekking through the acacias, fig trees, markhamia among others that nest several bird species. Bird lover should also consider the Warukiri and mikiri swamps which are perfect birding stations within the park where shoebill also can be spotted. The viewing platform of Miriti and Rubaga forest are excellent for birders opportunities. The park is a home to over 325 bird species which are recorded within the park. Over 325 bird species are recorded in Lake Mburo national park including white winged tit, Bare-faced Go-away bird, White-headed Barbet, Red faced barbet, Red-shouldered cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed Cisticola, Brown parrot, Grey crowned crane, Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, and black bellied bastard, night heron, malachite and pied kingfisher and African fish eagle and so many other bird species.
The park is blessed with splendid nature walking leads which divert to a nature fantasy of great wildlife encounters. The nature walking safaris are perfect in the cool day hours of morning and evening hours presentable for watching the hyena and the pedestrian destination that overlook a salt lick. For travelers fantasized to walking unique birds can head to the Rubanga forest canopy trail finding several bird species. Nature walk is the coolest rarely done activity for spotting out wildlife at Lake Mburo national park on foot, park ranger guides can tells you which footprint or dung belong to which animal, then have chance of walking close to spot the suspect.
Wild Sport fishing
For those travelers who would love to have more fans at the park, spot fishing is one of the thought after adventurous safari activity done in the park, sports fishing is done at Mazinga section free from crocodile and safe for the activity. At Lake Mburo, once a catch is made can be taken to the lodge and prepared for a bit. The most thought after fish at the lake is the Tilapia, however there six fish species at Lake Mburo, for the activity in Lake Mburo here tourists are required to travel with their fishing equipment and authorization from Uganda wildlife authority which manages the park and every activity in the park.
Horse Riding Safari
Lake Mburo is the only park in the country where one can go on a horse ride wildlife safari. The horse ride is one of the fantastic way to explore the park without engines, horse riding is a noble way to see wildlife and traverse through the lakes around. The horseback riding safari activity in a special way is a private arrangements by the Mihingo safari lodge and is tailor made to suite tourists’ interests of price and duration. This activity can be done either at night or during day and it last for 3 hours, the night horse ride should be guided by a ranger guide.