Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is primarily grassland, wetland and acacia woodland located in Southwestern Uganda on 260 sq. km with an altitude range from 1220m-18. It is the smallest park in Uganda. At the center lies the Lake Mburo, one of the largest five lakes that are nearby the wetlands and it accounts for only 20% of this unique lake. The park has 5 lakes within and a good variety of wildlife. It’s located in Kiruhura District and it takes you 4 hours from Kampala to get there.

The main story of how Lake Mburo came about is also an Ankole myth. The two brothers known as Kigarama and Mburo used to live in a big valley. One day Kigarama had a dream and he decides to tell his brother that they had to move. Mburo just ignored his brother and Kigarama decided to move up into the hills.

The Valley down flooded with water and a lake was formed which drowned Mburo. And to the present, the lake is named after him and the nearby hills are called Kigarama after his brother. The area is also related to the cassine tree that has got powerful aphrodisiac effects. On these trees, you can see signs of bark as well as the branch removal and may be seen near the Kigambira loop crossroads. The other part of the park is well covered in acacia savannah as well as famous for associating many antelopes. Five lakes in the park always attract crocodiles, hippos, water birds as well as the swamps that harbor secretive papyrus specialists like the Sitatunga antelopes, black and yellow papyrus ganalex, etc.

This is the only park in the country with Impala Eland, slender mongoose, and giant bush rat. You can also look for, Civet, Rothschild’s giraffe, Defassa waterbucks, warthog, Hyena, crocodiles, leopard (although mostly seen at night). Several antelope species can be seen, including Topi, duiker, Oribi, Bohor reedbuck, and klipspringer. There are also many herds of buffalos and Zebras within this national park. Hippo and crocodile can be found in the lake. The rare and specialized Sitatunga in sometimes is spotted in the marshes. Burchell’s zebra and eland are only found here and in the less accessible Kidepo National Park.

The park has over 357 species of bird including martial eagle, Black crake, cormorant, the fish eagle, pelicans, red-faced barbet, papyrus yellow warbler, marabou stock, shoebill stork crowned crane and African fin foot. This park is the best place in Uganda for acacia-dwelling birds. Forest species are also present in Rubanga Forest. A bonus for birders is are the swampy valleys of Miriti and the Warukiri, in which six papyrus endemics are residents, including the spectacular papyrus Gonolek and the blue-headed coucal. Lake Mburo is also a place to find southern species at the northern limit of their range, including the Black-collared barbet and southern ground hornbill.

The traveler can also have a cultural experience with over 13 community groups, nature guided walks at Rwonyo which will lead you to the salt lick where you will see the animals as they link the salty soil. Game drives through the park will allow you to see many of the animal species as well as birds. Visitors who are interested in fishing can have the activity since Lake Mburo has around 6 species of fish with Tilapia, lungfish, mudfish as well as the Haplochromes. The most fishing spot is at Mazinga. By using the hooks, the visitors can also spend some of their time as they catch this fish, shade is also provided at the campsite to ensure the maximum relaxation for the visitors as they are at the lake. You might walk to the salt nearby as a summary of it all. There is also an observation point that is located in a wooden hideout that offers a good chance to view the 4 different species of animals at any time as they lick the salty soil. This is also done without animal conscience. The tourists might also walk to any area of your interest. The boat cruise will get you to come face to face with the flora and fauna of the lake. And along the bank, you will also see many animals that come to the water especially in the dry season. This lake is the only park in the country where one can carry out a game drive from the back of the horse and also is one of the best ways of viewing the wildlife that is found in the park.  Another way of adventuring Lake Mburo, as well as the surrounding area, is on a bicycle tour. These are also well-guided bike rides which are from 1 hour to as long as you like.

It also contains Precambrian metamorphic rocks dating back more than 500 million years. A visit here offers unforgettable experiences like nocturnal boat safari, visiting ethnic villages to learn about African drum making and a stand on the Equator on your back to Kampala

Accommodation: This national park has also got a few accommodation options. The most upmarket lodge is the Mihingo safari lodge that has set its standards or the upmarket, the semi-luxury lodge is the Mantana tented camp and it has got good facilities. The mid-range lodge is the Mburo Safari Lodge. The budgeting options include; Eagle’s nest that are tented cottages with bathrooms. The low budget lodges can also be found in the Rwonyo rest camp that is operated by Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Activities in Bwindi impenetrable forest

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Lake Mburo can be visited anytime, with wildlife viewing highlights year-round. In the dry seasons (from June to August and December to February), animals gather around rivers and waterholes, and during the wet seasons (March to May and September to November), large numbers can be seen in the open valleys.

Best Time for Bird Watching

The birdlife in Lake Mburo is good year-round. June and July have the least rain, while March and April have the most rain. The heavy rains might result in delays due to impassable roads and slippery hiking trails. These can limit your bird-watching time. Migratory birds are around from November to April.