Lake Mburo National Park – A Traveler’s paradiseAncient
Lake Mburo National park is a wildlife haven, conveniently located in the western part of Uganda, being the closest park to the Kampala City, the Capital of Uganda. The park is also the smallest of all the savannah National Parks in Uganda, making it possible for you to go hiking throughout the park. This little park is a perfect place for a one or two days’ wildlife safari, giving you a real encounter of the African Wild. Lake Mburo National Park is a true taste of the wilderness where you can have a perfect view of African Wild beasts as they gather on the shores of Lake Mburo.
This peaceful park can easily be accessed within a three- four hours’ drive on the Kampala – Mbarara highway, which strategically makes it the closest park to Kampala. About 20% of the park is covered by wetlands and papyrus swamps, forming around Lake Mburo itself. A system of wetlands forms up a total of 13 lakes within the area, of which five of the lakes lie along the borders of the park. Besides the wetland systems, you will be amazed by the acacia trees forming the savannah grasslands, forested gorges and rocky ridges. Every part of the park is alive with color, interest and variety of species. This makes it a unique and special place to be. In the recent years, there has been a drive to revamp the wildlife in the park. Many Lions have had a comeback as they are heard loudly roaring in the jungle at night.
Wildflife in Lake Mburo National Park
Giraffes were also brought by UWA in 2015 from Murchison Falls National park. This was aimed at making Lake Mburo National park a top destination. The park is a home to about 69 mammal species, hardly found in any part of the country. These nclude Antelopes, impalas, Rothschild Giraffes and zebras. Along the shores of Lake Mburo National park, you will see a bloat of hippos lounging, and large African Crocodiles skulked in the muddy water shores. The park is also a good birding destination with over 350 bird species. These include the African fin-foot, the shoebill stork, cormorant, pelican, fish eagle among others.
What to do in Lake Mburo National park
Game Drives in Lake Mburo National park grant you chance to see many birds and animals. This is accompanied by a well- trained UWA guide and ranger to help identify the variety of mammals and birds. Some of these might not easily be seen without guidance. You may have a closer sight view of warthogs, defassa waterbuck, hyenas, buffalos, leopards, lions and the burchell zebras. These can are only be found in this little park, as different from those in Kidepo National park.
You can also opt for a memorable Nocturnal Game Drives in the park. Here, you can have eye to eye sights on the big cats like the Leopards, and lions. This normally takes about two and a half (21/2) hours. You may be able to see many night moving creatures like Porcupines and Bush babies. Not only is the drive well guided by a trained night guide, but also accompanied with a use of spotlights. This enables you point out the various animals. You are guaranteed to have this as a highlight of your stay in the park.
Birding in Lake Mburo National Park
The park is a true gem for birders with over 350 bird species. The swampy valleys of Miriti and Warukiri, the Rubanga Forest are excellent sites for birding. Here, you a big chance of spotting the Shoebill Stork. Some of the other species you many observe here include; the Black-bellied Bustard, red-headed Lovebird, Grey crowned Crane, Rufous-bellied Heron, Coqui Francolin, Brown Parrot, Brown-chested Lapwing, Nubian Woodpecker, Long tailed Cisticola bird, and many other species.
Among the forest bird species, you will find the Blue-breasted King fischer, the Hairy – breasted Barbet, among other species
Boat Cruise Safari on Lake Mburo
While on a boat cruise, you get in touch with the fauna and flora of Lake Mburo. At the lake banks, lots of animals are seen drawing to the water most especially in the dry season. There are crocodiles, antelopes, hippos, buffaloes, burchel zebras and other water animals as you sail on the lake. With a pair of binoculars, you will see different bird species. Some of these include; the pied Kingfishers, Blue-headed weavers, Malachite Kingfishers, Green-necked doves, Pelicans, cormorants, Herons, the uncommon Shoebill stork and many more.
Fishing in Lake Mburo
The park has five (5) lakes the main being Lake Mburo, where fishermen go fishing for a night’s meal. As a visitor, there is Sport-fishing on Lake Mburo after obtaining a license for you. The experience is very keenly guided by experienced fishermen alongside your guide. You will be availed with fishing gears if you express interest. Spot fishing is done at Mazinga, a designated spot along Lake Mburo, without any worry of hippos or crocodiles.
Nature walk in the Park
One of the amazingly unique adventure you can expect in Lake Mburo park is a nature guided walk. This takes you to any part of the park as led by an armed Guide from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). On your hike, you may often have encounters with hyenas prowling as they return to their dens from a night’s hunt. You may also meet hippos gently padding to the lake as they graze on the lake shore grass. The water helps them keep cool during the day and also protects them from the busking sun. From a distance, your guide may be able spot out some animals for you. These include Zebras, giraffes, antelopes, buffaloes, and various birds like the shoebill stork. Trailing to the top of hills, you will be able to Lake Mburo and other lakes around it.
You may also take a Horseback safari in the park as you view the wildlife. This makes it possible for you to get closer to the warthogs, impalas, bushbuck, waterbuck and zebras. You may also opt to take a guided nature walk in the Rubaga Forest. You will see well closed canopied forest, homes to over 40 bird species. Among some of the birds here are the green pigeons, Grey-backed cameroptera, the Shoebill stork and many others. The forest has many tree species some of which include the palm, acacia, Markhamia, fig trees among others.
As you plan for your visit to lake Mburo national Park, please don’t forget to pack some of the following; Binoculars, A Rain coat, walking stick, repellant, a camera and other items
Accommodation options around Lake Mburo.
There are quite a few lodging places around Lake Mburo. On your planned visit, you may think of the Luxury options, moderately ranked and Budget options.
Up-market/ Luxury: Mihingo Safari Lodge
Moderate Accommodation: Mburo Safari Lodge
Budget accommodation: Eagle’s Nest, Rwonyo Rest Camp