Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park found in Mbarara district is Ugandas smallest national park. In case you are driving from Kampala to Lake Mburo, you are likely to take 3.4 hours on the way. The park is accessed from the Masaka-Mbarara road; turn left to Nshara gate (13 kms past Lyantonde) which takes you through Sanga gate. The two junctions have clearly marked signposts. It is approximately 13kms from Sanga trading centre to Sanga gate and 8kms from the main road to Nshara gate. Lake Mburo National Park is a perfect Uganda safari destination for short tours and excursions. It is approximately 20 minutes drive from either gate to Rwonyo park headquarters.
History of Lake Mburo National Park.
Lake Mburo National Park derived its name from the story of two brothers that lived in this valley; Kigarama and Mburo. One night, the older brother Kigarama had a dream that compelled him to shift to the nearby hills. He informed his younger brother Mburo who ignored this dream.
After Kigarama had shifted to the hills, the valley was filled with floods that unfortunately drowned Mburo. Later the present day Lake Mburo was formed. The adjacent hills on the other hand where named after Kigarama.
Lake Mburo National Park covers an area of 370sq km and it’s home to approximately 350 different types of birds. In addition there are various animals including; reedbucks, zebras, topi, elands, hyenas, oribi, hippos, Defassa waterbucks and leopards.
Because there are no elephants in the park, the vegetation in the park is mainly woodland; however it has with some patches of acacia thickets and swamps.
What to do in Lake Mburo National Park.
There are several activities that holidaymakers on a Uganda Safari can enjoy while in Lake Mburo National Park.
Game viewing is the primary tourism activity conducted within this park because of its high number of wild animals. It has the Uganda’s biggest population of zebras. However there are also elands, topis, hyenas, defassa water bucks, leopards, oribis, impalas, buffaloes, and hippos especially around the lakes.
Game drives are done early in the morning and afternoon. The Rwonyo salt lick area is a good place to see most of the animals in this park.
Hiking and Guided Nature Walks.
The park offers guided nature walks and hiking adventures. These are open to anyone if accompanied by a park game ranger. Among the places you will go include the top of hills , the salt lick area. A walk in Rubanga forest where you will enjoy bird watching will be more rewarding.
The park has over 350 species of birds. These include the bare-face go-away, Nubian woodpeckers, green wood hoopoe, brown parrots, black belled bustards and the grey crowned crane. You will also see the unusual shoe bill stork that is sought by nearly all bird watchers across the globe. During the forest walks in Rubanga Forest, game-drives and nature walks you can watch the birds.
Boat rides on Lake Mburo.
Each day in the morning and afternoon, there is a 2 hours boat ride On Lake Mburo. During which you will explore the eastern shores of the lake to see the various water birds; (the commonest being hammerkops, fish eagles and kingfishers, as well as the shoe bill stork).
These require prior booking to ensure adequate preparation and availability. This adventure is a great way to enjoy game viewing. You will see animals like zebras, duikers, impalas, bushbucks and warthogs, among others.
These rides go for 4 hours and you may ride to the hilltop to enjoy the breathtaking views. Set out on a ride for a bush breakfast in the morning too.
Other Adventurous activities in Lake Mburo National Park.
- Quad biking
- Sport fishing in Mazinga area (this requires a fishing permit from UWA)