Lake Mburo National Park , Wildlife Safaris- Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem, located conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. It is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks and underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years. The park covers an area of about 260 square kilometers and the altitude ranges between 1,220m – 1,828m. 20% of the park land is swampy and the rest is forest, woodland and savannah grassland.
The park was once fully covered by open savannah but now contains much woodland as there are no elephants to tame the vegetation. In the western part of the park, the savanna is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges while patches of papyrus swamp and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland line many lakes.
It is home to 350 bird species and about 68 mammals, some of which include; zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck. Together with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 50km-long wetland system linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park’s borders.
Safari Activities in Lake Mburo National Park
A game drive is one of the most exciting activities in Lake Mburo National Park and will give you the best opportunity allow you see many of the animal species as well as birds. You also make sure that the ranger from UWA is on the vehicle to be able to point out the many bird species as well as mammals. You will have chance for seeing the impala and zebra. These two species define Lake Mburo, because it is the only place in Uganda to see the majestic impala and the only easily accessible place to see Burchell’s zebra. The other place to see this zebra is Kidepo valley national park which is not easily accessible by road. Game drives in this park take different paths and the choice of the best one will depend on the season. During the dry season, animals usually converge around the swamps and lakes.
The park is a home to about 68 different mammal species with the commonest being herbivores such as Zebras, Impalas, Buffaloes, Topi, Elands. Among the carnivores are jackals, leopards and Hyenas. The nocturnal game drives with in Lake Mburo National park is one of the memorable activity one can do. You can view some of the animal creatures at night including; the lions, bush babies, and the porcupines.
Lake Mburo National Park is a spectacular birding safari destination with a diversity of colorful birds. For several bird lovers, these birds are actually the most fascinating creatures to look out for in Mburo. The park is habitat to more than 315 various bird species. Some of which include; shoebill storks, brown chested wattled plover, African fin foot, tabora cisticola, saddle billed stork, great snipe, papyrus yellow warbler, curruther’s cisticola, Olea species and Boscia, hornbill & white winged warbler plus the abyssinian ground in addition to other Acacia associated species of birds. During safari drives you will have the opportunity of taking exceptional photographs of the fascinating creatures that live in this park.
Lake Mburo National Park is has a diversity of plant plus animal species which may only be clearly seen if you embark on a boat cruise. There is the morning and afternoon boat cruise in the park. The activity always takes about 2 hours and gives you a chance to relax and enjoy the fresh river breeze and you spot various animals and birds. There will be a ranger guide in the boat who will tell you a lot about the park, different animals that you will spot and birds, and able to answer all your questions. Some of the animals you will expect to see include; hippos, elephants, buffalos, water bucks, bush bucks, you will as well see smiling crocodiles on the banks, monitor lizards and various water bird species like; water thickknee, yellow-billed stork, various plovers, white pink-backed Pelicans, white-bellied cormorants, marabou storks, pied kingfishers, malachite kingfisher, African jacana among many others.
Guided nature walks
Guided nature walks in Lake Mburo are some of the most alluring and Unique activities that you’ll find in any of Uganda’s parks. This is so because once you are in the company of an armed park ranger, you are permitted to walk anywhere in the park. This gives tourists the unique chance to get out and about and absorb the wonders of the African bush without the confines of a vehicle. The nature of the trail provides visitor an opportunity to marvel at the exceptional nature insights. Nature walks in Lake Mburo national park is normally done in Rubanga forest which is located within the park borders. Visitors to the forest will expect to see various bird species, plant species and some swampy vegetation.
The park has about 6 fish species and tilapia is the most commonly caught fish, others include; lung fish, mud fish as well as the Haplochromes. There is a chance to participate in fishing activities whilst visiting the park. Visitors thinking of taking part in sport fishing safaris on Lake Mburo must carry have their personal fishing equipment and the fish is actually found only in the designated area at Mazinga. At this campsite there is a restaurant to ensure that the visitors receive maximum relaxation while fishing. Visitors can as well choose to take some of their catch to the hotel or campsite for a meal.
Horseback safaris are an exciting way to see wildlife in and around Lake Mburo National Park. Without any engine sounds and fumes you feel part of nature and often get the chance to see the more timid animals. Experiencing game from horse back is very special: zebra come towards you to check out the strange relative without strips. Even the normally very shy eland curiously look at the horses without running away, just keeping their distance.
How to Get to Lake mburo National Park
It is approximately three and a half hours drive from the capital Kampala to L. Mburo NP. This park can be accessed using the Masaka-Mbarara highway road; then turn left to the Nshara gate (13 kilometers past Lyantonde town) which will lead you through the Sanga gate. The two junctions have well marked signposts, and it’s approximately 13 kilometers from the Sanga trading center to the Sanga gate and just 8 kilometers fromcrested-bird the main road up to the Nshara gate. Lake Mburo NP is a perfect Uganda safari destination for those having short safaris or tours. It is approximately 20 minutes drive to Rwonyo park headquarters from either of the gates.