Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park (LMNP) is situated in western Uganda and was gazetted in 1993. It is the smallest national park in Uganda covering 371 sq km, consisting of an extensive area of wetlands, the five lakes – Kazuma, Kigambira, Bwala, Mburo and Mutukula. It has one of the most serene environments with stunning topography of dry hill sides, rocky outcrops, open and wooded savannah, papyrus swamps and lakes.
Lake Mburo Park is the only National Park where you can hike throughout the Park, where you can take Mountain Biking and both Horseback Riding Safaris within and outside of the Park.
This an incredible, little park, and the perfect place for a short wildlife Safari of two or three days long giving a Taste of the African Wilderness in Uganda but most safari packages are designed to include this little gem as the last item on the safari trail like the 12 days Uganda gorilla trekking & wildlife safari.
There are 68 different species of mammals among which are animal species like the impalas, the elusive zebras and the gigantic elands, 332 bird species both water and woodland species like the African fin foot and Cormorants. Lake Mburo National Park is a geographical extension of the Tanzanian plains and is home to a vast population of zebras. The park is a unique destination in Uganda, being the only place where it’s possible to take ranger-led walking safaris, while boat cruises on Lake Mburo itself offer the opportunity to observe hippos and other wildlife along the water’s edge. It is managed and operated by Uganda Wildlife Authority
Lake Mburo National Park has a good range of large game to see. The 332 species of birds in the area make it ideal for birding safaris; it’s probably the best place in Uganda for acacia-associated birds. The permanent and seasonal wetland areas that connect the lakes are home to a number of papyrus endemic birds species including the papyrus gonolek, the blue-headed coucal and the white-winged and papyrus yellow warblers.
Wildlife of Mburo National Park
There is still a healthy population of game including numerous Topi, Bushbuck, 0ribi, Giraffes, Lions, Duikers, Defassa waterbuck, Buffaloes, Warthogs and Hippos in the lakes. Lake Mburo is also home to the only population of impala in Uganda and apart from the remote northern parks, is the only place to see Burchell’s zebra and eland in Uganda.
Tourists can visit the park any time throughout the year, although conditions in the park are more difficult during the rainy season. Available tourist accommodation includes lodges notably Mihingo Lodge, Arcadia Cottages, Rwakobo Rock, Mburo Safari Lodge, Mpogo Lodge, Eagle’s Nest Lodge, Rwonyo Camp Site, and many other options in the nearby towns of Mbarara and Lyantonde. The Park is well situated on the Kampala – Mbarara highway and is a great stop over while connecting to the attractions of the further western part of Uganda.
Lake Mburo Area Activities
Game drives/ Wildlife Drives along Kazuma, Ruroko tracks, Lakeside, Kigambira Loops and Rwizi Track. Look out for the Elands, Giraffes, Zebras , Impala’s among others.
Night Game drives – nocturnal game drives is one of the most mermorable expereinces as you may spot the Bush babies, Porcupines, Leopards and Lions along the 2.5 hours drive.
Nature walks / Wildlife walks major attraction in the park, most popular is the Hyena walk a 2-hour session accompanied with a ranger guide. Look out for Giraffes, Elands, Zebras and Topis among others.
Bird watching – Lake Mburo’s key birding spots include swampy valleys and viewing platforms near the salt licks and in the forest. It has over 332 bird species and one may even spot the rare shoebill stork.
Boat rides – The wildlife-rich eastern banks of Lake Mburo can be explored during a two-hour boat safari with opportunities to view hippos, crocodiles waterbucks and water birds among others at close range. The session are at 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 5.30pm.
Rubanga Forest – This small tropical rain forest is on the western side of Lake Mburo and is home over 40 forest bird species.
Sait Lick – With a ranger guide, you may take a 1.5 hour nature walk to the sait lick and view game over a wooden platfrom as they lick the saited soil. Look out for the Zebras and Antelopes.
Horseback Safaris are only done in Lake Mburo, east of the park to view the lakes and wildlife on 1 -3 hours ride. This activity is mainly done through Mihingo Lodge who have trained staff.
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Best Time to Visit
Lake Mburo National Park
|Best time to go:||June to August and December to February (Dry season)|
|High Season:||June to September (This peak of the gorilla tracking season brings more people to Mburo as well)|
|Low Season:||April, May, October and November (A number of lodges and camps shut down)|
|Best Weather:||June, July and January to February (Little rainfall)|
|Worst Weather:||March to May and September to November (High rainfall, traveling on roads may become challenging)|
Recommended Lake Mburo NP Safaris
Other Top Experiences in Uganda
For a relatively small country, there’s a lot that’s big about the place. It’s home to the tallest mountain range in Africa (Rwenzori Mountains), the source that feeds the world’s longest river and the continent’s largest lake. And with half the planet’s remaining mountain gorillas residing here, as well as the Big Five to be ticked off, wildlife watching is huge.
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