Lake Mburo National Park is a close-packed gem, located conveniently near the highway that connects Kampala to the other National parks of Western and South-western Uganda such as Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale National Park, Mount Rwenzori national Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Lake Mburo is the smallest of Uganda’s Savanna National parks, with an area of 370 square kilometers and lies upon ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks that date back to over 500 million years.
This wonderful savanna National Park is a home to more than 68 species of mammals with the popular ones being Burchell’s zebras, giraffes, Antelopes (including Defassa waterbucks, Oribis, Impalas, Elands, Reedbucks, bushbucks and topis among others), leopards, Hippos, Buffaloes and spotted hyenas among others. Lake Mburo combined with the 13 other Lakes in this National Park form part of a 50km long wetland system linked by a marshland. Interestingly five of these Lakes lie within the Park’s boundaries allowing tourists to enjoy the scenic view of the surrounding environments. Much of this Park is blanketed by open savanna and now contains much woodland as there are no elephants to reduce the vegetation. Just at the western side of the Park, the vegetation is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges while pieces of Papyrus Swamp and restricted swathe of lush riparian woodland line many of these Lakes. Most of this Park’s surface was once an open Savanna land but is increasingly being invaded by euphorbia and acacia tress that are now dispersed in the entire rocky savanna. Lake Mburo National Park is also a haven to more than 315 species of birds
Activities that can be conducted in Lake Mburo National Park
The activities that take place in this Park include;
Lake Mburo national Park is a home to over 315 species of birds which include Red-necked Spurfowl, Brown-chested wattled plover, Black bellied Bustard, African-Grey Hornbill, Brown Parrot, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Emerald-spotted wood Dove Saddle billed stork, African finfoot, White winged Warbler, the rare shoebill stork, Blue-napped mousebird, Greenwood Hoopoe, Southern Red Bishop and Liliac-breasted Roller among others. The important birding spots in this Park include Salt licks, Forests and swampy valleys.
Lake Mburo National Park is endowed with a diversity of aquatic wildlife species and birds which can only be seen during the boat ride. This activity is undoubtedly on the top list of important activities in Lake Mburo National Park. This is mainly conducted on Lake Mburo and provides tourists with a great opportunity to see several wildlife species like hippos and crocodiles on the shores of the Lake, bird species like the African Fish eagle, the pelicans, and the Black Crake among others. This activity is scheduled and usually takes 2-3 hours.
With the variety of plant species in this park, nature walks are undoubtedly one of the alluring activities tourists can engage in. Tourists are usually accompanied by an armed ranger guide, to offer protection from wild animals. Prominent places for nature walks include the Lake’s banks, Rubanga forest, Rwonyo salt lick and Hilltop (perfect for lake views)
There are networks of game tracks throughout the Park but the East has more game tracks that pass through various landscapes featuring wetlands, grassy hillsides, acacia woodland and rocky outcrops among others. Game drives are the best way to travel through the Park and exploit most of the wildlife species including zebras, Impalas, Giraffes, Elands, Topis, Buffaloes and Bushbucks among others. Both Day and Night game drives are conducted in Lake Mburo National park. This will also allow tourists to see the nocturnal animals.
This is one of the most interesting activities in this Park where tourists view wildlife including Zebras, waterbucks impalas, elands and buffaloes while on a horse/besides the refreshing feeling you get when riding the horse, you also feed your eyes with the spectacular landscape and wildlife. This is only available in Mihingo Lodge.
Accommodation facilities in Lake Mburo National park
Some of the most wonderful accommodation options for Lake Mburo national Park include Mihingo Lodge (Luxury), Rwakobo Rock, Mburo Eagles Nest, Arcadia Cottages, Lake Mburo Tented Camp, Rwonyo Rest Camp, Mburo Safari Lodge, Conservation Education Center in Sanga and Mantana Luxury Tented Camp
How to access Lake Mburo National Park
This National Park is located about 230 kilometers/4 hours from Kampala. It is between Masaka and Mbarara towns. Tourists who wish to visit this Park can use Kampala-Masaka-Sanga (before Mbarara town).This is for tourists entering the Park using Sanga gate. For tourists using Nshara gate, they turn from Lyantonde town then drive another 13 kilometers to the Park entrance (at Nshara). From the two gates, it is around 20 minutes drive to the Park headquarters in Rwonyo.
In conclusion, much as Lake Mburo national Park is Uganda’s smallest Savanna Park, it has never run short or interesting attractions and activities for tourists. tourists who have never visited it can make an effort to uncover some of its hidden treasures.