Lake Mburo National Park

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Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is situated in western Uganda and was gazetted in 1993. It is the smallest national park in Uganda covering 371 sq km, and consisting of an extensive area of wetlands

The park comprises five lakes – Kazuma, Kigambira, Bwala, Mburo, and Mutukula. It has one of the most serene environments with stunning topography of dry hillsides, rocky outcrops, open and wooded savannah, papyrus swamps, and lakes

This incredible, small park is 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 11 days wildlife and walking safari.

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 park where you can see the Impalas. You can take ranger-led walking safaris, have a horse riding expedition, and do cycling tours. It is managed and operated by Uganda Wildlife Authority

Lake Mburo National Park - Uganda Culture Tour

Top things to do in Lake Mburo National Park. 

Bird Watching

Lake Mburo National Park has about 332 species of birds in the area making 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 bird species including the papyrus gonolek, the blue-headed coucal, and the white-winged and papyrus yellow warblers.

Game drives/ Wildlife Drives 

Day Game Safaris, along Kazuma, Ruroko tracks, Lakeside, Kigambira Loops, and Rwizi Track. Look out for the Elands, Giraffes, Zebras, and Impalas among others.

During the game drives, you will be able to enjoy the park’s various landscapes and vegetation. Some of the wildlife to expect to include giraffes, zebras, impalas, klipspringers, buffalo, hyenas, mongooses, oribis, reedbucks, and more.

Night Game drives

Accompanied by ranger guides the game drives start at 7:00 pm and last up to 3 hours. Some of the wildlife to expect to see include nocturnal celebrities like the leopard as well as spotted hyenas, genets, bushbabies, porcupines, and more.

Your ranger guide may use a spotlight to assist in identifying some of this sometimes hard-to-see wildlife. nocturnal game drives are one of the most memorable experiences as you may spot the Bush babies, Porcupines, Leopards, and Lions along the 2.5 hours drive.

Nature walks / Wildlife walks

Nature walks / Wildlife walks are popular in Lake Mburo. Embark on the Hyena walk, a 2-hour session accompanied by a ranger guide. Look out for Giraffes, Elands, Zebras, and Topis among others.

A safari on foot presents a whole new perspective and appreciation of the wild.  Another popular nature trail is the Eland track where you can expect to see large herds of eland, giraffes, and other wildlife. 

Nature walks in Rubanga Forest – This small tropical rainforest is on the western side of Lake Mburo and is home to over 40 forest bird species.

Nature walks at the Sait Lick – Take a 1.5-hour nature walk accompanied by a ranger guide to the salt lick and view game over a wooden platform as they lick the salted soil. Look out for the Zebras and Antelopes.

Nature walks begin between 6:30 am and 7:00 am and last about 2 hours or more depending on your interests.

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 boat sessions are at 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, and 5.30 pm. 

Launch trips depart every 2 hours and last up to 2 hours allowing guests to relax while viewing wildlife much closer than they would in a safari jeep.

Some of the wildlife to expect includes hippos, buffaloes, and crocodiles. Look out for bird species such as African fish eagles, kingfishers, the rare shoebill stork, and the only place to see the African finfoot.

Horseback Safaris

Horseback safaris are only done in Lake Mburo,  east of the park to view the lakes and wildlife. Horseback rides last four hours, hailing out of the Mihingo Lodge stable with an expert instructor. 

Kids can join in the fun with ponies and then later join the sundowner to watch the golden sunset at the hilltop viewpoints. Horseback safaris in a national park are an incredible way to experience the African wilderness. Look out for herds of buffalo, zebras, antelopes, and other wildlife.

Cycling safaris

Cycling tours are done through Rwakobo Rock Lodge, on the northern edge of the park, and Hyena Hill Lodge which maintains a good fleet of mountain bikes and offers excellent guided rides through the park’s savanna plains and surrounding communities.

Trips can range from 1 hour and recommend it when the temperatures at the park are cooler, especially in the early mornings.

Abundant wildlife is often found in flat valleys which not only makes visibility easier but cycling less strenuous. A ranger guide leads to ensure the safety of the tourists. 

Community walks

Lake Mburo National Park is in the heart of the Ankole region. Because these human settlements have lived adjacent to the wildlife for several years, community and cultural tours are a fantastic addition to the contemporary wildlife safari.

Guests can partake in an Ankole farm experience for a walk in the life of the Banyankole including traditional hand milking of the famous Ankole long-horned cattle.

Where to stay in Lake Mburo National Park

Mihingo Lodge 

Mihingo Lodge has 12 luxury, tented rooms designed to provide guests with privacy and tranquillity. Each room has its own unique charm and character, whether it is nestled in the forest, overlooking the lake, perched on a rocky outcrop, or down by the water hole.

Each spacious canvas tent is equipped with en-suite bathrooms, hot and cold running water, showers, and flush toilets.

Other facilities include a tranquil infinity pool that overlooks a sweeping wild valley, a dining room sitting high on a rock kopje, a bar and lounge area, a gift shop, and a horse stable,

Kigambira Safari Lodge

The lodge is built in the Southern part of Lake Mburo National Park; Uganda’s smallest park, nestled between Lake Kigambira and the Rubanga Forest.

It features 12 tastefully decorated ensuite bandas categorized into 9 deluxe bandas, 2 family bandas, and a honeymoon suite.

All cottages have astonishing views of Kigambira, an expansive freshwater lake that teems with birds and wildlife.  Other facilities include a swimming pool, a gift shop, a restaurant, and a bar area.

Rwakobo Rock

The lodge is set on a massive granite outcrop, just 1km from the Nshara gate of Lake Mburo National Park. It offers 8 private thatched cottages, with solar lighting, flush toilets, and solar-heated showers, which blend into the natural landscape.

The cottages are dotted around the hill taking advantage of rocky ledges and secluded corners. The cottages celebrate the natural lines of the surrounding wilderness.

The lodge also has a Hornbill House that features 5 en-suite rooms with a private veranda.  Other facilities include a restaurant /dining room overlooking the water hole, a bar, a swimming pool, and a campfire area.

The Best time to visit Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park has two seasons both dry and wet seasons. The dry season is in the month between December to March and June to August. In this period water becomes scarce and this makes wildlife viewing easier as animals tend to seek out reliable water sources and vegetation thins. 

The wet/green season is in the month of April to May and September to November. During these months the park is mostly wet animal sightings are few.  However, these months are ideal for other migratory birds.  The scenery is lush and green for photographic scenery. 

How to get to Lake Mburo  National Park

Road transport: The Park can be easily accessed by road, on a 3-4 hour drive. The drive offers scenic landscapes and local communities and is accessible through the 2 park entrance gates.

The Sanga gate and Nshara gate are 2 km away from the park. Currently, there are no scheduled flights to the park though private charters can be arranged. 

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)

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