Visit Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda.
Visit Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda: Uganda is a land of marvelous and exotic tropical getaway destinations and Lake Mburo National Park is just one of the many parks that you cannot miss visiting during your safari.
Despite being Uganda’s smallest Savannah national park, Lake Mburo national park has a lot to offer tourists visiting the park. The national park spans over a radius of approximately 370 square kilometers, and about 20% of the park is dominated by wetlands. The park stands at an altitude between 1,220 -1,828 meters above sea level.
Lake Mburo national park in Uganda was first established as a controlled hunting ground in 1933. Later in 1963, it was elevated to the status of a game reserve. In 1983, it was later declared a national park.
The national park is situated in the southwestern part of Uganda in Mbarara district, about 240 kilometers from Kampala city center. The park is currently being managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a government organization that manages 11 other national parks in the country.
The park is absolutely an amazing safari destination that comprises 5 lakes, with a beautifully curved landscape, lush green hills and both seasonal and permanent wetlands. The national park is covered by savannah woodland due to the fact that it harbors no elephants that feed on it.
While exploring the western part of Lake Mburo national park, you /will have an opportunity to see the breath-taking savannah vegetation, rocky ridges, wooded savannah forests, patches of papyrus swamp and narrow bands of riparian woodland which is quite dominant around the lake areas in the national park. You will also be able to see the dense thicket of bushes, rocky outcrops, acacia savannah vegetation and other variety of plant species.
The national park is believed to have derived its name from a legend of two brothers, Kigarama and Mburo, whom the park is named after. According the legend, these two brothers from the Ankole Kingdom lived in the valleys within the national park. On one dark night, Kigarama had a scary dream in which a flood covered the entire valley and killed him and his brother, Mburo. Shaken as he was, Kigarama decided to caution Mburo and convince him to leave his home in the valley.
Unfortunately, his warnings seemed to fall on deaf ears, as Mburo paid no attention to what Kigarama had to say. Legend has it that the valley indeed flooded with water, thus forming the current Lake Mburo. As a result of this old folk tale, the lake was named Mburo and the surrounding hills were called Kigarama, in remembrance of the two brothers.
During your visit to Lake Mburo national park in Uganda, you can participate in sport fishing activities in the park. Sport fishing in Lake Mburo national park can be done in any of its five lakes located within the park. There are about six different fish species that can be caught in Lake Mburo national park and some of these fish species include; tilapia, lungfish, haplochromes, catfish and mudfish to mention but a few. The park also organizes annual sport fishing tournaments which attract lots of tourists from around the world.
Lake Mburo national park in Uganda has about 69 species of mammals and more than 313 bird species. Some of the stunning wildlife species that you are likely to see in the national park include; antelopes, impalas, Sitatunga, waterbucks, reedbucks, crocodiles, hippos, giraffe, zebras, buffaloes and the yellow papyrus ganalex among others.
If you are quite the bird lover, then Lake Mburo national park in Uganda is the ideal national park for your birding safari. There are lots of bird species that you can see in the national park including the emerald spotted wood dove, the crested francolin, the brown parrot, the rare white winged warbler, and the rare shoebill stork to mention but a few.
You can also pay a visit to the ‘cassia tree’ which is a popular and unique tourist attraction in Lake Mburo national park. This tree believed to have powerful aphrodisiac effects and it is mostly used by the locals as a herbal remedy.
Lake Mburo national park offers unique game drive experiences to visitors in the park. Visitors can opt to do either a morning game drive which begin at 6am every day, or opt for the evening game drives which commence at exactly 6pm daily. Evening or rather night game drives in Lake Mburo national park are ideal for viewing nocturnal animals in the park like; leopards, potto and bush babies among others.
You can also choose to explore the national park on horseback. Horseback riding activities in Lake Mburo national park are conducted by Mihingo Lodge, and usually take between 2 to 5 hours depending on your riding experience.
Aside from horseback riding, the park also offers visitors hiking and guided nature walks. This will give you the opportunity to explore the park on foot. You will be accompanied by an experienced guide from the park. Guided nature walks and hiking activities in the park take approximately two hours and usually start at 7am every morning.
A tour to Lake Mburo national park in Uganda is never complete without taking a boat cruise on Lake Mburo. A boat cruise on Lake Mburo will give you an opportunity to explore the eastern shores of the lake where you stand a high chance to see stunning birdlife around the lake such as the highly sought-after shoebill stork, and the rare fin-foot to mention but a few. The launch trips in the park last for 2 hours and can be done in the morning or afternoon.
Other activities that you can engage in during your visit to Lake Mburo national park include mountain biking and community cultural tours. Community cultural tours in the national park will give you an opportunity to experience some of Uganda’s many ethnic cultures. As you embark on a cultural journey to Lake Mburo, you will be able to visit some unique and interesting ethnic groups that live near the national park like the Banyankore, Bairu, and Bahima.
And in case you are planning to spend a night or two in Lake Mburo National Park, you can always find accommodation in the following lodging facilities; Mihingo Safari Lodge, Rwonyo Rest Camp, Mburo Safari Lodge, Mantana Tented Camp, Ssana Community Lodge and Eagles’s Nest among others.
In conclusion: Lake Mburo national park in Uganda can be accessed by road and air. It takes approximately 3½ hours to get to the park from Kampala by road. The national park can also be accessed from Queen Elizabeth national park via Ishaka and Mbarara, which makes it a convenient park to visit after chimp and wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth national park.
You can also choose to fly to Lake Mburo national park. Aviation companies such as Aerolink offer domestic flights from Entebbe international airport to Lake Mburo national park. Air transfers to the national park take between 1⅟₂ to 2 hours depending on the aircraft routing.