Discover Wildlife Wonders: Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is one of East Africa’s Lake-dominated protected areas with lush forest-fringed shores. The park comes with its off-the-beaten path adventures making it an exceptional game/wildlife viewing destination. This is one of the compact wildlife protected areas in Uganda and the most accessible from Kampala city center.

Location of Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is set within the Kiruhura District, the home to diverse antelopes, especially the beautiful impalas, elands, and topis. This park is found in Western Uganda and its proximity to Kampala city center makes it possible to undertake 2 Days, 3 Days, 4 Days or 5 Days safari and interestingly, it is compact thus making it easier to explore.

Lake Mburo National Park initially served as a controlled hunting area from 1933 to 1983 when it was upgraded to a Game Reserve. In 1963, it was gazetted as a National Park in Uganda and the park is set in an area dominated by the Bahima/Banyakole pastoralists. Its boundaries stretch covering over 260sq.km and serves best as an incredible destination to branch to while en-route to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park for gorilla trekking. This park has a unique landscape featuring rolling hills, rocky outcrops, forests, swamps, bush thickets, flat grassland and Lakes.

Wildlife within Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park supports unique floral and faunal species in its varied habitats. The park has acacia woodland, open savannas, forested gorges, interspersed with savannas, patches of papyrus swamps and the riparian woodland along the Lake shores. The various wildlife species include crocodiles, elands, zebras, giraffes, hippos, buffaloes, topis, bush pigs, duikers, Defassa waterbucks, bushbucks, Bohor reedbucks, warthogs, Jackals, impalas, sitatungas, Klipspringers, and more.

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Birds in Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park has a good record of bird species living in its distinct habitats. The park has more than 350 species of birds to be identified on birding tour in Lake Mburo National Park and include the African fin-foot, brown chested wattled plovers, African fish eagles, Abyssinian ground hornbills, shoebill storks, Carruther’s cisticolas, saddle billed stork, coqui francolin, rufous bellied herons, long-tailed cisticolas, Nubian woodpeckers, Kingfishers, bare-faced go-away, crowned cranes, red-shouldered tit, ross’s turacos, and others. Birding tours in Lake Mburo NP are excellently carried out in Miriti, Salt Licks, Lubanga Forest, Swampy valleys, and other areas.

Wildlife or game drives in Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is known for its amazing game wildlife drives done along its designated game tracks. This exciting experience is done thrice a day-in the morning, afternoon and night. The park’s animals to look out for include the elands, Bohor reedbucks, impalas, Defassa waterbucks, oribis, zebras, spotted hyenas, Klipspringers, Bohor reedbucks, zebras, giraffes, topis, duikers and more. Night game drives allow you to enjoy the view of nocturnal species including bush pigs, mongoose, leopards, nightjar birds, genet and others.

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Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - birding

Birding in Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park features abundant birding opportunities in its Miriti and Warukiri swamps. There are numerous birds to keep an eye on during bird watching tour and include the flappet larks, Nubian woodpeckers, common quails, bare-faced go-way bird, red-necked spur, trilling cisticolas, African wattled plovers, African grey hornbill, lilac-breasted rollers, shoebill storks, brown parrots, yellow-throated long claw, greenwood hoopoe.

The common birds to find at Rwonyo Camp area include the black bellied bustards, red-necked spur fowl, flappet larks, Southern red bishops, rufous chested swallow, temminck’s courser, and others. The other avifaunal species to find on birding tour in Lake Mburo N. Park include papyrus gonoleks, emerald spotted wood doves, heron birds, common scimitar bills, papyrus yellow warblers, ruppell’s long-tailed starlings, and more.

Guided Nature Walks in Lake Mburo National Park

Nature walking in and around Lake Mburo National Park draws you close to nature, a remarkable opportunity to explore its hidden treasures. Birds and faunal species will be spotted on a guided nature walk and ideal areas include Rubanga Forest where over 42 species of birds live including the Narina trogon, double-toothed barbets, harrier hawks, green pigeons; the Salt Lick where diversity of Mburo N. Park come to drink water.

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Sport Fishing in Lake Mburo National Park

Sport fishing is one of the exciting experiences and it is done on Mazinga area. This area lets you catch diversity of fish species and include mud fish, tilapia, and others.

Launch cruise

Boat cruise is an amazing experience and takes visitors about 2 to 3 hours to explore aquatic life on Lake Mburo. This is done in a comfortable boat offering excellent views of the water animals, especially crocodiles, hippos and bird species. The aquatic birds of interest in Lake Mburo include the pied kingfishers, pelicans, rufous long-tailed starlings, cormorants, African fish eagles, blue-headed weaver birds, shoebill storks, green-necked doves, and hammerkops, among others

Horseback Riding in Lake Mburo National Park

Horseback riding in Lake Mburo NP is done along the Eastern side of the park and it is an alternative way of viewing the park’s wildlife rather than using a 4×4 safari vehicle. The expected animals to come across include topis, elands, zebras, and bird species, etc.

Quad biking tours

Quad biking safaris start from Mantana Tented Camp and this adventure is run by All Terrain Adventures. This group also operates at Bujagali Jinja in Eastern Uganda. You will navigate via the park while spotting its wildlife including zebras, birds and more.

horse riding in Lake Mburo National Park

The Best time to Visit Lake Mburo National Park

The dry months of June, July, August, September and December, January to February offer favorable weather and climatic conditions to nature lovers to explore and experience Lake Mburo National Park. Bird breeding season starts in March, April, May and October –also the months of the year when migratory birds confine in the park.

Where to stay in Lake Mburo National Park

Three categories of accommodation choices exist in and around Lake Mburo National Park and they include budget, midrange and luxury. They include Acadia Cottages, Mihingo Lodge, Lake Mburo Safari Lodge, Mburo Eagle’s Nest, Kigambira Lodge, Mantana Tented Camp, Rwonyo Rest Camp, Rwakobo Rock, & Lake Mburo Campsite.

Reaching to Lake Mburo National Park

Depending on where you are located, Lake Mburo National Park is accessible from Kampala via Masaka-Mbarara route, about 4 hours’ drive. Or drive from Mbarara to the park and spend the shortest time to get there for your wildlife tour. The access gates to Lake Mburo National Park include Nshara and Sanga gates. By air, fly from Entebbe Airport/Kajjansi airfield and land at Mbarara airfield.

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