Lake Mburo National Park – “Whispers of the wild”
Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest savanna park in Uganda covering about 370km2 and located in Kiruhura district about 4 hours’ drive from Kampala city making it the nearest national park from the city center Kampala. Lake Mburo national park is the easiest park to access either from Kampala or Mbarara since it is situated along Kampala – Mbarara road. In most cases, tourist are rewarded with a stopover at this park even when they aren’t visiting it but passing by and they have a view of some of wildlife like Zebra and the Uganda kob which usually graze near the road in the park. This small park is a gem and indeed a whisper in the wild due to existence of several species of both fauna and flora species. The park consists of wetlands that covers over 13 lakes, 8 lakes inside the park and 5 lakes outside the park. These lakes supply water to the park and the wildlife. Lake Mburo national park is one of the places to go while on a Uganda safari. It can as well be combined with other destinations in Uganda since it is easily accessed thus one could combine it with Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi impenetrable national park and many more.
Tourist activities/ what to do in Lake Mburo national park
While planning your African safari basically to Uganda, do not miss to add Lake Mburo national park on your travel list as it is a whisper in the wilderness and offers several tourist activities suitable for both young and old, school trips, group tours, family safaris and many more. Some of the activities enjoyed in Lake Mburo national park include; Game drives which are the major activities done in savanna parks, boat cruise, nature walks, visiting the caves, cycling, quad biking, bird watching and many more as seen in this article below,
However small Lake Mburo park is, it is one of the best destination to visit for game drive safaris in Uganda with a possibility of spotting mammals like Zebras which are the common animals seen in the park, buffaloes, Uganda Kob, waters bucks, Oribi, warthogs, giraffes, topis, Impalas, Hippos and several species of birds, butterflies, view the rocks, Butterflies and many other attractions that are easily seen during the game drive in this savanna park. Lake Mburo national park offers both day game drives to see the early risers and night game drives to see the nocturnal animals and hunters. Both day and night game drives enable travelers to view and encounter with several species of fauna and flora species plus other spectacular views of the park and all that thrill within and beyond.
The park is famous for hosting the best walking safari in Uganda. Taking a guided walk in Lake Mburo national park is one of the most fascinating and breath-taking experience enjoyed by several travelers who wish to explore this small park on foot. The advantage of taking a walking safari is that it enable one to walk even within the woodland unlike the game drive since there are some places in the park which cannot be easily accessed by the car but accessed by foot. You need to hire armed rangers for security purposes while on your walking adventure to different parts of the park including a walk to Rubanga forest which is the best trail for bird watching, a walk to salt lick where most animals congest to like on a tasty soil rich in some nutrients and many other trail that enable you to encounter with wildlife including Hippos, Zebras, Uganda Kob, among others.
The park is a home to more than 350 bird species thus bird watching is one of the most enjoyable activity in this savanna park of Uganda. The major birding spots in Lake Mburo national park include within Rubanga forest where forest birds are easily spotted, along Warukiri valley and Miriti valley viewing points, along the water bodies where one is able to watch water birds and along the salt lick, along the roadside and many more. Some of the bird species to look out for during birding in Lake Mburo national park include; Bare faced go away bird, Ross’s turaco, Papyrus Genlok, jacana, Yellow ramped tinker bird, Yellow breasted Apalis, Brown chested lapwing, African fish eagles, Blue breasted Kingfisher, white headed barbet, Greater painted snipe, White Parrot, Blue headed coucal, African Fin foot, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Grey Crowned Crane, Long-tailed Cisticola, Black-bellied Bustard, Coqui Francolin, Green Wood hoopoe, Rufous-bellied Heron, Red-headed Lovebird and many more.
A safari in Uganda is incomplete not until you enjoy a breath taking boat ride on one of the water bodies in the pearl of Africa. For the case of boat cruise in Lake Mburo national park, this activity is conducted on one of the 8 lakes situated inside the park enabling you to watch abundant of fauna and flora species that thrill in Lake Mburo national park. Taking on an afternoon boat cruise is the most refreshing experience as most of the wildlife converge along water bodies over hot scotching sun to quench their thirst. Look out for Hippos, crocodiles, water birds and many more plus the stunning savanna vegetation.
Sports lovers, Lake Mburo national park is a way to go for sport fishing activity where you are able to catch a variety of fish species Tilapia fish, Cat fish, Barbell, tiger fish, Angara fish, and lung fish . Lake Mburo national park has a designated fishing ground at Mazinga where all the spot fishing adventures are conducted.
Horseback ride is such a breath taking sport activity enjoyed in Lake Mburo national park where tourists climb onto the back of the horse and explore the park at ease. However, to participate in horseback ride, one must be below 100kg which is the maximum weight for horseback ride. During the ride, you will be able to watch plenty of grazing mammals including Zebras, Buffaloes, Topis, Uganda Kob, and many more. Horseback ride is organized by Mihingo lodge
Just like Horseback ride, Lake Mburo national park has the best trails for bicycle riding through the savanna of the park while spotting plenty of fauna and flora species. The bicycle can as well take you into the local communities for an opportunity to meet and interact with the locals in their farms.
Salt lick viewing,
This is yet another fascinating activity done in Lake Mburo national park. There is a raised stone that provides the best views of the salt lick where plenty of wildlife congest to lick on the tasty soil. Some of the animals spotted on licking salty soil include Elands, Zebras, Waterbucks and many more.
Igongo Cultural center
Cultural tours are conducted around Lake Mburo park mostly at Igongo cultural center along the way to Mbarara city close to Nshara entrance gate thus easily accessed either from Mbarara or from the park headquarters. While at Igongo cultural center, tourists have an opportunity of interacting with the local people as they show case their different cultures. Be sure to meet with the different tribes of the Banyankore, Bakiga, Batooro, Bahima, as well as the Banyoro. There are traditional huts each including different instruments used by each tribe such as spears, shields, drums, stools, long horned cattle, and many more things displayed in the Ankole museum. There are craft shops as well as the book shops.
During the cultural tour, you will as well visit the Ankole Community Tourism Group where tourists usually visit to learn more about the banyankore culture. There is fascinating chance of learning all the procedures followed right from Milking, how to preserve milk locally, how to make ghee and many more. You may as well learn how to prepare Eshabwe (local Mayonnaise) from ghee and have a taste of it.
The Park is situated along Masaka Mbarara road thus can be easily accessed by road transport which takes about 4 hours’ drive. The park has 2 entrance gates including Nshara gate and Sanga gate depending on the location where you are excessing the park. Lake Mburo national park can be accessed either by a 4×4 vehicle or even by using a public bus since it is on the highway.
Where to stay/ Accommodations
While on a safari to Lake Mburo, one can opt to stay inside the park, near the park or even in Mbarara city depending on the choice and the budget of the traveler. Some of the accommodations to stay in include, Mihingo lodge (a luxury lodge in Lake Mburo national park), Arcadia Cottages, Rwaboko rock lodge, Rwonyo Rest Camp, Eagles Nest cottages, Montana tented camp.
Being the nearest park in Uganda, Lake Mburo national park can be explore even in just 2 days though the more the days, the more you see since it has several activities to enjoy. Let us know how you wish to enjoy your Uganda safari to Lake Mburo national park and we shall organize it for you at ease.