In the middle of an extensive rich acacia woodland lies one of Uganda’s most spectacular and breath-taking game parks in Uganda; lake Mburo national park. Lake Mburo is a gem of a park, conveniently located close to the western high way that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. It is a very special place with a medley of habitats ranging from dry hillsides, rocky outcrop, and bushy thickets, open and wooded Savannah to forest, lakes and swamps. Its sculptured landscape, rolling hills and idyllic lake shoes, forest galleries, seasonal and permanent swamps and grassy valley all support a wealth of wildlife in a tropical setting.
The park is remarkable different from other parks. It’s the beat park to view the gigantic eland, impala, zebras and acacia associated birds. Common mammal species include warthogs, buffaloes, Oribi, Defassa, water bucks, reed bucks and the eland antelopes. Leopards and hyenas are also present and lions have also returned to the park after years of poaching and near extinction.
The five lakes within the park attract hippos and crocodiles while fringing swamps hide secretive papyrus specialists such as the Sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. The park also has an impressive bird list with 332 species recorded including shoe bill, papyrus, yellow warbler, African fin foot, saddle billed stork, brown chested wattled plover, carrutter’s Cisticola, tabora Cisticola, great snipe, Abyssinian ground horn bill and white winged warbler. Acacia woodland bird species are especially well represented.
Though just 317sqkm in size, Lake Mburo has a varied land scape full of interest and colour, the park is refreshing and full of life given its strategic location near the Kampala- Mbarara highway.
Lake Mburo national park lies between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara in western Uganda. It is 228kms from Kampala about 4hrs drive. There are two gateways to the park from Mbarara road. Approaching from Kampala then turning to Nshara gate is 13kms Past Lyantonde. The junction for Sanga gate is at Sanga trading centre, 27km past Lyantonde.
Several activities can be conducted while in Lake Mburo national park. E.g. nature walks, game drives. Nature walk is conducted on foot with the help of an armed guide who explains to the visitors about the various flora and fauna. Game drive is done while in the visitors own vehicle.
The boat is another interesting activity in lake Mburo, a visitor gets a change to see a variety of wildlife .e.g. crocodiles, hippos and birds like African fish eagle, fin foot, water cormorants etc.
Horse riding is conducted by Mihingo lodge inside the park while quad bikes riding are conducted by African All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV safaris). It gives a spectacular view of the park’s terrain and wildlife. Visitors can ride closer without the animals getting scared.
Rwonyo rest camp
Rwonyo is the centre of tourism activities in the park. The rest camp is the starting point for nature walks and game drives.
The eastern shores of Lake Mburo can be explored by boat, departing from a jetty at the lakeside campsite near Rwonyo. Watch out for crocodiles and hippopotamus during the two hour voyage. You can also sight a variety of birds including pelicans, heron, the cormorant fish eagle and perhaps the rare fin foot and shoe bill storks. Fishermen with their own equipment may fish in the lake from the campsite by arrangement.
Guided walks explore the park around Rwonyo, culminating in a visit to a natural salt lick frequented by the wildlife. Viewing is facilitated by a timber observation plat form.
The eastern hinterland of lake Mburo is served by a network of game tracks along which a variety of Savannah animals and birds can be sighted. Impalas are the most commonly seen along the impala track while zebras frequent the grassy valley floors traversed by the zebra track. This connects to the Ruroko track which passes rock Kopies, home to the elusive klip springer. In the south of the park, the lakeside track passes through dense woodland that is home to bush buck and bush duiker, to Kigarama hill which provides a panoramic view of Lake Mburo. This lake and seven more can also be seen from the Kazuma lookout, close to Kazuma track.
Though small, this tract of forest on the western side lake Mburo provides a taste of the tropical high forest with closed canopy and is home to a variety of forest bird species. Rubanga can be explored with a ranger guide.
Conservation education centre
The park has a conservation education centre, 1km west of Sanga gate. This provides accommodation and education hall for school groups, visitors, seminars and workshops
Accommodation & Camps