Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is located on the western side of Uganda and covers an area of 370 square kilometers (230 square miles). It is the smallest of Uganda’s national parks.
The Park was initially gazetted as a controlled hunting area in 1933 and later in 1963 it was upgraded to a game reserve. In 1983, Lake Mburo was declared a national park making it a protected area for wildlife conservation. The park’s headquarters of Rwonyo are a good starting point for game walks or boat trips.
Lake Mburo is within a 50 kilometers stretch of wetland system connected by a papyrus swamp. Within this stretch there are 13 lakes 5 of which are within Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Mburo is the biggest of the lakes and is located at the centre of the park.
Lake Mburo National Park lies between two major town in western Uganda, Masaka and Mbarara. Mbarara is the largest city in the area. The Park is very well linked to Bwindi Forest National Park, Kibale National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park and an itinerary can conveniently combine all these parks for a rewarding trip.
One very exciting aspect of Lake Mburo is that activities forbidden in other parks are allowed here. Game viewing can be done on boa trip, on mountain bike, on horseback, on foot and of course in a vehicle. Night game drives guarded by a ranger-guide provide the chance to see nocturnal animals such as bush babies, pottos and the leopard. Boat trip is a two-hour voyage that takes you to where the hippos and crocodiles live in addition to abundant aquatic bird species.
Guided walks take you to natural salt lake where wildlife can be viewed from a timber observation platform. Horseback safaris are operated by top end Mihingo Lodge located on the eastern part of Lake Mburo.
In this Park there are 69 mammal species and 332 bird species. Lake Mburo is the only national park in western Uganda with Burchell’s zebra and eland. In 2015 a number of Rothschild’s giraffe were relocated to Lake Mburo from Murchison Falls National Park. Leopards and hyenas are also present and, lions have been reintroduced in the park. In fact, the Park serves as lion conservancy.
In the five lakes within the Park are found hippos and crocodiles and a very rare and endangered antelope only found in swamp, sitatunga antelope. Uganda kob is also found here.
There are 332 bird species and a good number of swamp species such as the papyrus gonelek, papyrus yellow warbler, white-winged warbler and shoebill. Pelicans, herons, the elusive African finfoot and fish eagle can be seen.