If you want an easy to reach and the closest national park to Kampala? Lake Mburo National Park is the perfect choice to get to while on your Uganda Self drive. This is another rewarding destination you need to visit while on your Uganda self drive. This park is situated in the Western part of Uganda in Kiruhura district near Mbarara.
Lake Mburo has a unique wildlife species called the Impalas making it the only place in the country to be home to these wildlife species.
The Park was first gazzeted in 1933 as a controlled hunting area and later as a game reserve in 1963. It was later established as a national park in 1983 due to need to protect the areas wildlife. Lake Mburo – which covers an area of about 370m square kilometers is situated in a region that is mostly covered by the Savannah vegetation and papyrus swamps around the lake forming a diverse eco system that supports the wildlife’s welfare.
The park has undergone a lot of developments since its establishment such as improving infrastructures and accommodation for the visitors.
What to see in Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is home to more than 65 mammal species, including zebras, lions Giraffes, bush pigs, waterbuck, Topi, Hippos, and primate species like monkeys, making it the best place worth a visit by everyone who is interested in animal viewing.
The park is home to 350 bird species and these include; African fish eagles, red-faced barbet, gray-crowned cranes among others making the park a paradise for bird watchers and researchers. These birds a mostly spotted on tree branches and around the lake.
The national park’s name was derived from the existence of a beautiful lake called Lake Mburo that lies within the park premises and is surrounded by Flora and Fauna. Many activities are done on this lake by the tourists who get a chance to visit the park such as boat cruising.
Lake Mburo Park is surrounded by many people like the Banyankole tribe well known for rearing long-horned cattle. And these amazing Ankole cattle are amazing things to see during Lake Mburo national park tour.
Activities done in Lake Mburo National Park
Game drives through Lake Mburo National Park allows the visitors on tour to have a close look at the park’s beautiful scenery. The park has a unique wildlife species called the Impalas and several antelope species which attract many visitors to have an unusual experience. Game drives are guided by park rangers who very well know the routes through the park.
Lake Mburo is one of the parks in Uganda with the highest number of bird species and this makes it a rich destination when it comes to bird watching. The park is home to about 350 bird species recorded and among these are; pied king fisher, African wattled Lapwing, black-bellied bustard, red-faced barbet and many others.
The park has got an open savannah grassland which tourists can be led by guided tours enabling them to come across Acacia trees, and salt licks where some of the animals can be spotted.
Visitors can carry out boat cruising especially on Lake Mburo and during these boat cruises, visitors get a chance to spot most of the animals in Lake Mburo national park.
Lake Mburo national park is the only park in Uganda where you encounter the full beauty of the park while on horse riding.
In Lake Mburo National Park sport fishing can be conducted in 13 lakes found within. To go sport fishing in this park, fishing permits are acquired from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
The park is surrounded by 13 local cultural people whereby the visitors get introduced to cultural performances like farming, their ways of living, and traditional dances.
The Best time to visit Lake Mburo National Park
The best time to visit the park is during the dry season which runs from June to August and December to February. During this season, there is little or even no rainfall whereby animals would gather around water bodies to drink water and relax. This is a wonderful opportunity for visitors who would want to watch animals and take pictures.
During the wet season and that is March to May and September to December, the park receives a lot of rainfall which makes trails within the park slippery and even on rainy days, it could hinder with your itinerary.
However, Lake Mburo National Park is open to visitors all year round and it will always give you a memorable experience.
Accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park
Mihingo Lodge is a luxury option with a self-contained tented camp built on a wooden platform with a beautiful lake view. The lodge sits on top of the hill forming a breathtaking view of the surrounding.
Lake Mburo Safari Lodge is a mid-range accommodation option located in Lake Mburo national park. It has its cottages built on a wooden platform with roofed grass on top giving it a nice look that shouldn’t be missed while on safari.
Eagle’s Nest Lodge is a budgeted accommodation situated bordering Lake Mburo Park giving it the best view of the lake. It offers comfortable rooms and a restaurant which serves both local and international foods.
Rwako rock lodge is a mid-range accommodation located 1 km from the main gate of Lake Mburo national park. The lodge contains 8 cottages with a swimming pool as well and a restaurant.
Rwonyo rest camp is a budgeted accommodation operated by Uganda Wildlife Authority that offers tents and bands for camping at the Mazinga campsite which is located 1km away to the west of Sanga gate.
How to get to Lake Mburo National Park
The park can be accessed using Masaka – Mbarara road from Kampala by road and the distance from Kampala to Lake Mburo national park is 235km worth 4 to 5 hours. The visitors are advised to use 4×4 vehicles for better comfort on while on the road.
Flights from Entebbe international airport or from Kajansi airstrip to Mbarara airstrip can take 1 to 2 hours. This is the fastest way one can reach Lake Mburo National Park although it is quite expensive compared to road transport.