Lake Mburo National Park is a stunning but often overlooked destination nestled around the namesake lake. The park boasts lush forests hugging the lake’s shores, set amidst rolling green hills. Spanning altitudes from 1,220m to 1,828m, this hilly park is characterized by ancient granitic rocks and sandy soils. With an average annual rainfall of approximately 800mm, around 20% of its area comprises wetland habitats, with Lake Mburo being the most significant at 13km2. This lake is the largest of five within the park and the second most westerly in a chain of lakes fed by the River Rwizi en route to Lake Victoria.
Lake Mburo National Park is home to several mammal species rarely seen elsewhere in Uganda. Notably, it hosts Uganda’s largest remaining population of Impala and is one of two parks where Burchell’s Zebra can be found. Other antelope species present include topi, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, duiker, sitatunga antelope, and elands.
Activities in Lake Mburo National Park
The eastern part of the park, bordered by Lake Mburo, features a network of game tracks. The quality of game viewing varies with the season and long-term vegetative changes. The best spots for sightings include the savannah north and east of Rwonyo along the research track and the Zebra, Impala, and Warukiri tracks. Here, visitors may encounter impala, waterbuck, zebra, topi, giraffe, and buffalo.
Boat trips on Lake Mburo depart from the jetty near the main campsite, about 1km from Rwonyo camp. These trips offer reliable sightings of hippo, buffalo, crocodile, bushbuck, and waterbuck. Bird enthusiasts can also spot species like the pied kingfisher, marabou stork, and African fish eagle.
An exciting option for exploration is horseback safaris in the eastern part of the park. This unique experience allows visitors to get closer to animals such as giraffe, zebra, and buffalo, which tend to be more relaxed around horses than vehicles.
Lake Mburo National Park is a haven for birdwatchers, boasting over 350 species of birds. Unique sightings include the Red-faced Barbet, African Finfoot, and the rare Shoebill. Other notable species include the Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Saddle-billed Stork, Brown-chested Lapwing, African-wattled Lapwing, Carruther’s Cisticola, Tabora (Long-tailed) Cisticola, African Scops Owl, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, and White-winged Warbler.
Guided Nature Walks
Visitors can enjoy guided nature walks throughout the park, accompanied by trained armed ranger guides. Scenic highlights include the hilltop interpretation center, offering panoramic views, and the Rubanga Forest, famous for its diverse tree species and colorful birdlife. The road to the jetty is also a popular walking spot, frequented by birds, buffalos, and hippos.
Lake Mburo National Park offers a wealth of opportunities for exploration and wildlife encounters. From thrilling game drives to tranquil boat trips and immersive nature walks, visitors can experience the park’s diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity. Whether observing unique mammal species or marveling at the array of birdlife, Lake Mburo promises an unforgettable adventure amidst Uganda’s natural wonders.