Lake Mburo Park – Informational Guide – Things to Do and See
Visit Lake Mburo Park – the closest Savanna Wildlife Park to Kampala
Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda, the closest Savanna Wildlife Park to Kampala. The only Savanna Park in Western Uganda where Giraffes and Zebras roam. Lodges ranging from Budget to Luxury.
Lake Mburo Park is the only National Park where you can hike throughout the Park, where you can take Mountain Biking and both Horseback Riding Safaris within and outside of the Park.
This an incredible, little park, and the perfect place for a short wildlife Safari of two or three days long giving a Taste of the African Wilderness in Uganda.
There are many visitors to Uganda that would love to have a taste of the African Wild but only have a day or two during their time in Uganda. Lake Mburo Park is the closest Wildlife Park to Kampala. It is also the perfect Park where one can break a long journey from Western Ugandan Parks such as Mgahinga Gorilla Park or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Lake Mburo is a whisper of the African Wild just a short distance off one of the main roads in Uganda – this peaceful, tranquil park is easily accessed and yet provides a genuine taste of the African Wild. 20 % of Lake Mburo National Park is covered by lakes and wetlands swamps which is part of a greater wetland system that extends beyond the National Park – 13 lakes in all. Not only can you find lakes and wetlands but also savanna grasslands that are dotted with acacia trees, rocky ridges, forested ravines.
Wildlife has been on the rebound here in recent years with even Lions making a comeback and if you do not see them in the daytime, you can hear their roar at night. In 2015 Giraffes were brought here from Murchison Falls Park making Lake Mburo an even more choice destination. All reasons to visit Lake Mburo Park and enjoy the Top Things to Do and See in Lake Mburo Park.
Birds: Lake Mburo National Park is home today to over 350 species of birds such as the Red-faced Barbet, only seen in Lake Mburo, the endemic African Finfoot and the rare Shoebill also thePapyrus 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. Lake Mburo National Park is a park that Birders delight in and other visitors delight in the variety of colorful species of birds found here.
Wildlife: There are about 69 species of mammals found here at Lake Mburo including the Impala Antelopes, Eland Antelopes, Burchell Zebras, Rothschild Giraffes.
You can spot Warthogs, Buffaloes, Defassa Waterbucks, Reedbucks, Leopards and a few Lions in recent years, Hyenas, Crocodiles and Hippos.
Lake Mburo can certainly give you a taste of the wild of Africa close to Kampala, just a three and a half hour drive making it accessible to those with limited time on their hand who want to see some African Wildlife before leaving the country.
Top Things to do and See when you Visit Lake Mburo Park
Wildlife Game Drives:
Game Drives through the Park allow you to see many animals and birds. Be sure that a Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger is on board the vehicle to point out the various species of birds and mammals you might otherwise miss.
Lake Mburo is the only park in Uganda with Eland, Impala Antelopes, Giraffes. Game drives prove to be rewarding with leopards and at time lions.
Lake Mburo is the only park in Western Uganda where you find Burchell Zebras, the only other park where you find Zebras is Kidepo Valley Park in northeastern Uganda.
The scenery of rolling hills, lakes, swamps make Africa real, it is where the Tanzanian Savannah meets Uganda in a most scenic fashion.
Night Game Drives:
Nocturnal Game Drives in Lake Mburo National Park are one of the memorable activities one can do here. Spot the creatures of the night such as leopards, even lions on the prowl in the park.
You can even spot Bush Babies, Porcupines – all the things that move at night, The drive is normally about 2 1/2 hours in length after you have dinner at your lodge.
Spotlights are used to point out various animals that without them you might miss.
The Night Game Drive at Lake Mburo will be one of the highlights of your time here and about two hours in length.
Boat Safaris on Lake Mburo:
A boat ride on Lake Mburo gets you in touch with the flora and fauna of the lake. Along the bank you will see lots of animals coming to water especially during the dry season.
There are hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, antelopes, zebras, also 3 kinds of otters are found in the lake itself.
When it comes to birds you can see Malachite Kingfishers, Pied Kingfishers, African Fish Eagles, Rufous Long-tailed Starlings, Blue-headed Weavers, Green-necked Doves, Hammerkops, Pelicans, Herons, Cormorants and even rare Shoebill Storks.
A boat safari on Lake Mburo will allow you to see both crocodiles and hippos up close in their natural habitat and continues to be a major attraction in the park.
Birding in Lake Mburo National Park:
Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best place for birding in Uganda with over 350 species of birds that are found here.
Birders will find he swampy valleys of Warukiri and Miriti, and the roadsides between Rwonyo camp and the jetty to be excellent areas for birding and one may spot the rare shoebill Stork here.
There are also ideally situated viewing platforms at the salt lick, in Miriti Valley, and in Rubanga Forest.
Species observed at these locations include the Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned Crane, Black-bellied Bustard, Brown-chested Lapwing, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Brown Parrot, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, White-headed Barbet, Red-faced Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, White-winged Tit and Finfoot among others.
Nature Walks – Lake Mburo National Park:
What sets Lake Mburo Park apart from others is that Nature walks can be taken anywhere within the park with an armed Uganda Wildlife Authority Guide at your side.
On an early morning guided walk you often encounter hyenas who are returning to their dens after a night of being on the prowl – at the same time you can often see hippos returning from grazing during the night and returning to Lake Mburo to keep cool during the day and protect their sensitive skin from the sun.
On a nature walk you will often see Zebras, Giraffes, Eland, Topi and other antelopes, buffaloes. birds, butterflies.
Take the Trail to the top of the hills and see Lake Mburo and beyond, from this vantage point you have a great view of 9 of the regional lakes found in the area.
In order to explore Rubanga Forest with its closed canopy prior arrangements have to be made with Uganda Wildlife Authority Personnel at Lake Mburo – something we would do for you if you are interested in a forest – nature walk here.
Rubanga Forest is especially a great place for birders and over 40 species of birds have been recorded in the forest including 5 forest specialists.
Trees found in Rubanga Forest are Markhamia, Platycaluz, Acacia, Palm, Fig Trees among others.
This forest provides a variety of habitats, which are great for birds thereby making it a special forest for bird watchers. There are over 40 species of birds recorded in Rubanga, 5 of which are forest “specialists”.
You can take a guided walk with an armed ranger to the salt lick and observe animals licking the salty soil found there.
Uganda Wildlife Authority has erected wooden platform hideaway where visitor can stand and observe the animals below them without the animals being aware.
For visitors, this is a great opportunity to observe, antelopes, zebras and also presents great photo – opportunities.
This is an early morning nature walk and about 1 1/2 hours in length and there is nothing strenuous about it – simply a stroll in Lake Mburo Park.
Let us know if you like to do this activity while visiting the park.
Fishing – Lake Mburo:
There are 5 lakes within Lake Mburo National Park – a total of 12 lakes within the general area of the park. Lake Mburo is the largest of them – fishermen come to the lake to fish and visitors to Lake Mburo National Park can do some fishing themselves and later arrange to have the fish prepared at the lodge where they are staying.
There six species of fish found here – tilapia being the fish of choice here. Sports-fishing can be done here and we can obtain a license for you, we can also arrange for fishing gear and tackle to be on hand when you arrive in the park and you embark on your Lake Mburo fishing experience.
Lake Mburo National Park is the only park in Uganda where once can do a game drive from the back of a horse which is one of the best ways to view the wildlife found in the park. Mihingo Lodge has a stable and trained staff that take you out on a horseback riding safari of Lake Mburo.
Horseback Riding Safaris can last from one hour to three. In recent times even overnight horseback riding safaris have been offered with tenting and meals in the wild.
On a horseback riding safari the only sounds that you will hear are those of the African Wild and your horse. There is no engine sound and neither is there any pollution, no engine smoke – it is the fresh air and you.
This particular activity is easily done if you are staying at Mihingo Safari Lodge.
Bicycling Safaris- Lake Mburo:
Another fun way to explore and discover Lake Mburo and even the surrounding area. These are guided bike rides that are from hour to as long as you would like.
Ride among the antelopes, zebras, buffaloes in the flat areas of the park. There are many more challenging choices for the avid Mountain Biker because the terrain of Lake Mburo is rather varied in nature.
This is a great way to get out of the safari vehicle into Nature. We can include Lake Mburo in your bike safari of Uganda where we bring bikes along for you enjoy wherever possible.
There is nothing like hitting the trails of Lake Mburo and surrounding areas on a bike.
Be sure to have supply of water and snacks on hand.
Leaving the park, just about 4 kilometers from Sanga Gate is Igongo Cultural Center which is historical showplace for the Banyakitara, who inhabit the Western Uganda and include Banyankole, Bakiga, Batooro and Banyoro.
With the Bayankole the Ankole Cow was king and queen and considered the cow of Kings both in Western Uganda and Rwanda,
The cultural center has several traditional grass huts on display and guides will explain to you the way life used to be and in some cases still is. There is also the museum where you learn more of the ways of the local cultures.
There is also local food that you can eat in the restaurant and some great roasted goat is offered here. This is a great stop-off for culture – history and yes, traditional lunch.
On the Way to Lake Mburo or the return trip to Kampala or Entebbe, we stop and take in a visit to the Equator that runs through Uganda. Our Clients love to have their pictures taken underneat the Equator Sign.
There are so-called scientific experiments, most of them are manipulated illusions and not authentic, but fun to watch.
There are a couple of decent restaurants here, where you can have a snack or a bite to eat, a soda or bottled water to drink, also pretty good coffee or tea.
There are also Curio and Souvenir Shops that you can visit. A couple of them have their wares nicely displayed and make it easier to shop for crafts, including of course the Equator T-Shirt that is a must buy for many clients of ours and others.
Lake Mburo has quite a few lodging choices, some that were added in recent year.
The top choice remains Mihingo Safari Lodge which set the standard for up-market, luxury tented lodges in Uganda, Mantana Tented Camp is also upmarket but not the same as Mihingo Safari Lodge. In the moderate rankings you find Mburo Safari Lodge.
Budget Lodging is found at Eagle’s Nest which are tented cottages with en-suite bath. Shoestring lodging can be found in the Rwonyo Restcamp run by Uganda Wildlife Authority.
The Perfect place for a short Mini-Safari in Uganda. This is the closest wildlife – savanna park to Kampala and Entebbe.
You can take a 1-day Wildlife Safari (4-Participants are the minimum number accepted), stay overnight for a two-day Safari, or a 3-day Hiking, or Family Safari.
This is also a favorite destination for Short-Term Volunteers in Uganda who want to add a bit of the African Wild to their time here and often depart directly for home as the Safari ends.
You get the added plus of an Equator Visit coming here on Safari.
If you like to include the Top Things to Do and See in Lake Mburo Park in your safari – let us know