At just about 370 Km2, Lake Mburo National Park is one of Uganda’s smallest park, composed of astounding diversity of flora and fauna, with unique mammals and avian species found nowhere else in the country. Lake Mburo enjoys the closest location to Kampala city, lying just about 4hours in western Uganda. It is a sparkling park centered on a series of swamp-fringed lakes, forming a 50Km long wetland system famous for the astonishing birdlife and birdwatching safaris in the park.
Lake Mburo was gazetted a national park in 1983, with the government establishing its boundaries along with those of the original reserve. It then was opened to the public the following year, 1984.
It is known for its extensive Acacia woodland hosting a miscellany of fauna, with the park having the highest concentration of Impalas.
Lake Mburo National park has an altitudinal range of about 1220-1828 meters above sea-level, and its range of habitats is dominated by wetlands. It lies in a rain shadow between the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Victoria receiving an average of 800mm annually. The rainfall pattern is bimodal due to its location near the Equator, long rains occur from February to June and the short ones from September to December. The average temperature range is 27.50C and varies daily between 21.5-340C with the hottest months being July and August.
Flora and Fauna
Lake Mburo is a beautiful wilderness park with a miscellany of habitats ranging from dry hillsides, rocky outcrops, and bushy thickets, open and wooded savannas to forests, lakes and marshes- offering refuge to variety of fauna. Lake Mburo National Park’s landscape is characterized by rolling hills and tranquil lakes, forest galleries, grassy valleys as well as seasonal and permanent swamps all of which support a wealth of wildlife.
This national park is home to over 68 species of mammals, including those unique to it, such as the Impalas. Apart from Kidepo Valley national park, it is the only other park in Uganda with Burchells Zebra and Eland, Topis are found only here and in Queen Elizabeth. Other mammals such as Warthogs, Oribi, Buffalos, Defassa, Waterbucks, Reedbucks, Leopards, Hyenas and occasionally Lions can be seen in the park while on various activities like safari drives, nature walks and others. The five lakes within Lake Mburo national park are home to Hippopotamuses and Crocodiles while the swamp dwelling Sitatungas can also be seen.
The park is a premier birdwatching destination for short tours and mini-breaks, with its bird list tallying to a total of over 332 recorded species including the papyrus specials like the, Shoebill stork and Papyrus Gonolek. Other species like the; Saddle-billed Stork, Tabora Cisticola, Carrutter’s Cisticola, Great Snipe, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, White-winged Warbler, Brown Chested Wattled Plover, Yellow Warbler, African Fish Eagle, Water Cormorants and notably the secretive African Fin-foot among others are present in Lake Mburo National park and this make it an absolutely flawless birdwatching Uganda site.
People and the Park
Lake Mburo National Park is one of the country’s parks surrounded by a good number of ethnic/ tribal groups. Overall, population density and intensity of cultivation is utmost around the southern boundary, although the park area is sparsely populated. The Ankole (Banyankole) make the dominant ethnic group around the park with the Bairu cultivators and Bahima herders accounting to over two thirds of the surrounding total population. The other include; the Bakooki, a group from Baganda agriculturalists, Bakiga and Banyarwanda immigrants from southwestern Uganda and Rwanda respectively.
Accessibility to the park
On a tarmac surface road from Kampala to Mbarara town, Lake Mburo National Park is just about 4 hour drive. This route offers access to most of the tourist attractions in Uganda's western tourism circuit with en-route stops at the Equator-00
Things to do in Lake Mburo National Park
- Game viewing on safari drives
- Nature walks
- Boat cruise/ Launch trips
- Bird watching
- Quad biking and Horse riding.
Safaris to Lake Mburo
3 Days Wildlife viewing & Birding with Mabamba
8 Day Wildlife viewing in Mburo with Queen & Murchison's