The Lake Mburo National Park is located in the western region of Uganda, in the Kiruhura district, which is bordered to the east by the Mbarara district and the Isingiro district. About 260 square kilometers of its lowlands are covered by the park. In comparison to the other national parks in Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park is the one that is closest to Kampala, the country’s capital. Road travel takes 4 hours and 240 kilometers from Kampala. 68 kinds of mammals, over 313 bird species, lakes, swamps, trees, woods, flora, savanna grasslands, and 6 species of fish all call the park home. The Uganda Wildlife Authority oversees the management of all of these species. In 1993, the park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Activities in Lake Mburo National Park
One of the best birding locations in Uganda is Lake Mburo. In Lake Mburo, birding is primarily done along the Warukiri and Miriti wetlands. Common quails, crested francolin, emerald spotted wood Dove, greenwood hoopoe, Lilac-breasted Roller, Nubian woodpecker, Rednecked Spur, trilling cisticola, white-winged warbler, and the Shoebill stork are a few of the species. The African-wattled plover Rufous, Black Bellied Bustard, Coqui francolin, Flappet larks, red-necked spur fowl, Rufuos chested Swallow, southern Red Bishop, temminck’s courser, and yellow-throated long claw are other birds that can be seen at the Rwonyo camp. The African finfoot and the uncommon white-backed heron can both be spotted in abundance at Lake Mburo.
Guided Nature Walks:
In contrast to the other parks in Uganda, nature walks are permitted everywhere within the park with the permission of and under the supervision of an armed guard from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. You can observe several antelopes, Zebras, buffaloes, and giraffes grazing while on the nature walk. Be on the lookout for birds and butterflies as well. You might even see hyenas returning to their burrows after a night of hunting or hippos making their way to the water after feeding on land during your morning excursions.
The Lakeside Track: The stroll along the established Lakeside Track in Lake Mburo’s southernmost region is connected to the nature walk. Visitors can see bush duiker and awe at the lush forest on this trail. The track moves up to the summit of Kigarama, from where one can see Lake Mburo and the larger national park in great detail.
Fishing opportunities for species like tilapia, mud fish, and lung fish may be found in the numerous lakes and locations like Mazinga. The Mazinga fishing site is situated in a protected area of Lake Mburo that is free of crocodiles and hippos. Sport fishing can be done by visitors, and they can arrange for someone to help them fry the fish once they get back to their lodge. In order to promote relaxation between fishing sessions, there are shades close to the fishing pints. Before guests arrive for their safari, Mission Africa Safaris may assist with setting up supplies (hooks and bait) and obtaining fishing licenses.
Day and Night Game Drives:
During game drives in Lake Mburo National Park, you may see the majority of the animals and bird species that live there. An armed ranger from the Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) guides the game drives and assists in identifying the various animal and bird species. When going on a night safari or early in the morning, people frequently visit the “leopard rock” to see leopards. Although there are hyenas in the park, there aren’t as many as in some of Uganda’s other top game parks. It is easy to see genet, leopards, bush pigs, mongooses, and white-tailed mongooses during the two-hour night game excursions.
All the park’s beauty can be discovered by taking a boat ride along Lake Mburo. This is especially true during the dry season, when the majority of animals come for water. Visitors can see zebras, antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, otters, and buffaloes while on the boat tour. African Fish Eagles, Blue-headed Weavers, Cormorants, Green-necked Doves, Hammerkops, Herons, Malachite Kingfishers, Pelicans, Pied Kingfishers, Rufous Long-tailed Starlings, and Shoebill Storks are among the birds that are most frequently seen during the boat tour. The length of the boat tour is negotiable and not set in stone.
Rubanga Forest Walk:
The Uganda Wild Life Authority typically schedules the forest walk in advance. It begins on the western banks of Lake Mburo. Over 42 species of birds can be seen when taking a trip through the Rubanga Forest. While in the Rubanga forest, you should keep an eye out for several tree species, including Acacia, Fig Trees, Markhamia, Palm, and Platycaluz. The double-toothed barbet, green pigeon, Grey-backed cameroptera, harrier hawk, narina trogn, and the highly sought-out Shoebill Stork are among the bird species.
The Salt Lick:
You can be led on a guided tour to the salt lick, where animals lick the area’s salty soil, by an armed ranger. The Uganda Wildlife Authority has designated viewing areas so that visitors can see all the many species of animals, including zebras and antelopes, who come to lick the salt. The process often begins in the morning and lasts no longer than two hours.
One of the two parks in Uganda where visitors can ride out and observe the wildlife from the back of a horse is Lake Mburo. The other location in Uganda where horseback riding safaris are possible is the Kabwoya game reserve near Lake Albert. Safaris on horses let guests get up close and personal with the wildlife. The zebras and even the timid eland seem to be familiar with the horses. They still maintain their distance from one another, but unlike when there are safari cars present, they do not flee.
Visiting the Igongo Cultural Center:
There are 4 kilometers between the Sanga gate and the Igongo cultural center. In order to promote their cultural heritage and traditions, the Banyakitara use the Center. Bakiga, Banyoro, Batooro, and Banyankole are among the tribes of Banyakitara. Objects relating to their historical cultural practices and locally made crafts are stored in a modest museum. The history and way of life of the tribes can be learned about by visitors with the aid of guides. There are numerous other things on display in addition to the traditional grass-based homes and local cuisine. In addition to other works of art, tourists can purchase souvenirs manufactured locally.
A walking safari around locations like the Kazuma Hill is an option for visitors who arrive by public transportation. Your time in Uganda will be enhanced by a walking safari, which provides something fresh and unusual. The Kazuma Hil provides an excellent vantage point from which to view the park’s 14 lakes, undulating hills, and neighboring areas. It is not permitted to walk by yourself in the park, especially since there are lions and buffalo there. Hyenas and hippos that feed outside the Lakes at night might potentially pose a threat.
Quad Biking to spot animals:
Biking is among the finest ways to spot game in Lake Mburo National Park because there aren’t many large cats there. The quad bike rides take you through fields of zebra that are grazing and the nearby areas where the Banyankole tribe of the area grazes its long-horned Ankole cattle. Safaris on quad bikes are unique because they bring you closer to the natural world. While on their quad riding safari, guests should bring water and a snack in case they get hungry or tired.
Accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park
Similar to other parks, Lake Mburo’s lodging options (lodges, hotels, and campsites) are broken down into three primary categories: budget, mid-range, and luxury. There are lodging options at the wildlife park as well as in neighboring communities like Mbarara and Lyantonde. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the lodging options:
Mantana tented camp:
This luxurious camp has been operating in the park for many years, providing dependable services that draw repeat business. There are 9 tents with beautiful views of the game park that are constructed on wooden platforms. The camp uses solar energy, and the accommodations have showers. While dining or unwinding on the room verandahs, guests may observe the lakes and other animals as they traverse the park. Speaking of dining, there are both domestic and foreign delicacies. In the evenings, cold drinks can be ordered from the restaurant, bar, and sitting area.
The Arcadia Cottages:
This mid-range lodge is a member of the Arcadia chain and is situated near to Lake Mburo’s shoreline. The lodge provides a calm and relaxing atmosphere that is ideal for unwinding. For those planning to go on game drives, boat cruises, or nature hikes, it is a wonderful option because it is situated close to Rwonyo (the park’s tourism hub). A restaurant, a bar, and open fires are just a few of the amenities. The motel offers cottages with double beds, WiFi, and television in addition to self-contained rooms.
Rwonyo Rest Camp:
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) oversees the Rwonyo Rest camp, a low-cost hotel inside the park. The grass-thatched lodge was built with indigenous materials like wood. While inside the lodge, guests can observe some of the wild animals that frequent the area. The bandas and tented rooms at the lodge are both constructed on elevated wood platforms. While the tented rooms have private showers, the bandanas are less expensive and feature shared facilities. There is space provided for those who bring their own tents to set them up.
Lake Mburo Safari Lodge:
Another excellent low-cost lodge, this one allowing guests to marvel at the African environment while providing amazing value and seclusion. Due to the affordable hotel rates, this inn is a favorite among many tourists. The lodge provides family-friendly and romantic grass-thatched cottages. The self-contained rooms are furnished with locally made king-sized beds, mosquito netting, baths, and bathtubs in addition to wardrobes and other locally produced furniture. A kitchen, fridge, and coffee machine are included in the honeymoon cottage. The balcony is a wonderful place to unwind between park activities. The main bar and the restaurant, which also offers vegetarian options, both serve food and beverages.
Eagle’s Nest Lodge:
This budget lodge is situated next to Lake Mburo Park on a hill. You have a great view of the majority of the park from the hill. While eating dinner, you can hear crickets, roaring lions, and other nighttime wildlife. The 12 tents at the lodge have stone flooring and thatched roofs. The tents are equipped with Eco-toilets, private bathrooms, and verandahs where you can watch the animals in the early morning and late in the day. Although there is a restaurant and bar, meals can also be provided in the rooms.
In 2007, a group of Germans constructed the luxury Mihingo Lodge. The ten tent chambers were constructed with local materials and are set on platforms made of wood and neatly mowed grass. Private bathrooms, hot showers, and a verandah are included in the room amenities. Tennis courts and a pool are also available. For guests with young children, babysitting services and kid-friendly meals can be provided. The lodge organizes horseback rides through the lowlands surrounding Lake Kacheera, which are outside the national park. Four ponies and seven horses are available for use.
Rwakobo Rock Hotel:
At the edge of the park is the mid-range family hotel known as The Rwakobo Rock. The hotel’s nine eco-friendly cottages, which are suited for quiet retreats and offer stunning views of the mountains and wildlife (bushbucks, warthogs, impala, and zebras) gathering to drink at the water hole, are built with the least amount of impact possible on the environment. The cabins offer WiFi, charging stations, solar-heated showers, and solar lights. The restaurant offers both domestic and foreign cuisine, with specific vegetarian options. Both non-alcoholic (wine, local beer, and spirits) and alcoholic beverages are available in the bar. Tea, coffee, or water are all acceptable options for teetotalers. The main hotel area has WiFi and charging stations.