Fairend Safaris

Lake Mburo National Park

Whispers of the wild

Lake Mburo National Park is also known for whispers of the wild. This compact jewel of a park is well known for the largest population of zebra in Uganda estimated at 5,000. It covers an area of 370 square kilometers including more than 5 lakes. There is much woodland as there are no elephants to tame the vegetation. The park has the highest concentration of leopards compared to any park found in Uganda.

 Buffalos, waterbucks, topis and warthogs are also very common. Reedbucks and Oribis can also be spotted in the open valleys. Hyenas, genet, bush pigs, and white-tailed mongooses are often seen on night game drives. During a visit to this park, one should not limit themselves to game drives. Travelers can explore Mburo using mountain bikes, on horseback, on foot, or by boat.

How to get to Lake Mburo National Park

The park is conveniently located along Mbarara – Masaka highway and takes about 3 to 4 hours to get there. It is accessed by 2 gates one is Sanga gate accessed through Sanga trading centre and the other is Nshara gate. There are about 2 kilometers from each of the gates to arrive at Rwonyo where the park headquarters are situated.

 Currently, no scheduled domestic flights are available to this park. Road transport is quite thrilling because you get amazing views as you make stopovers. Travelers get to view the equator, thrilling hillsides, Ankole cattle, tea plantations, and other attractions.

Activities to do in Lake Mburo National Park

Game drives

Game drives in Lake Mburo National Park are done either in the morning, afternoon, or at night in 4WD safari vehicles. The best drives are done in the morning where travelers follow different game tracks. Some of which are the Zebra track, Kazuma track, and Kigambira loop which reward you with with amazing views of the park. Visitors are able to see the undulating hills, lakes, and marshes where Tanzania crosses Uganda.

Animals like zebras, oribi, bushbucks, reedbucks, bush duikers and bird species can be encountered.  Thesec drives at Lake Mburo often last up to 4 hours. Lake Mburo national park offers night game drives, travelers explore the park with a park ranger to detect nocturnal animals. Genetic cats, bush pigs, leopards, white-tailed mongoose are seen as they hunt for prey in the dark with spotlight torches for clear viewing.

Boat cruising

The boat cruise is another rewarding activity that is done in Lake Mburo national park. There are different cruises scheduled in the morning, mid-day, and evening. During the boat cruise which takes about 2 to 3 hours, travelers get to enjoy great views of the park.

Animals like hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, waterbucks, warthogs can be seen drinking along the shores. Among others are aquatic bird species like cormorants, kingfisher, herons, pelicans, elusive shoebill stork and African finfoot to mention but afew. The cruise on the lake equally guarantees one a view of the amazing flora and fauna at the national park alongside wildlife.

Bird watching in Lake Mburo national park

Lake Mburo National Park hosts more than 350 recorded bird species. These include endemic species, migratory birds, water birds, savannah birds, and forest birds. Bird watching is done in the Rubanga forest, swampy valleys, and along roadsides between Rwonyo camps among others.

Tourists can see birds during the game drives, boat cruises, and guided nature walks of different species. Travelers should look out for birds like Bateleur, Rufous-bellied Heron, Grey-crowned crane, Coqui Francolin, Black-bellied Bustard, Grey Crowned crane, and Brown-chested lapwing. Migratory birds are best spotted from November to April, and birding can be explored using a vehicle or on foot.

Nature walks/hiking in Lake Mburo national park

Travelers get to explore the park on foot with the company of an armed park ranger and an experienced park guide. Nature walks usually start early in the morning after breakfast, you follow different trails to see different things. Trails to the salt lick lead to encountering animals that come to lick the salt. Another is to Kazuma hill which gives a panoramic view of the park and lakes around the area.

Lastly to Rubanga forest which enables travelers see a variety of bird species among others. During the guided nature walks tourists get up close and personal with wildlife species. Animals to look out for include buffaloes, zebras, waterbucks, warthogs, hippos, and different bird species.  Watch colorful butterflies, listen to the sweet sounds of birds, and enjoy the cool breeze among others. 

Cycling

Cycling enables visitors explore the park with guidance of game rangers who protect them from dangerous animals. During the cycling travelers follow well-established routes which go through open plains of savannah grasslands, swampy valleys, and forested hills.

These rides enable tourists get close encounters with animals like zebras, giraffes, waterbucks, warthog and impalas. In Lake Mburo cycling is possible and favorable throughout the whole national park because there are few dangerous animals that can attack or kill the cyclists.

Horseback riding in Lake Mburo national park

Horseback riding is an adventurous activity that allows you to view and interact with different animals on a horse. During the horseback safari, travelers ride across the savannah plains where they are able to view animals. Visitors willing to go for horse riding will be fully provided with safety equipment for protection in case of any accident that may arise during the ride.

The equipments includes the helmet that is concerned with the head of the rider, the riding chaps, and tourists are advised to come putting on strong shoes if possible with heels. Mihingo Safari Lodge runs horse riding activities since 2008 and has seven horses and of which four of them are ponies.  A maximum of six participants can be taken in a single safari.

Sport fishing in Lake Mburo national park

Sport fishing is another exciting activity carried out at Lake Mburo National Park, and it is carried out in restricted areas of Mazinga. Visitors who want to take part in the activity must first obtain a sport fishing permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority and also carry their fishing gear. There are experienced guides who help during the sport fishing process.

Lake Mburo national park has six species of fish including lungfish, mudfish, tilapia, catfish, and tiger fish among others. The most common fish species caught is tilapia fish. There is an on-site restaurant where tourists can relax and refresh after fishing with cold drinks available.

When to visit

Lake Mburo National Park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season/peak season in June to September or December to February. During the dry season, there is little rainfall in the national park therefore vegetation will be thin, and animals will gather around the water bodies to drink water which allows you to view large concentrations of animals and take beautiful pictures. Visiting Lake Mburo National Park is generally possible all year round however, if you’re a wildlife enthusiast, you probably have plans to go on game drives to view the incredible birdlife and wildlife in the park, the dry season is the best time to visit. 

Where to Stay

There are several lodging facilities ranging from luxury to budget facilities. It all depends on your budget, some of the luxury lodging facilities are; Kigambira Safari Lodge, Mihingo Lodge, and Mantana Tented Camp.

Midrange accommodation facilities include Rwakobo Rock, arcadia Cottages, lake Mburo Safari Lodge, and Mpoyo Safari Lodge among others. Budget accommodation facilities include; Eagle’s Nest Lodge, and Rwonyo rest camp among others.