Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem, located conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. It is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks and underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which dates back more than 500 million years. It is home to 350 bird species as well as zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck.
Together with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 50km-long wetland system linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park’s borders. Once covered by open savanna, Lake Mburo National Park now contains much woodland as there are no elephants to tame the vegetation. In the western part of the park, the savanna is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges while patches of papyrus swamp and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland line many lakes.
Activities in Lake Mburo National 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. The designated fishing spot is at Mazinga, which is a safe area along Lake Mburo where you do not have to worry about crocodiles and hippos.
The lake is rich with a diversity of animal and plant species which can only be viewed clearly if you take a boat trip. The crocodiles, Hippopotamuses and birds like Pelicans, Black Crake, Heron, Cormorant, Fish Eagle. The duration of each boat cruise is negotiable with the park management.
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.
Horseback Riding Safaris:
Lake Mburo National Park is the only park in Uganda where one 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.
Attractions in Lake Mburo National Park
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.
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.
The park has more than 315 different species of birds including the rare shoebill stork, paprus yellow warbler, African finfoot, saddle billed stork, brown chested wattled plover, carruther’s cisticola, tabora cisticola, great snipe, Abyssinian ground hornbill, African fish eagle, saddle billed stork.and white winged warbler. The woody vegetation of Lake Mburo is dominated by Acacia species, Olea species and Boscia species. The fringing swamps in the park also hide secretive papyrus specialists such as the red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek; you would not want to miss.
Because of the different habitats of the lakeshore and the broad savanna, the variety seems endless. Mburo Safari Lodge exists in harmony with its environment. The owners are committed to conservation and preservation of both the natural surroundings and local communities, which benefit from every visit.
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”. Birds found here include the Shoebill Stork, harrier hawk, green pigeon, narina trogn, Grey-backed cameroptera and double-toothed barbet.
The park has more than 68 mammal species, including zebra, impala, topi, eland, bush buck, buffalo, warthog, leopard, hyena and jackal. There are no elephants and lions in the park, which makes it an ideal place for walking safaris. Lake Mburo National Park is the best place in Uganda to see the leopard, especially during night game drives and safaris
Accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park
Rwonyo Rest Camp
Tents and bandas, along with camping at Mazinga Camp site
Operated by Uganda Wildlife Authority, contact us for reservations
Conservation Education Centre (Sanga)
1km west of Sanga Gate
Operated by Uganda Wildlife Authority, contact us for reservations
Our 10 luxury and spacious cottages (suites) have furniture in distinctive African style and luxurious bathrooms with hot water and a flushing toilet. Each cottage has it’s private balcony where you can sit and enjoy the scenery. Comfortable king-sized beds with mosquito nets will make sure you have a perfect night. The cottages can be booked with twin beds or a double bed and a third bed is possible.
Luxurious Honeymoon Cottage
Our Luxurious Honeymoon Cottage is a romantic hideaway with greater privacy and space perfect for that extra special treat. The Honeymoon Cottage has furniture in distinctive African style and a luxurious bathroom with showers with hot water and a flushing toilet.
It has a large private balcony where you can sit and enjoy the scenery. The comfortable king-sized double bed with mosquito net will make sure you have a perfect night. The unique placement of this cottage creates the most amazing honeymoon experience during your special time. A truly Romantic Experience!
Luxury Family Cottage
Our 2 luxury and spacious family cottages are very near the restaurant and ideal for people with children. The family cottages have 2 bedrooms for optimal privacy and can be booked up to 5 persons. Each bedroom has it’s own private balcony with splendid view.
The family cottage has 2 bathrooms with hot water for showering and a flushing toilet. Comfortable king-sized beds with mosquito nets will make sure you have a perfect night. In the Family Cottage the parents have their children nearby in combination with some privacy.
For people who want to be close to nature our bush camping is the best option. The campground is well located and equipped with flushing toilets , showers and electricity. Clients can chose to use their own tents or we can provide good safari tents. Campers can cook for themselves or eat in the restaurant. The campground is well marked, leveled and well drained.
Quick Lake Mburo Facts
Size: 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi)
Location: Mbarara, Western Uganda.
Desc: Lake Mburo National Park (LMNP) is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks.
Areas of interest:Lake Mburo, Rubanga Forest and Game Tracks.
When to Visit: The prime time to visit Lake Mburo NP is during short rains (September to December) although it can also be visited during the longrains (March to June) thus the rainfall pattern being bimodal.