Activities in Lake Mburo National Park: Lake Mburo National Park is one of the smallest savannah national parks in Uganda. It is in the Western region along the Mbarara-Kampala highway. The government gazetted the national park in 1983 and it covers a total area of 370 square kilometers. Savannah vegetation dominates the park, and acacia woodland, and swamps among others also act as habitats for different wildlife species. Animals include; buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, hippos, waterbucks, bohor reedbucks, oribi, topi, duikers, klipspringer, impalas, and bushbucks. Other animals include; sitatungas and leopards. There are different bird species like the prehistoric shoebill stork, black-bellied bustard, saddle-billed stork, bare-faced go-away bird, red red-faced barbet among others.
Game drives are one of the top activities to do in Lake Mburo National Park. They can be done early in the morning and in the afternoon in 4WD pop-up safari vehicles. During the game drives which tourists best go to in the morning, you will follow different game tracks. These include; the Zebra Track, Kazuma Track, and Kigambira Loop where you will be rewarded with scenic views of the park. Animals like zebras, oribi, bushbucks, reedbucks, bush duikers, variety of bird species like black-bellied bustards, herons, and kingfishers among others.
Lake Mburo National Park also offers night game drives where you will be able to explore the park at night with a park ranger in a 4WD safari vehicle with spotlight torches for clear viewing of nocturnal animals. During the night game drive you will be able to view nocturnal animals like genetic cats, bush pigs, leopards, tailed mongooses, and grazers like hippos among others.
Boat cruise is another interesting activity that you shouldn’t miss during your safari in Lake Mburo National Park. The boat cruise has different schedules. For example, the morning game drive starts at around 9:00 am and the afternoon boat cruise which starts at around 2:00 pm. During the boat cruise which takes about a 2 to 3-hour drive, you will be able to enjoy great views of the beautiful scenery. Animals like hippos and crocodiles are in the water, while buffaloes, waterbucks, and warthogs drink water along the shores. Aquatic bird species like cormorants, kingfishers, herons, pelicans, African fish eagles, elusive shoebill stork, and African finfoot among others.
Lake Mburo National Park is home to more than 350 recorded bird species. It includes endemic species, migratory birds, water birds, savannah birds, and forest birds hence making Lake Mburo National Park one of the birder’s paradise. You can do Bird watching in Lake Mburo National Park in different areas. These include; the Rubanga forest, swampy valleys of Miriti and Warukiri, and roadsides between Rwonyo camps among others. During bird watching which you can do during the game drives, boat cruises, and guided nature walks you will be able to spot bird species.
For example, the prehistoric shoebill stork, saddle billed stork, African wattled lapwing, African finfoot, papyrus gonolek, and red-faced barbet. Others include; brown-chested lapwing, blue-headed coucal, blue-breasted kingfisher, white-winged swamp warbler, and hairy-breasted barbet. Nubian woodpecker, African fish-eagle, white-headed barbet, grey-crowned cranes, long-tailed cisticola, emerald spotted wood-dove, white-winged tit, brown parrot, African finfoot, Ross’s turaco among others are some of the birds that you’ll see.
This is an exciting activity that gives you a chance to explore the park on foot. This is done with the company of an armed park ranger and an experienced park guide. During the guided nature walk you will follow different trails such as trails to the salt lick where you will encounter animals that come to lick the salt, trails to Kazuma Hill where you will have a panoramic view of the park and lakes around the park, trails to Rubanga forest where you will view a variety of bird species among others. During the guided nature walks you will be able to get up close and personal with wildlife species including buffaloes, zebras, waterbucks, warthogs, hippos, different bird species, and colorful butterflies, and listen to sweet sounds of bird species, enjoy the cool breeze among others.
Sport fishing is another tourism activity carried out at Lake Mburo National Park. Sportfishing in the park is carried out in areas of Mazinga. The visitors who want to take part in the activity must first obtain a sport fishing permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Also, they carry their fishing equipment. During sport fishing activity, the park will give you an experienced guide. The guide will help you 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.
Horseback riding is an adventurous activity in Lake Mburo National Park. It allows you to view and interact with different animals on a horse. During the horseback safari, you will ride across the savannah plains. You will get a chance to view animals like buffaloes, zebras, topis, and warthogs. Others include bushbucks, waterbucks, elands, impalas, duikers, variety of bird species among others.
Cycling is an interesting and adventurous activity in Lake Mburo National Park where visitors get to explore the park on bicycles. Park rangers guide the Bicycle rides in the park to protect you from dangerous animals. During the cycling activity, you will follow cycling routes. They go through open plains of savannah grasslands, swampy valleys, and forested hills. You will get a close encounter with animals like zebras, giraffes, waterbucks, warthogs, impalas, elands, different bird species, and vegetation types among others.
You can visit Lake Mburo National Park anytime throughout the year. However, the best time is during the dry season/peak season in June to September and December to February. During the dry season, there is little rainfall in the national park therefore vegetation will be thin. Animals will gather around the water bodies to drink water which allows you to view large concentrations of animals and take beautiful pictures.
Lake Mburo National Park is located in western Uganda and can be accessed by both road and air transport means. When using road transport you will drive from Kampala via Masaka-Mbarara road to the park headquarters. It takes about 4 to 5 hours to drive in a 4WD safari vehicle.
You can also access Lake Mburo National Park by air transport means. You can book scheduled or charter flights from Entebbe International Airport or Kajanssi Airfield to Mbarara Airstrip and then connect to Lake Mburo National Park.