Lake Mburo National Park is about 240 kilometers from Kampala, Uganda’s capital and 30 kilometers from Mbarara, the biggest town in the western region.
This area was first gazzeted in 1933 as a hunting area but later upgraded into a game reserve in 1963. The Banyankore pastoralists commonly known as Bahima used part of the reserve’s land until 1983 when it was declared a National Park during the Obote regime.
The main reason for an upgrade of this reserve into a National Park was to punish the Banyankole who used to support the ant-Obote rebels. The evicted pastoralists became more frustrated and protested to refusal of compensation for their lost grazing land and help during resettlement.
The collapse of Obote 11 regime in 1985 paved way for evicted occupants to re-claim their land. They destroyed park infrastructures, killed animals and expelled the Park’s staff. This was a complete setback. The raise of the NRM government powered the restoration of this Park.
Lake Mburo National Park is now one of the best parks in Uganda. It consists of tropical rainforests, grasslands, rich acacia tree valleys and swamps.
It is small in size, but a unique place to get lost in Wildlife. It spoils visitors with variety of animal, and amazing sights of the Wilderness.
Over 68 species of mammals roam in the available 158 square miles of acacia-dotted savannah. The vast areas of wetlands inhabit different aquatic species.
Moreover, these habitats plays host to a total of 315 bird species including the rare shoebill stork, African fin foot and more.
Lake Mburo, the only lake in the Park is ideal for breathtaking views of Hippos wallowing, large crocodiles lurking on the shores and water bird species like fish eagle, pelican and more while on boat cruise.
How to get there
Being the closest Park for travelers from Kampala, this is a major stopover when heading to other Parks like Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
From Kampala or Entebbe, it takes about 3-4 hours for the drive. Time taken depends on speed used and stopovers included.
Driving from Kampala or Mbarara, you can access the Park by two gates including Sanga gate at Sanga trading center and Nshara gate. From these two gates, its two kilometers to Rwonyo, the location for park headquarters.
By Air – Currently there is no available scheduled domestic flights to the Park but on request private charters are arranged daily up to Mbarara airstrip. From there you transfer by an arranged car to the park.
Activities in the Park
Guided Nature Walks
Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best locations to be for a nature walk. The park offers guided nature walks through different trails.
Tourists are assigned armed park ranger guide and get close to nature on foot wandering through open and wooded savannah, rocky outcrops, thickets, bushes and more.
A boat cruise either afternoon or morning on Lake Mburo is one of the main highlights for a Safari to this protected area. It offers views of hippos, crocodiles, and Water bird species along with the towering landscapes.
Several options to explore Lake Mburo’s Wildlife abound but game driving seems exceptional and more rewarding. Most travelers particularly wildlife enthusiasts choose this Park because of its great display of large numbers of Impala, Burch ell’s Zebras and other animals.
Horse Back Riding
Horseback riding as an activity is available in Lake Mburo National Park. It is offered by Mihingo lodge. Besides game driving and nature walks, this is another exciting option to see the Wildlife in the Park.