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Top 10 Best Reasons To Visit Lake Mburo National Park In Uganda
Some of the Top 10 best reasons to visit Lake Mburo National Park are; wildlife, breathtaking sunsets, boat cruises, horseback riding and the beautiful scenery i.e. photogenic landscape which is made up of savannah vegetation, forests, lakes, swamps and woodlands. The common catch phrase, “Size does not matter” is a real thing at this park. It is renowned for its diversified wildlife, picturesque landscapes, and and the presence of Lake Mburo, which is the park’s centerpiece.
Lake Mburo National Park is home to a wide variety of animal species, including zebras, impalas, buffaloes, topis, elands, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, and numerous species of antelope. The park provides the opportunity to observe these animals in their natural habitat, making it an ideal destination for those interested in wildlife.
With over 350 recorded bird species, Lake Mburo National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include acacia woodlands, savannahs, and wetlands, provide optimal habitats for numerous bird species, including the rare African finfoot, the shoebill stork, and numerous waterbirds.
Some of the Top 10 best reasons to visit Lake Mburo National Park are; wildlife, breathtaking sunset, the beautiful scenery, boat cruises, and horseback riding.
Where is Lake Mburo National Park found?
Located in the Western region at a surface area of just 260 square Km, Lake Mburo Park is the smallest National Park in Uganda. Her small size should not deceive you because she is fully stocked with all forms of wildlife ranging from Buffaloes, Zebras, Impala, Hyenas, several Bird species and so many different wild animals at your disposal.
Here are Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lake National Park;
1. Wildlife In Lake Mburo National Park
This park is home to more than 65 wildlife species such as buffalo, hyena, impala, warthog, zebras (these are actually unique and in Uganda can only be found at Lake Mburo National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park) to mention but a few. The park is perfect for walking safaris because it has no lions and elephants which would have made walking on foot a not-so-great idea after all.
2. Bird Watching In Lake Mburo National Park
The Lake Mburo National Park’s forests and bushes harbor more than 350 different bird species. Bird watching (birding) can be done during a game drive, boat ride and on guided nature walks(foot), this is mainly done along the swamps of Miriti and Warukiri.
The birds species in Lake Mburo National Park include kingfisher, red faced barbet, brown parrot, the African grey hornbill, barefaced go-way bird, black-billed barbet, blue-napped mousebird, common quails, crested francolin, emerald spotted wood Dove, greenwood hoopoe, and not forgetting to mention such other bird species such as;
Lilac-breasted Roller, Nubian woodpecker, Rednecked Spur, trilling cisticola, white-winged warbler and the rare Shoebill stork. While at the Rwonyo camp, birders can spot 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.
As if that is not beautiful enough, the rare white backed heron, African Fin foot and Shoebill Stork can also be found in Lake Mburo National Park.
Please dont forget to carry a camera with you so that you can take beautiful pictures to share with your friends and family back home.
3. Game Drives In Lake Mburo National Park
Even though she is the smallest Savannah Park in Uganda, the variety of wildlife found at this park will blow your mind away. The giraffe, buffalo, zebras and several bird species are all at your disposal, you can participate in game drives to capture nice pictures and to see the animals and birds as they enjoy their natural habitats. There are no tour buses to take you on the game drives but you are free to use your own private means or you can call earlier and a vehicle will be hired to take you around.
You can also enjoy night time game drives; tourists who are interested in nocturnal wildlife can enjoy watching animals like white tailed mongoose, leopards and simply experience night life in the wild.
4. Accessibility and Location of Lake Mburo National Park
Found in Mbarara district, Lake Mburo National Park is the closest park to Kampala. It is just 3.5 hours away when traveling by bus and about 30 minutes when on a plane from Entebbe International Airport. If this is not the best news for an excited tourist wanting to reach his or her destination in a short time, then I do not know what is.
Lake Mburo National Park is comparatively accessible, particularly for those coming from Kampala or neighboring cities. Due to its proximity to major cities and towns, it is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or a brief safari without requiring extensive travel.
5. Boat Cruises In Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo is a prominent feature of the park, and a boat safari provides the opportunity to explore its waters and observe wildlife from a unique vantage point. The lake’s shores are home to hippos, crocodiles, waterfowl, and other creatures, making for a memorable and tranquil experience.
Boat Safaris on Lake Mburo makes the park to outshine others. As a tourist you are assured of enjoying the refreshing lake breeze while at the same time capturing the beautiful flora together with the water dwelling animals such as hippos and crocodiles.
Several bird species like the herons, pelicans and king fisher can also be spotted when cruising since they are also partly water dwellers.
When the temperatures are high, buffaloes and impala can also be spotted when they come near the lake shore to cool off and take some water.
6. Horseback Riding Safaris In Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is the only park that offers horseback riding safaris in Uganda. This unique activity is done at Mihingo lodge with the guidance of trained personnel handling the horses and game rangers conducting the tour, this enables you to enjoy game viewing while sitting on the back of a horse. This activity usually takes between 1 to 3 hours and it sure does sound like so much fun!
7. Fishing In Lake Mburo National Park
All fishing related activities at the park, are done at Lake Mburo because she is filled to the brim with over 6 different fish species such as; cat fish, tilapia, lung fish, barbell and others. Tilapia is the most common hence most fished. To fish here, one has to come with his/her own fishing gear and most importantly must get permission from Uganda Wildlife Authority. Mazinga is the most used spot when fishing on Lake Mburo.
8. Biking Safaris In Lake Mburo National Park
This is a unique way to tour around the park. You will be actively involved as you stretch your legs and sketch your way around the park while riding a bicycle. The nature of the terrain makes cycling a bit more intense but all the more fun since you are guaranteed of seeing buffaloes, zebras, antelopes and all your favorite wild animals. Biking tours and safaris are all guided by well-trained Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers because they are well conversant of the specific trails and the whole area at large. The adrenaline rush will leave you refreshed.
9. Walking Safaris In Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is famous for its walking safaris, which permit visitors to explore the park on foot with an armed ranger. This unique experience provides a more intimate encounter with nature, allowing you to appreciate the smaller details, trace animal footprints, and learn from knowledgeable guides about the park’s ecosystem.
The park has Rubanga forest which is also a major tourist attraction. Travelers enjoy taking slow relaxing walks through the forest as they capture beautiful pictures of birds, smaller animals and beautiful wild plants and trees.
10. Community Walks And Cultural Encounters
Lake Mburo National Park is encircled by communities with a significant cultural heritage. Local communities can provide opportunities to learn about their traditions, interact with local artisans, experience traditional dances, and even visit adjacent homesteads to gain insight into rural life in Uganda.
The Bahima people make up the majority of the population around the park. Together with local authority, tourists are welcome to at least one of the traditional homesteads to see and learn more about the preserved Bahima culture and way of living. This has in turn enabled tourists at the park to have a typical African experience.
11. Scenic Landscape Of Lake Mburo National Park
The park’s topography is spectacular, with rolling hills, open savannahs, grassy valleys, and the stunning Lake Mburo itself. The magnificent scenery allows tourists to soak in the beauty of nature, capture stunning photographs, and relax in the peace and quiet of the surroundings.
The general appearance of Lake Mburo National Park made up of seasonal swamps, Savannah vegetation, forests, hills, valleys and many other features will have you running so fast to book a tour. All those features combine to make the park a master piece work of nature. And to top it all up, seeing the wild animals running and hopping around while the birds chirp and fly all over the place truly brings satisfaction to the lovers of nature.
Where To Sleep | Accommodation In Lake Mburo National Park
The park and surrounding areas offer the best accommodation for all genres of tourists. This is classified in three different types as discussed below.
a) Luxury Accommodation;
This caters for high maintenance tourists who love to reside in total comfort and luxury while on their Safari. Examples include; Mihing lodge, Hyena Hill Lodge, Pinnacle Hotel and Nyore Hillside Retreat.
b) Mid-Range Accommodation;
This offers very good accommodation for tourists who do not want to be extravagant but still want to stay in a beautiful place. These include; Grand Holiday International Hotel, Rhino Motel and Meliva Guest House amongst others.
c) Budget Accommodation;
This is for tourists who are within a budget and do not want to spend a lot on accommodation. There are several low budget accommodation places such as; Leopard Rest Lodge, Arcadia Cottages and Lake Lyantonde Eco Campsite alongside several others
Regardless of the accommodation of your choice, please endeavor to book for a placement at least one month before you travel, this will ensure that nobody else takes up your room. Often at times abrupt bookings can find the lodges and hotels fully booked hence getting disappointed.
How To Get To Lake Mburo National Park
Depending on your starting place, you have a few alternatives for getting to Lake Mburo National Park. The following are the most typical routes to the park:
By Road: Lake Mburo National Park is roughly 240 kilometers (150 miles) from Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. The trek takes about 3-4 hours. You can arrange transportation by hiring a private vehicle, taking a cab, or using a tour operator. The major route follows the Masaka-Mbarara highway (Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara road), with a turnoff at Sanga Trading Centre leading to the park entrance.
By Air: For a faster and more convenient option, take a domestic flight to Mbarara Airport or Kihihi Airstrip, which are the closest airports to Lake Mburo National Park. You can then arrange ground transportation to the park.
If you are comfortable utilizing public transportation, you can take a bus or minibus (matatu) from Kampala to Mbarara town. You may reach Lake Mburo National Park by taxi or boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) from Mbarara. It’s worth noting that public transit may not take you straight to the park’s entrance, so you may need to arrange for additional transportation from town to the park.
It is recommended that you plan your trip ahead of time and make all necessary transportation and lodging arrangements. It’s also a good idea to check road conditions, especially during the rainy season, and think about renting a 4×4 vehicle to get a better view of the park.
When To Visit Lake Mburo National Park
Thank goodness the park is open to tourists throughout the year, but like all other safaris, it is best to visit during the dry season i.e., December to February and June to September. Ample sunshine will make the boat cruising and Game drives and walks easier and more fun. The best time to visit lake mburo is dry season
Lake Mburo Weather and Climate
Lake Mburo National Park experiences a mild climate. Daily temperatures are around 27°C/81°F, with nightly temperatures of 14°C/57°F on average.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Lake Mburo famous for? It is known for its diverse wildlife, scenic landscapes, and the presence of Lake Mburo, which is the park’s centerpiece.
- What are the objectives of Lake Mburo National Park? The primary objective was to protect the area’s rich fauna and habitats. The park was created to safeguard Lake Mburo and its unique fauna and flora, as well as to promote tourism, research, and environmental education.
- What is the history of Lake Mburo? In the late nineteenth century, Lake Mburo and its surrounding territory became part of the British protectorate of Uganda. European settlers used the region for ranching and farming during the colonial era. Local communities suffered considerable changes in land ownership and hardships as colonial policies altered their customary way of life.
It was established in 1983, Lake Mburo and its surrounding ecosystem were gazetted as a national park.
- How big is Lake Mburo National Park? Lake Mburo National Park covers an area of approximately 370 square kilometers (140 square miles). It is one of the smaller national parks in Uganda but offers a diverse range of wildlife and landscapes within its boundaries. The park’s size allows for relatively easy exploration and accessibility, making it an attractive destination for visitors seeking a compact and immersive wildlife experience.
- Which district is Lake Mburo in? Lake Mburo National Park located in Nyabushozi County, Kiruhura District, close to Mbarara. Mbarara District is one of the districts of Uganda’s Ankole sub-region and acts as a main transit point for visitors to the park. The area is around 240 kilometers (150 miles) by car from Kampala, the capital city.
- What other names does Lake Mburo have? Lake Mburo is also known as Whispers in the Wind.
- How many lakes are in Lake Mburo National Park? Lake Mburo National Park is named after Lake Mburo, the park’s largest and most visible lake. However, the park is home to several other smaller lakes and water bodies. In addition to Lake Mburo, there are at least five other lakes found within the boundaries of Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Bwa, Lake Kazuma, Lake Kigambira, Lake Nakivali, and Lake Kijanebalola are among them. These lakes and bodies of water contribute to the park’s distinct ecosystem and provide home for a wide range of wildlife and bird species.
- What activities is at Lake Mburo National Park? Some of the activities are; game drives, bird watching, boat safaris, horseback riding, walking safaris, cultural interactions and so many others.
How much is the entrance fee for Lake Mburo National Park?
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the entrance fees for Lake Mburo National Park were as follows:
- Foreign Non-residents:
- Adult: USD 40 per person per 24 hours
- Child (5-15 years): USD 20 per child per 24 hours
- Foreign Residents in Uganda:
- Adult: UGX 30,000 per person per 24 hours
- Child (5-15 years): UGX 10,000 per child per 24 hours
- East African Citizens:
- Adult: UGX 20,000 per person per 24 hours
- Child (5-15 years): UGX 5,000 per child per 24 hours
Please note that these entrance fees are subject to change, and it’s always advisable to check with the official Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information regarding fees, permits, and any additional requirements before planning your visit to Lake Mburo National Park.
- Foreign Non-residents:
In conclusion, this blog is the travel guide to lake Mburo and we have also mentioned you can book your safari in lake mburo national park with Kubwa Five Safaris. They are an awesome crew of friendly, professional and well trained tour guides who will take you through the park as you make and capture beautiful memories that will last you a life time.
You will wish you could stay for good.