Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is an IUCN category II national park found in the western region of Uganda in Kiruhura district. Lake Mburo National Park lieing in the rain shadow of Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains is a very special destination situated between Masaka and Mbarara districts covering the area of 370 square kilometers. Lake Mburo national park is considered the smallest savannah national park in Uganda which is administered and operated by Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Lake Mburo national park is made up of over 500 million years old ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks with 20 percent of its area covered by wetlands. The area is made up of 14 lakes which form a 50 kilometers long wetland system which is liked by swamps with only 5 lakes found with in the park (these lakes contribute 20% of unique lakes found in western Uganda). Lake Mburo as a park was once covered by open short savannah vegetation but due to lack of elephants to tame the growing vegetation the park is now majorly dominated by woodland vegetation. The park is composed of rocky outcrops, dry hills, open wooded savannah, bush thickets, rich acacia trees, grasslands, acacia-dotted savannah of Olea and Boscia, seasonal and permanent swamps

The topology of Lake Mburo is made up of Lake Mburo national park in western region of the park is characterized of high hills, rocky eroded ridges and deep valleys which accommodates unique forests, the eastern region is characterized of rolling wooded hills which are intersected by wild, flat bottomed valleys and during rainy season the valleys get drained into swamps and lakes. The south east part of the western sector of Lake Mburo national park is crossed by river Ruizi and generally the park is associated with wetlands.  

Lake Mburo national park is one of the national parks in Uganda which are close to the capital city of Uganda Kampala. The park is the best place to spot leopards which makes it a prominent tourist destination. Lake Mburo is associated with conducive climatic conditions which favor tourist activities and thriving of the wildlife. The park lies in the rain shadow and near the equator which influences long rain fall seasons which takes place in the months of March to June with average annual rainfall of 800 mm. Lake Mburo national park also receives short rain season in the months of September to December, though these months are known to be receiving rainfall it is better to note that rain in lake Mburo is unpredictable which will require you as a tourist to carry rain gears like a raincoat and waterproof jackets. Generally, Lake Mburo national park is a warm but not so hot, it is slightly hot during days and colder in the nights with a recorded average temperature ranges of 14° C to 32° C.

Note: July and August are the hottest months and months of April and March receive too much rainfall.

Lake Mburo national park is breath taking Uganda tourist destination and the best place to see klipspringers and the only place where you get to spot impalas, elands, largest zebra population in Uganda which is approximately 5000 in number and concertation of leopards which are found nowhere in Uganda. Lake Mburo national park also shelters wildlife species such as waterbuck, topi, warthog, bushbuck, reedbuck, Oribi, vervet monkey, baboon, several types of mongoose, rarely seen bush pig and hyenas. There is also 15 endangered Rothschild’s giraffe which was introduced in July 2015, and Lake Mburo national park is a bird haven which over 315 different species of birds including the rare shoebill stork, papyrus yellow warbler, African finfoot, saddle billed stork, brown chested Wattled plover, carruther’s among others.

Apart from wildlife and landscape, Lake Mburo national park has a rich historical Ankole tale which adds to its beauty, this Ankole myth states that two brothers named kigarama and Mburo used to live in the valley as their home. At one incident kigarama had a dream at night and because of the dream he made up his mind and told his brother to move and relocate to another place, this was ignored by his brother Mburo who chose to stay while kigarama moved up into the hill. Days, after the valley got down flooded with water forming a lake which drowned Mburo, because of this incident the lake was named Mburo and the hills, were called kigarama. 

Activities in Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo national park offers memorable safari experiences through numerous breath taking activities such as 

Birding: For bird Lovers Lake Mburo national park is the perfect national park to offer you the best birding experience, Lake Mburo national park is a home to over 315 recorded water birds, forest and land bird species such as Malachite Kingfishers, Pied Kingfishers, African Fish Eagles, Rufous Long-tailed Starlings, Blue-headed Weavers, Green-necked Doves, Hammerkops, Pelicans, Herons which are seen while on game drives and guided nature walks.

Cultural experience: Cultural experience in Lake Mburo national park takes place outside the park in Igongo cultural center. This cultural center is located 4 kilometers for saga main gate of Lake Mburo national park, the center showcases different historical and culture of banyakitara people, Banyankole, batooro, bakiga and. Among the cultural items showcased there is the Ankole cow which was regarded as the king and queen to the western people. The center also has a museum and restaurants where you will get to eat local food. 

Nature guided walks

Guided nature walks in Lake Mburo national park take place in the open valleys of the park, this safari activity offers the best way of enjoying the beautiful landscape filled with rolling hills and nature of the park and since the park shelters no elephants and lions in the park this makes the park more ideal and secure for nature walk safaris.  

Fishing sports: Fishing sports in Lake Mburo national park take place in the five beautiful lakes with the park, inn these lakes many fish species such as the six types of tilapias are caught, fishing sports are more enjoyable during the evening time after the hectic game drives and nature walks and are done as a way of relaxing. 

Game drives: Lake Mburo national park is ranked one of the top tourist destination offering best game drive safaris in Uganda and East Africa, Lake Mburo as a park is covered with short savannah vegetation with many trails which facilitate easy navigation through the park and offering perfect spot for viewing the wildlife. On game drives you encounter many wildlife with in the park such as leopards, a large population of zebras, warthogs as they gather at lake shores to drink water and also many bird species such as cisticola, tabora cisticola, great snipe, Abyssinian ground hornbill, African fish eagle, saddle-billed stork and white winged. In Lake Mburo two types of game drives are offered that is day and night game drives which are charged differently, night game drives are the more amazing of the two as you get to spot nocturnal animals like leopards, Hyena, genet, bush pigs and white tailed mongoose as you drive through the open valleys.

Horseback rides: Horseback riding safari is one eco-friendly ways of touring the national park, this tour lasts 1- 3 hours on a back of a horse. This is the best way of viewing the animals as you get to come up close to the animals and rolling hills. Horseback riding is operated by Mihingo lodges.

Boat rides: Boat rides in Lake Mburo national park take place on the five lakes found in the park, on the cruise you come into contact with water flora and fauna, you get to encounter animals like antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, otters while enjoying the view of rolling hills. You can also view many bird species such as African Fish eagles, blue-headed weavers, Rufous long-tailed starlings, the pied kingfishers, Hammerkops, Herons, pelican and more interesting of all is the rare shoe bill.

Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park

To add on to your Lake Mburo safari you can also visit the equator.

Lake Mburo national park is about 3.5 hours’ drive from Kampala road, making it the closest national park to Kampala and while on a safari in Lake Mburo you can get accommodation from eagle’s nest camp Mburo, hotel triangle Mbarara, palace hotel, pelican hotel and many more.

Current prices are:

ACTIVITY  Foreign non- residents($) Foreign residents ($) EAC (UGX)
Park entrance               40 30 20,000
  Game Drive 

  • night 
  • day 
3020 3020 50,00020,000
Nature walk               30 15 10,000
Cycling                30 30 30,000
Boat ride 

  • Small boat
  • Big boat 
             20             30 2030 20,00030,000


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