Located southwest of Uganda, Lake Mburo gets its name from a lake Mburo which is located within its borders stretching within the districts of Kiruhura and Insingiro covering 260 Km, 20% of its surface comprising of wetland including Lake Mburo its self other lake are Kijanebalola, Nakivali and Kachera.
The Park was first gazetted in 1933 as a controlled hunting area and was later upgraded to a game reserve in 1963 but the neighboring communities of the Banyankole bahima continued grazing their cattle in the reserve until it was officially turned into a national park in 1983
Vegetation in the park
The park comprises of a savannah type of vegetation characterized with Acacia and Euphorbia trees dotting the entire park ares with some taller mixed woodland and rocky ridges.The swamps are filled with papyrus bordering the lake. Lake Mburo national park is known for her diverse birdlife living around the lake and swaps in the area hence making the park a hub for excellent birding tours.The park boosts 350 bird species,and wildlife that can be spotted in the park include large herds of Eland, Bushbucks, Buffaloes, Zebras, Eland, Topi and Impalas. Impalas are only seen in Lake Mburo national park only. Other wildlife seen on your boat drive include Hippos, Waterbucks and many other smaller animals.
Getting there and away:
Situated between Masaka and Mbarara in Western Uganda.The park is bounded to the north by the main Kampala-Mbarara road. From Kampala it is 230km (4 hours) to the Park headquarters and rest camp at Rwonyo. The left turn to the Park is signposted at 211km from Kampala. You will enter the park through Nshara gate.
From Mbarara it is 47km to the Park Headquarters. The right turn to the park is at Sanga. The park gate is at Rweshebeshebe, 12km from Sanga. A 4-wheeled drive is recommended where you will arrive at Sanga gate.
Access by public transport would mean alighting a public bus bound from Kampala or Mbarara at Sanga. Here transport to the main gate is limited and may mean a considerable wait.
Best time to Visit:
Lake Mburo National Park lies in a rain shadow between Lake Victoria and the Ruwenzori Mountains, an average of only 800mm of rain a year falls per year. The long rains occurring from February to June, and the short rains from September to December. Most rain tends to fall in April and November. July and August are the hottest months.
Much of the land area of the park is acacia tree savannah. The park is home to the largest diversity of both plant and wildlife of all Uganda’s national parks. The park is home to herds of Impala, as well as the more uncommon Topi, Eland, and Klipspringer. Burchells Zebra and buffalo also graze these areas. Hippo is very common in the lake where they may be observed from several vantages along the Lakeside Track.
Much of Lake Mburo is surrounded by giant sedge cyperus papyrus reeds. This is home to the Papyrus Gonolek. To see this bird consider organising a boat trip. Of 357 bird species recorded some of these include both water, acacia and savannah birds like crested crane, the very rare shoebill stork, marabou stork and bronze-tailed starling, bee eaters and even more exotic birds like Blue Naped Coucal, Bare-faced Go-Away Bird, Nubian Woodpecker and Swamp Flycatchers. Pennant Winged Night Jar is often seen during it’s migratory period at the Education Center campsite at dusk.
Activities in the park
Game drives in the rolling savannah, Boat rides along Lake Mburo, community walks, sport fishing, Forest walk in Rubanga which rewards you with a birding opportunity, and other adventure activities like horseback riding and quad biking.