This is one of Uganda’s smallest national parks, Lake Mburo National Park extend over 260km2 with an altitude range from 1220m-1828m above sea level. Lake Mburo National park is situated in the Ankole Sub-region in Mbarara district. It derives its name from one of its distinct feature Lake Mburo, one of the five lakes that lie within the park boundary and part of a cluster of 14 lakes that are fed by River Rwizi and connected by several permanent and seasonal swamps.
Before the area was gazetted, it was used as a
hunting ground for the Ankole people who would graze their livestock
from the area as well. It was gazetted in 1933 as a controlled hunting
ground and later upgraded to a game reserve in 1963. However, the Bahima
continued to graze their cattle from the area and in 1983 the area was
transformed into a National park by the government of Milton Obote.
Park mainly consists of open savannah and acacia woodlands, with some
more common trees being acacia hockii, acacia gerraddii, and acacia
sieberiana. The western part of the park is covered by savannah
interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges with patches of
papyrus swamp with narrow bands of riparian woodland lines on the verges
of the lakes.
Lake Mburo is an underrated gem of park, dominated
by the eponymous lake which is scenically reminiscent of the more
celebrated Lake Naivasha in the Kenyan rift valley. The park is by-
passed by the most of the travelers on safaris in Uganda
and other independent travelers, though it’s relatively accessible. It
presumably has low big five count, and in particular the lack of
elephants and lions. Despite the absence of such heavy weights, Lake
Mburo still offers some excellent game viewing opportunities for Uganda safari lovers as you are likely to see many Uganda wildlife species
over the course of the day. Lake Mburo is positioned strategically on a
break-up of a long drive between Kampala and national parks along the
country’s western border that is Mgahinga national park, Bwindi
impenetrable forest national park, Rwenzori Mountain national park and
Queen Elizabeth national park.
Lake Mburo harbors several species
that are not easily observed elsewhere in Uganda. Lake Mburo National
Park is the only reserve in the country that supports large populations
of impalas, from which the name Kampala Uganda’s capital city is derived
and one of only three protected areas country wide where the Burchell’s
zebra occurs, the other two being the far less accessible Kidepo and
pian upe game reserve. Other antelopes likely to be seen are topi, bush
back, common duiker, oribi and bohor reed buck. Two diurnal primates
occur in Lake Mburo national park and these are the vervet monkey and
the olive baboon.
Over 315 bird species have been recorded in the
park and it is one of the best places in Uganda to see the acacia
Whether you are a first time safari traveler or a seasonal African traveler, a Uganda safari
to this national park with its unique blend of savannah, creatures, and
its wealthy grassland and lake habitats are simply dazzling.