Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem, located conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. It is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks and underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years. It’s a home to 350 bird species as well as zebras, impalas, elands, buffalos, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck.
Together with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 50km-long wetland system linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park’s borders. Once covered by open savanna, this supports the healthy population of Buffalos, Wathhog ,bushpig and hippopotamus. Lake Mburo National Park now contains much woodland as there are no elephants to tame the vegetation. In the western part of the park, the savanna is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges while patches of papyrus swamp and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland line many lakes.
Lake Mburo is notably blessed with over 315 bird species and probably the best place to view acacia-associated birds, Rwonyo is a good zone to see the mosque swallow, blackbellied bustard,bare-faced-go away bird and Ruppell’s starling. A handful of birds is recorded essentially the southern ground hornbill and black throated barbet.
Although it covers less than half of its original area, it more than makes up for that with a stunning variety of animal and birdlife. On your game drive trips in Lake Mburo Park, you’ll have a chance to see various species of grazers, including reedbucks, topi, Defassa waterbuck, oribi, buffalos, elands, impalas, zebras, giraffes and many more. The park is, in fact, the only place in Uganda where you’ll see impalas.
Birdwatching enthusiasts will enjoy spotting some of the over 350 species that thrive here, including 22 migrating birds. On your birding tour in Uganda with AfricanMecca, you will also have the opportunity to view the rare shoebill stork, red-faced barbet, and African finfoot. The lakes thrive with rare cichlids, along with aquatic birds, crocodiles, and hippos. Primates such as vervet monkeys and galagos can be seen too.
Lake Mburo is a transition point, where the raging waters of the Victoria Nile, after thundering over 80 kilometers (50 miles) of rapids, transform into the calm, lazily flowing Albert Nile. The waters gush powerfully through a compressed, 7-meter (23 feet) wide gorge and throw up a mist that spreads across a 50-meter (164 feet) radius. It creates a fabulous rainbow that dances over the falls – and presents a lovely scenic photo safari opportunity. Next to Lake Mburo is the tamer Uhuru Falls, which first came into being in 1962 when the river overflowed its banks and cut a new channel.
Lake Mburo National Park covers an area of 370 square kilometers (143 square miles) and, though small, has a variety of habitats and biomes. Along with the region’s 13 lakes, 5 of which are included within the borders of the park, there are extensive swamps that support a rich wetland ecosystem with an array of wildlife. Savannah grasslands, copses of acacia and commiphora, riparian forests, and papyrus marshes provide a haven for a wide range of herbivores, a few carnivores, and avian life. A family safari vacation in Uganda will offer a chance to indulge in many adventure activities at Lake Mburo, some are suitable for parents with young children.
You can go on fauna viewings on walking safaris, which also offer the opportunity to get a closer look at insects, amphibians, reptiles, and other smaller creatures you wouldn’t notice on a typical game drive. Nonetheless, the classic game drives offer a chance to see some of the 68 species of mammals present in the park, including grazing herbivores like warthog, reedbuck, topi, Defassa waterbuck, oribi, duiker, buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, and many more. Although common in other parts of the continent, this is the only region in Uganda to find impalas. You will also find the eland and Burchell’s zebra, viewable only in Lake Mburo and Kidepo.
Predators prowling the park include hyenas, genets, and leopards; lions have recently been seen again in the park after a long absence. Avid bird watchers vacationing in Lake Mburo Park are thrilled to be able to spot about 350 species here, including 22 migratory species that arrive from Palaearctic and Afrotropical regions. The lakes abound with around 300 hippos and many crocodiles. Spend time boating on the lakes and you will surely come across various aquatic birds. Fishing is another activity available to tourists.
Horseback riding safaris, mountain biking, wild running are the unique adventure activities to do here at Lake Mburu. Spend some time in a hide close to a watering hole and salt lick to watch the animals visit to drink and lick the saline soil.
Lake Mburo National Park lies in a rain shadow between Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains, and receives an average of 800 mm of rain a year. Being near the equator, the rainfall pattern is bimodal, with the long rains occurring from March to June, and the short rains from September to December.
The rains are rather erratic and unpredictable, but most rain tends to fall in April and November. The best time to visit the park is actually the beginning of the rainy season in March or September. The average recorded temperature is 26° C with daily variations ranging from 14° C to 32° C. July and August are the hottest months, but December and January can also be very hot.
In the evenings or on a rainy day it can get quite chilly no matter which time of the year it is and on a sunny day it will always be hot and feel even hotter in the rainy season because of the increased humidity. Generally Lake Mburo has nearly the perfect climate with warm, but not over hot days and slightly colder nights.