LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
Lake Mburo National park is amazingly the closest national park to Kampala, it also doubles as the smallest national park. Situated between Masaka and Mbarara district taking approximately 4 hours’ drive time to arrive. The park covers an area of 370km² including the lakes (5 lakes). Lake Mburo is endowed with several wildlife species to mention recently translocated giraffes, buffaloes, elands, waters bucks, antelopes, zebras, oribis, topis, warthogs as you take a boat cruise on lake Mburo you will be in position to observe, hippos and crocodiles. In addition, the park also is home a wide a ray of birds amounting to 350 species some which include water birds, forest and savanna birds. Lake Mburo national park has got thrilling activities that keep its visitors always on the desire for more. Some of the most common tourism activities at Lake Mburo include; Game drive in the park, boat cruise on Lake Mburo, birding/ bird watching, Nature walks, the unique horse riding to view wildlife, fishing, cultural tours and cycling among others. Park Can be accessed in two gates, namely Sanga gate accessible when one is driving from Kampala side and Nshara gate accessible when one is coming from Mbarara side
Activities & Attractions at lake Mburo National park
Another rewarding activity one ought to look for, when they are in Lake Mburo national park is a boat cruise. The cruise on the lake equally guarantees one a view of the amazing flora and founa at the national park alongside wildlife such as crocodiles, hippos and bird species such as African fish eagles, pelican, king fishers, herons, cormorants, rare shoe bills and hammer kobs. It’s also realized that during the dry seasons, some wildlife also is frequent habitants o the water areas some of which include buffaloes and antelopes
Birding safaris / bird watching at Lake Mburo. Birding has increasingly become an attraction at lake Mburo national park. With the huge bird species that frequently storm the park, birding clearly keeps on growing, some of the most distinct bird viewing points are salt licks area, Rwonyo camp, lubanga forest, swampy valleys of Mariti and at the road sides. Some of the most notable bird species viewed at Lake Mburo national park include; coqui Francolin, emerald spotted wood, rufous bellied heron, crowned cranes, bare faced go away birds,ross turaco, white headed barbet, Nubian wood pecker, white parot, red-shouldered tit,black bellied bustard, yellow breasted apalis,long- tailed cisticola, king fisher, African fish eagles and so many more.
Another unique aspect of lake Mburo national park is the ability for one to carry out a game viewing exercise while riding a horse. The fascinating activity gives the park a distinction from the rest of the country’s national park as horse riding while viewing wildlife can only be done at lake Mburo National park. The activity is done at Mihingo lodge under the guidance of trained staff in conjunction with the park rangers. The horseback ride in Lake Mburo can take 1-3 hours as you explore the beauty of the national park savannah coupled by the view of the wild game. This experience is quit breathtaking imagine you seated on a horse moving into the savanna to watch wild game. Horseback riding can also be conducted in the overnight as you head to the savannah I the night, will be amazed by sounds of the wildlife and probably that of the horse you ride on .For overnight horse ride, accommodation is normally availed in form of tents. Note that the horse back experience is only sold by Mihingo lodge there by only participation while residing at Mihingo lodge
For any savannah African safari, its considered safari or a rewarding one until game drives are conducted. Its therefore by all means that game drives are the prime activity one can ever carry out while on a wildlife safari. Game drives guarantees one an amazing opportunity to see the parks constituents namely the bird and wildlife species. Game drives at lake Mburo are conducted by guides under close supervision of the UWA rangers who are designated to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Taking a guided nature walks at Lake Mburo national park is a highly welcome activity. The park is open to all visitors who intend to do guided nature walk and is usually conducted along with the ranger guide. From Rwonyo the park center, the guided walks take you to the salt lick presumably the candy place for numerous wildlife. At the salt licks, wildlife/ animals parade themselves to enjoy the taste of the salty licks made of up of water and soil. Another nature walk starts from 7:00am and runs for 2 hours, this takes place at the western part of Lake Mburo, guaranteeing you encounters with the hippos coming out of the waters as well as the hyenas returning to their dens. Another exciting walk is through the forest unearthing view of the birds that the forest accommodates, further walks woodland grants you opportunities to see other mammals and hikes to the hill exposes you view of the 9 sections topped up with the 14 lakes around the park
Fishing is yet another tourism activity carried at Lake Mburo national park. The lake is endowed with 6 fish species, with the most commonly caught species being tilapia. Other species include: cat fish, lung fish, tiger fish, Angara fish and barbell. The most common fishing spot at the Mburo is Mazinga, for those tourists interested I doing a fish safari have to carry their own equipment and as access permits from Uganda wildlife Authority