Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park Safaris

by | Jul 17, 2023 | 0 comments

Lake Mburo National Park.

On stepping in the African jungle, surrounded by 14 lakes fed by one river Rwizi brings a nature walks free from predators, green rolling hills with spectacular wildlife views and every tourist’s dream travel destination that leaves thrilling unforgettable experiences.
Lake Mburo National Park is a small savanna park covering 260 sq. km and located in Nyabushozi county, Kiruhura district in western region of Uganda about 30km eat of Mbarara and the closest park both to Kampala and Entebbe

The Origin of Lake Mburo National PARK

The origin of this park started with a story of two brothers known as Mburo and Kigarama who lived in the low-lying savanna plains hence making the area traditionally known as Kaaro Karungi.

One-night Kigarama dreamt that they were to receive substantial amount of rain fall which could cause flooding and destroyed their property.

Kigarama told the dream to his brother but Mburo took it for granted, in the African society, dreams were respected, Kigarama decided to leave the area and went in the overlooking hills leaving the brother behind, finally the dream came true and the area was attacked by the rain that caused flooding and drowning of Mburo with his property, thus the name lake Mburo and the hills named after his brother.

History of lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo was originally gazetted in 1933 as a controlled hunting area and upgraded to a game reserve in 1963.
The region was dominantly settled by Banyankole Bahima Pastoralists who traditionally herd Ankole Long horned Cattle and still do.

The residents continued to graze their cattle in the reserve, a situation decried by western Conservationists, who termed them “invaders” in 1981, but were expelled from their lands after it was upgraded to national park status in 1983, as hoped for by some in the West.

The Obote government’s upgrade decision was intended, in part, to weaken the Banyankole, who supported anti-Obote rebels. It came at the time of the Operation Bonanza massacre of 300,000 people during the Ugandan Bush War.

As the evicted pastoralists were not compensated for lost grazing land or assisted with resettling, many remained hostile to the upgrade. The rangeland outside the park was subsequently subdivided into small ranges and subsistence farming plots.

In 1985, the second Obote regime fell, and the previous residents of Lake Mburo re-occupied the park’s land, expelling park staff, destroying infrastructure, and killing wildlife.

Less than half of the park’s original land area was eventually re-gazetted by the NRM government in 1986.
Within the park there are still culturally significant locations, such as Rubanga, where sacrifices were once made to the gods, Ruroko is where the semi-mythical Bachwezi lived, and Kigarama was ‘where the pages (servants) of the king used to stay.

 

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Attractions in Lake Mburo National Park.

Wildlife.

Lake Mburo National Park is well known for Impalas though it has vast population of wildlife ranging from zebras, eland, buffalo, oribi, Deffasa water buck, leopard, hyena, hippos, giraffes, warthogs, among others.

This park has a medley of bird species including the famous shoebill stork, African fin foot Pelican, heron, grey crowned crane among others.

Cultural Tours.

Lake Mburo National Park is located in the Ankole Sub region which is well known for the Ankole Long Horned Cattle rearing and Cultivators.

The Saga gate of Lake Mburo is 4km away from Igongo Cultural Centre, a historical site that is inhabited by the Banyakitara who include the Bakiga, Banyankole, Batooro and Banyoro.

The Centre is a cultural Museum that is locally known as Erijukiro. At Igongo cultural center you encounter the most thrilling Ankole culture, dressing, food, Ankole long horned cows among others.

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Activities to do in Lake Mburo National Park.

Game drives

A game drive in Lake Mburo National Park takes you through the lush savanna grassland for you to look out wildlife species such as the Burchell’s Zebras, giraffes, leopards, lions, buffaloes, elands, impalas as well as bird species. You can decide to embark on this activity in the morning or in afternoon.

Boat ride

This is remarkably one of the most thrilling water sports that are offered in Uganda.

It takes you along the scenic Lake Mburo which comes with clear views over huge concentration of hippos, crocodiles, water bird as well as antelopes, buffaloes and other wildlife species that come roaming around shores of the lake.

The birds to identify while on a boat ride include malachite kingfishers, African Fish eagles, blue headed weavers, Rufous long tailed starlings, the pied kingfishers, Hammer kop, Herons, pelicans, the rare shoebill and cormorants.

Birding.

Listening to the stunning sounds of birds is quite amazing that tourists must encounter while in Lake Mburo national Park.

Birding tour in this particular park gets you the best sights at the Coqui Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood, Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Brown-chested Lapwing, Grey Crowned Crane, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Red-faced Barbet a mention but a few.

The notable habitats for you to do bird watching in this park include the swampy valleys of Miriti and the Warukiri as well as the roadsides between Rwonyo camp and jetty.

The other is Rubanga forest that is accessible using car or alternatively, you take a walk and be rewarded with incredible sight at the red-faced Barbet.

Cultural encounters.

The cultural tours to Lake Mburo national park are the most thrilling experiences one must visit.

The locals engage in rearing the famous Ankole long horned cattle, hand milking and how they process milk and yoghurt, their local food like Enshabwe from Milk and how they grind millet to make Caro,

They also engage in craft making and basket weaving, their traditional dances and songs are magnificent to listen and will bring you unforgettable memories and cultural satisfaction to guests.

Hiking and Nature walks

Equally, nature lovers are never left out when it comes to safaris in this park. Nature walks are ideal in Rwonyo where a guided walk takes you to the salt lick for you to enjoy views of many wildlife that confine around the salty rocks.

The walks on the western side of this lake normally start in the morning and take you about 2 hours.

A nature walk around this area offers you a chance to meet many animals including the hyenas that are returning to their dens as well as the hippos coming from the lake as well as breathtaking views over the scenic lakes.

Sport fishing

For more challenging water sports, sport fishing in Lake Mburo National Park waits for you.
Lake Mburo features 6 fish species, and they include Tilapia, lung fish, mud fish as well as the Haplochromes.
By using the hooks, the visitors spend some of their time doing the fishing, then after enjoying the delicious fish of the lake.

Horseback riding

Horse riding around the park gives the best of clear views over diverse wildlife including elands, Impalas, Giraffe, buffaloes and beautiful birds that make you feel different every moment.

As well, you can catch a glimpse at warthog, topis, impala, duiker, bushbuck, waterbuck and zebras.

The four-hour hacks take visitors up to hilltop viewpoints with the option of bush breakfasts or sun downers. This activity is arranged at Mihingo Lodge.

Accommodations in Lake Mburo National Park.

The park has got most affordable accommodations that are spacious and provide the epitome of comfort. They range from luxury, mid-range and budget lodges.

Among the budget lodges is Rwonyo rest camp and Eagles Nest lodge.

Then midrange lodges include Rwakobo rock lodge, Mantana tented camp and Arcadia lodges.

The luxurious lodges include Muhingo lodge and Lake Mburo safari lodge.

Chobe

How to get to Lake Mburo National Park.

Lake Mburo National Park is one the nearest parks to the capital city Kampala.

The most common route is by road transport where one can drive from Entebbe to Lake Mburo in a period of 4 hours and 30 minutes distance of 290 km.

By Air, one can opt to fly from Entebbe or Kajjansi to Nyakisharara Air Strip in Mbarara in less than an hour which is the Easiest and quick means of transport.

In Conclusion

Lake Mburo National Park is the most stunning destination for wildlife activities like horse riding, game drives, hiking and nature walks that provide magnificent views of impalas, giraffes, buffaloes and possibly bring lifetime memories to narrate to your kindred.

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About the Author

Tony Kizito

Tony is an enthusiastic and self-motivated tour Consultant with over 5 years in delivering professional tailor-made Trips across East Africa. I am keen to offer strong attention to detail, understand the travelers' needs and then craft unforgettable African safari experience.

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