Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda Safari to Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park`s nomenclature like most of other African areas cannot go without a legendary connotation.
The legends have it that the two brothers named Kigarama and Mburo settled in the area that is currently occupied by Lake Mburo grazing their long-horned cattle across the open savannah plains that thrive up to today.
One night, one of the brothers named Kigarama got a vision through a dream that the area where they were settling was likely to flood any time something that he did not take for granted.
In the morning, he shared it with his brother Mburo and told him about vacating the place. Mburo declined the advice but Kigarama went ahead and relocated to the adjacent hill.
In the subsequent days, the dream came true and the area flooded drowning Mburo and his belongings in the basin that the water occupied.
In return the lake was named after Mburo while the adjacent hill where Kigarama had settled in was named Kigarama.
These features still stand up to today which justifies the meaning of this legend which can be encountered while on safari in Uganda.
The rangelands of Lake Mburo National Park were traditionally grazing grounds for the Bahima pastoralists and the Omugabe of Ankole who cherished to open savannah rolling combretum for rearing their beautiful long horned cattle while Lake Mburo and the adjacent Lake Kachera were the main watering points that provided permanent water sources in this dry land of Nyabushozi.
Positioned in Nyabushozi county, Kiruhura District 240km from Kampala the Uganda’s capital city and 45km from Mbarara, the largest town in the sub region, Lake Mburo National Park covers 260km2 marked by expanse of open Savannah landscape though it has been heavily invaded by dense thicket due to absence of taming wildlife like elephants in the park.
The Park shares five lakes in the region with Lake Mburo fully located within its boundaries. The hills of the park are marked by protruding ancient Precambrian rocks that have existed in the area for over 500 million years ago with great cultural and legendary connotation to the traditions of the local inhabitants.
Lake Mburo National Park Uganda has got great counts of fauna including the Impala which is common site to the park during Uganda wildlife safaris.
The Park also has the highest zebra concentrations far from Kidepo and Pian Upe the only protected areas where Zebras thrive in Uganda.Besides that, it also has populations of buffaloes, topis, elands – the second largest antelope in the world after Roan antelope which also existed in the park but got extinct, defassa water buck, bush buck, reed-buck, Klipspringer and warthogs among others. The Park also contains predators like leopards, several cat, and spotted hyena among others. The waters of Lake Mburo support concentrations of Hippos. Besides animals, the park also has concentrations of birds. They count to 350 species including the rare Red-faced Barbet which is endemic to the park.
Attractions in Lake Mburo National Park
Wildlife as a Tourist Attraction in Lake Mburo National Park Uganda
Lake Mburo National Park has a range of wildlife with the capacity to attract travelers on safari in Uganda to visit the park.
Most of these species are savannah dwelling animals which makes it unique to other parks thus worth encountering.
The park has the Impala antelope species in the whole of Uganda and high concentrations of Zebra far from Kidepo and Pian Upe which are the only three protected areas in Uganda with Burchells’s Zebras.
Lake Mburo also contains populations of buffaloes, elands, defassa water buck, bushbuck, leopard, spotted hyena, oribi, reedbuck, warthog, Klipspringer among others which makes it attractive to Uganda safari undertakers.
Birds as a Tourist Attraction in Lake Mburo National Park Uganda
Lake Mburo National Park has 350 species of birds some of which are endemic like the rare Red-faced Barbet.
These bird counts offer ideal birding encounters in the park. The bird species in Lake Mburo include among others; Brown-chested lapwing, Grey Crowned Crane, Black bellied Bustard, Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Red-headed Lovebird, Brown Parrot, Ross’s Turaco, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Bare-faced Go-away-bird Green Wood-hoopoe, Nubian Woodpecker, Long-tailed Cisticola, White-headed Barbet, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, White-winged Tit, Common Scimitarbill, Finfoot and Yellow-breasted Apalis among others.
Cultures Around Lake Mburo National Park as a Tourist Attraction
The park is surrounded by the Bahima pastoralist community who has got interesting traditions and practices that are centered around the occupation of cattle keeping.
They initially grazed their beautiful Ankole cows in the rangelands of Lake Mburo before it was gazeted as a protected area and they have got intense knowledge of the area and its landscapes.
The Precambrian rocks were their worshipping centers while a range of flora was used as medicine. These people were not hunters thus less destructive to wild game except predators that consumed their cattle.
They have established the Enyemebwa center with selected beautiful Ankole long horned cows to promote their conservation and its traditions.
This center can be visited while on Uganda safaris. It also has a beautiful traditional homestead setting featuring local huts, cattle kraal, milk pot platform, unique handicrafts among others.
The local performances in form of recitations (Ebyevugo), traditional songs (Entooro/Omuhogo) and dances (Okutagurira) are available at the center to equip you with the real taste of African pastoralist traditions generating ultimate safari memories on your safari in Uganda to Lake Mburo National Park.
Tourist Activities in Lake Mburo National Park Uganda
Birding in Lake Mburo National Park
With 350 species of birds some of which are endemic to the park like the rare Red faces barbet thus presenting ideal birding encounters to encounter a range of acacia and savannah related bird species.
The birding in Lake Mburo National Park is ideally done along the valley swamps of Miriti and Warukiri and along the road from Rwonyo Camp and the jetty.
There are various viewing platforms in Miriti valley, at salt lick and Rubanga forest. Birders on this activity can encounter species like; Coqui Francolin, Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Grey Crowned Crane, Black-bellied Bustard, Brown-chested Lapwing, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Brown Parrot, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, White-headed Barbet, Red-faced Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Long-tailed Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Fin foot and White-winged Tit among others.
Game Drives in Lake Mburo National Park
Considering its wildlife species, Lake Mburo National Park offers impressive game drive activity along its savannah landscapes.
A range of trails have been designed to enable Uganda safari undertakers to explore their preferred wild game.
The tracks include; the Ruroko track, Zebra track, Kazuma track, Kigambira loop and the Lake side track.
This exposes you to various wild life species including Impala which is endemic to Lake Mburo National Park on Ugandan standards, Zebras, topis, reedbuck, Klipspringers, bush duikers, defassa waterbuck, eland, and warthog among others.
The activity is ideally done in the morning at 6:30am, in the evening 4:30pm and at night starting at 7:30pm.
Horse riding in Lake Mburo National Park
Being a unique safari park, it has the horse back safari activity that is only in this park in Uganda. The activity is conducted by Mihingo lodge along the 4km Warukiri valley and it offers very close sight of wild game more than other means including safari vehicles.
The horse back safari ranges from half an hour to three days offering Uganda safari undertakers choices to choose from.
Nature walks in Lake Mburo National Park
This Park offers Uganda safari undertakers an opportunity of exploring it on foot. This is conducted in company of the ranger guide who will take you impressing scenic landscapes; wild game walking safaris and amazing flora.
There are nature walks to the salt lick exploring the animals as they lick salt, lake side walks lasting two hours starting at 7am to view spotted hyenas and hippos drawing back to their hideouts, and the famous Kazuma hill walk which gives you panoramic views of the park and its five lakes. Rubanga forest walk is ideal for nature lovers and birders.
Boat Cruises in Lake Mburo National Park
The calm waters of Lake Mburo present ideal boat cruising encounter. The boat cruise lasts 2 hours and is best done in the afternoon though it runs the whole day.
The boat commences at Rwonyo jetty and takes you across the lake waters full of Hippos. The wild game tends to drink on the lake shores thus there is a possibility of viewing them while a range of birds include; the African fish eagle, colorful kingfishers, Hammerkops and their interesting nests thrive in the trees that front the Lake.
Sport Fishing in Lake Mburo National Park
Sport fishing is only carried out in Lake Mburo and Murchison Falls National Parks in Uganda. The advantage with Lame Mburo is that is a bit cheaper than the other.
This activity is carried out at Mazinga where there are opportunities of catching the Tilapia fish species alongside species of fish. An authorization from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and own fishing equipment is advisable
Cultural Encounters in Lake Mburo National Park
The Bahima pastoralist community that thrives around Lake Mburo has got rich traditions that can be explored by undertaking a community tour.
You visit the Bahima homesteads, their cattle kraals, farm lands among others. The tour to the Enyemebwa center is also rewarding.
The Enyemebwa center is under the auspices of Ankole Cow Conservation Association (ACCA) which is motivated by the desire to conserve the Ankole long horned cattle.
The selected beautiful cows thrive at that center along with other traditions that include the kraal, herd’s man hut, respective handicrafts, and the entire setting that features that of the traditional Hima people of Ankole.
The center also organizes impressive cultural performances that will leave you mesmerized on your Uganda safari tour.
Accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park Uganda
Mantana Tented Camp
The Kimbla Mantana Tented Camp offers accommodation in its nine (9) spacious rooms perched on an open ground overlooking Lake Mburo which is 4 km below.
The guest rooms offer impressive views of the acacia landscape and across sectional views of the Lake.
The camp has simple tents perched on wooden platforms equipped with in built washrooms, twin beds and private verandahs.
The washrooms have flush toilets while hot water is provided for a bucket shower. The Camp has stone crafted and thatched restaurant and bar area overlooking a little fore place.
Mihingo Lodge is a peaceful and exclusive retreat adjacent to Lake Mburo National Park. It has ten rooms set up on wooden platforms with stilts, covered by a thatched roof.
Suspended under the thatched roof is a spacious and comfortable tent equipped with en-suite bathrooms with stunning views, including hot and cold running water, showers, and flush loos.
Placed in varied settings, some rooms are situated in a forest, some with a lake view, and some on rocky outcrops.
The main dining area is a large thatched structure built of rocks, the wood of dead weathered olive trees found on the land, and native grasses.
Below the dining area, an infinity swimming pool stretches out from the rocks and seems to disappear into the vast landscape beyond.
From the dining and pool area, guests can enjoy the view of a westward oriented valley and its stunning evening sunsets over Lake Mburo National Park.
On top of these facilities and services, Mihingo lodge also operates horseback safaris which can be incorporated in your Uganda safari and offers body massage.
Rwonyo Rest Camp
This is a budget accommodation establishment located within Lake Mburo National Park. Rwonyo is under the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
The place offers chances for game viewing with in the environs. The camp consists of bandas and tented rooms that are well furnished.
The bandas are designed in form of wooden hats with shared showers. The amazing thing about this budget camp is a free camp ground where you can pitch your tent in the true wilderness of Lake Mburo.
Rwonyo Rest camp is the perfect place for budget travelers and it’s advisable to come with your tent if you are to camp while on this Uganda safari.
Conservation Education Centre (Sanga)
The Conservation Education Center is positioned approximately 1km from Sanga gate. It has a good accommodation and a 40 people capacity hall which caters for school groups, visitors, seminars or workshops.
This is a midrange establishment with in Lake Mburo National Park. Arcadia cottages offer accommodation is form of double cottages each with double bed and en suite wash rooms, Family cottages each with a double bed and a single bed and en suite washrooms, twin rooms each with twin beds and en suite washrooms. The cottages contain TV and internet for family cottage.
Rwakobo rock is positioned on a gigantic granite outcrop on the boundary of Lake Mburo National Park. Rwakobo rock offers accommodation in its grass thatched cottages featuring flush toilets, solar lights and solar heated showers blending into the natural environment.
The rooms are spread around the hill which allows guests to take advantage of rock edges and private corners. The lodge also provides Wi-Fi internet and charging facilities to the guests
Lake Mburo Safari Lodge
The Mburo Safari Lodge has impressive midrange accommodation which comprises of the main Lodge, cottages and honey moon house all raised on a wooden platform and covered by a grass-thatched roof, perfectly blending with the natural environment, stylishly and thoughtfully designed for your absolute comfort, convenience, and pleasure while on safari in Uganda.
Each is equipped with Clean private bathroom tubs, showers and toilets, private balconies, handcrafted wooden furniture, comfortable king-sized beds, mosquito nets and wardrobes all opening out to their private balconies.
Some cottages have a full kitchen. All rooms are privately situated, making it an ideal place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you.
All cottages enjoy glass doors leading to a screened in porch and magnificent views of the national park. The lodge also has a bar, lounge, swimming pool, fireplace and a restaurant.
How to Get to Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park can be connected to from the following originating areas;
- Two roads lead to Lake Mburo branching off from the Masaka – Mbarara road.
- One helps you to enter via Sanga gate 37km east of Mbarara. While the other helps you to enter via Nshara gate 20 km from Lyantonde and 50 km to Mbarara.
- You can also use public means to transfer to Lake Mburo National Park where you can board a bus up to Sanga town and then get a private taxi or a boda-boda to take you to Lake Mburo National Park.
- You are advised to use 4×4 vehicles since the roads are rough.