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 is home to 350 bird species as well as zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, 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, 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.
Prime areas for birding in Lake Mburo include the acacia woodland along the Acacia and Research tracks; the wooded shores of Lake Mburo as seen from the Rwonyo launch (ideal territory for the African finfoot) and the lake’s northern fringe of papyrus wetland.
Lake Mburo Boat trip
The eastern shores of Lake Mburo can be explored by boat, departing from a jetty at the lakeside campsite near Rwonyo Rest Camp. Watch out for crocodiles and hippopotamus during the two-hour voyage. You can also sight a variety of birds including pelicans, herons and fish eagle and perhaps the rare finfoot and shoebill. Fishermen with their own equipment may fish in the lake from the campsite by arrangement.
Most of the lodges in and around the park provide the opportunity to visit a local homestead and learn about traditional Banyankore life.
The grassy ridges in the eastern part of Lake Mburo can be explored on horseback. This activity is operated by Mihingo Lodge.
Rwakobo Rock and Leopard Tail Rest Camp both operate mountain biking trips into the national park at Nshara Gate.
Salt Lick Walk
Guided walks explore the park around Rwonyo, culminating in a visit to a natural salt lake where wildlife can be viewed from a timber observation platform.
This small tract of forest on the western side of Lake Mburo is home to a variety of forest bird species. Rubanga can be explored with a ranger guide.
A network of game tracks explores the eastern hinterland of Lake Mburo, providing the chance to see a variety of savannah animals and birds.
Night drives with a ranger guide provide the chance to see nocturnal animals such as bushbabys, pottos and perhaps even a leopard.