The size of Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda – 370 square kilometres – shouldn’t distract from the vast array of sights and sounds that lure visitors to this part of the world. It is situated in Nyabushozi county near the town of Mbarara.
In the west of the park, rocky outcrops are dominant while wide valleys are prevalent in the east. The park is mainly recognisable by a huge wetland system that was formed by Lake Mburo and 15 other bodies of water. It is fed by the Ruizi River with seasonal floods creating permanent swamps. The rest of the landscape is dotted with rolling hills, grassy valleys, thickets and wooded savannah.
Metamorphic rocks more than 500 million years old are the geological foundation of the park. This has formed heavy clay and loam soils that have led to hardly any groundwater in the area, despite the presence of numerous lakes.
The park lies almost 230 kilometres from the capital Kampala and can be reached by car, with entry at the Nshara or Sanga gates.
Rangers and guides are available to lead hikes and walks to scenic parts of the park, including amazing views from atop hills.
Lake Mburo National Park is home to the only populations of the eland, impala and klipspringer in Uganda. Around 5 000 zebra congregate in the park which has led to one of the highest concentrations of leopards in the country. Some of the other 68 mammal species include buffalo, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, reedbuck, topi and hippos. Although lions were thought to be extinct, some of these predators have been spotted on occasion.
The various bodies of water are home to a wide variety of wetland birds like the African finfoot, white-backed heron and the African fish eagle. Around 350 other bird species have been recorded in the park including the red-faced barbet, brown-chested lapwing, Carruthers cisticola, African scops owl and the white-winged warbler.
Rain is abundant in the Lake Mburo National Park with long rains occurring from March to June and short rains from September to December.
The best time to visit the park is in the first months of the rainy season in March, and again in September. The average daytime temperature is 26° C with December and January especially hot.
An array of safari options is available in Lake Mburo National Park with game drives and birding excursions most often at the top of the list of visitors. Rangers and guides are available to lead hikes and walks to scenic parts of the park, including amazing views from atop hills. For those keen on fishing, there is a designated spot at Mazinga on Lake Mburo.
There are a great number of establishments to choose from when visiting Mburo National Park. These range from lodges and tented camps to campsites.