Lake Mburo National Park settles on the land that has got a great legendary attachment. The brothers Kigarama and Mburo lived on the land where Lake Mburo is currently situated and one night, one brother Kigarama dreamt that the area where they lived will be hit by floods. He advised his brother Mburo about relocating from the place but Mburo ignored the advice and in return Kigarama relocated and settled in the adjacent hill while his brother remained in the former area which was in the valley. Unfortunately to note is that the Kigarama’s dream came true and the area was covered by floods as he had dreamt which led to drowning of Mburo in mass of water that formed the Lake which was named after him while his brother who had resettled in the adjacent hill survived and the hill was named after him. This tale still counts today and as these landscapes continue to exist, the legend cannot be discarded. This heritage can be encountered on Uganda safari. Initially before the land was gazetted as a national park, it was a grazing land for the Omugabe of Ankole alongside other Bahima pastoralists whose rangelands marked by rolling savannah combretum was cherished for raising the Ankole long horned cattle and the waters of Lake Mburo provided the only permanent water source in the whole Nyabushozi region.

Lake Mburo National Park apparently stands in Nyabushozi County; Kiruhura District 240km south west of Kampala, the country’s capital and 45km east of Mbarara town, the largest town in the sub region.  Covering an area of 260 km2 Lake Mburo National Park is marked by series of Precambrian metamorphic rocks that date back to 500 million years ago surrounded by great cultural and heritage attachment for the locals. The rolling savannah supports populations impala which are endemic to Lake Mburo National Park on Ugandan standards, topi, herd of eland that traverse the park seasonally, buffalo, zebra with the great numbers compared to other destinations like Kidepo and Pian Upe where they only thrive in Uganda, defassa water buck, bush buck, reedbuck among others. The water environments support counts of Hippos. Predators like leopards, spotted hyena, serval cat among others also thrive in Lake Mburo National Park.     350 species of birds also thrive in Lake Mburo National Park. The vegetation which was at one time marked by open savannah rolling combretum is apparently dominated by woodland due to absence of elephants to tame the vegetation, the rocky ridges and forested gorges mark the parks western side while the lowland area is marked by papyrus swamp and riparian woodland that follow the wetland system adjoining the series of five lakes that are shared by Lake Mburo National Park encountered on Uganda safaris.

lake-mburo-national-park

Wildlife

Lake Mburo National Park has got various counts of wildlife most of which are savannah dwelling species. The park has got the Impala antelope in the whole of Uganda. Besides Impala, Lake Mburo has the highest populations of Burchell’s Zebra in Uanda followed by Kidepo and Pian Upe which are the three protected areas with Burchell’s zebra in Uganda. The park also has herd of eland the second largest antelope in the world, topi, spotted hyena, defassa waterbuck, leopard, buffalo, oribi and reedbuck. This makes it ideal for wild game viewing while on Uganda safari.

Birds

The park has counts of birds that thrive in its varied ecosystem of savannah, forest and water. The range of birds in Lake Mburo National Park include among others; the rare Red faced Barbet which is endemic to this park, Grey Crowned Crane, Brown-chested lapwing, Black bellied Bustard, Bateleur, Rufous-bellied Heron, Coqui Francolin, Brown Parrot, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Green Wood-hoopoe, Nubian Woodpecker, White-headed Barbet, Long-tailed Cisticola, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Common Scimitarbill, White-winged Tit, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Finfoot among others.

Culture

Lake Mburo National Park formerly the named Kaaro karungyi – the beautiful land was known to the Bahima for being ideal for grazing the beautiful Ankole long horned cattle. These people were displaced with the gazettion of Lake Mburo National Park and currently live adjacent to the park with their long horned cows and impressing traditions embedded in their customs and values, arts and crafts among other variables. Their worshipping places which include the ancient Precambrian rocks with great connotation are an attraction to encounter on Uganda safaris.

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.

Birding. With it count of birds, Lake Mburo National Park offers rewarding birding opportunities. Birding is ideally done along the valley swamps of Miriti and Warukiri not forgetting along the road that connects Rwonyo camp and the jetty. The viewing platforms exist in Miriti valley, the salt lick, and Rubanga forest. Birders can encounter bird species like; Rufous-bellied Heron, Coqui Francolin, Bateleur, Grey Crowned Crane, Brown-chested Lapwing, Black-bellied Bustard, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Red-headed Lovebird, Brown Parrot, Ross’s Turaco, Green Wood-hoopoe, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Common Scimitarbill, Red-faced Barbet, White-headed Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Long-tailed Cisticola, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Finfoot and White-winged Tit among others. There is also an opportunity to encounter Red Faced Barbet which only exists in Lake Mbro National Park.

Game drives. With its range of game, Lake Mburo offers impressive wild game viewing on the game drive activity. The game drives are carried out along the park tracks like the Zebra track, the Kazuma track, Kigambira loop and the Lake side track. The game drive offers impressive sights of zebra, impala, eland, waterbuck, warthog, topi, bushbuck, oribi, Klipspringers, bush duikers among other wildlife. The game drives are best done in the morning at 6:30am local time and in the evening at 4:30pm. The drives can also be done at night.

Horse riding. The Upmarket Mihingo lodge offers amazing horseback safari experience. the horse back activity is carried out in the 4km Warukiri valley and offers chances of getting closer to animals than when in vehicle or on foot. The horse back safari range from half an hour to three days thus giving you a range of options to choose from.

Nature walks. This is conducted in the company of a ranger and enables Uganda safari undertakers to explore the park on foot. The nature walks take you to the salt lick where animals tend to converge to lick salt from the salty rocks, other walks stretch to the west of the lake lasting 2 hours commencing at 7am to offer you opportunities of spotting hyenas getting back to their dens and Hippos retreating to the Lake. There are also hikes through the woodland with opportunity to view forest birds and mammals, the Kazuma hill walk is considered the best with great scenic views of the park and its offerings in terms of the five lakes that are shared by the park, the wildlife that tend to graze on the lower layers of the hill and the setting of the savannah woodland across the hills and protruding ancient Precambrian rocks. A walk in Rubanga Forest can also be arranged fo birders and forest lovers.

Boat cruise. Lake Mburo offers an opportunity for a recreational boat cruise. The boat cruise activity takes two hours traversing the calm water of Lake Mburo amidst sights of Hippos and range of birds that dwell closer to water shores including; African fish eagle, Hammerkops, colorful kingfishers and their interesting nests along with other fauna drinking water on the Lake Shores including; Buffalos and elands.

Sport fishing. This activity is carried out at Mazinga where sport fishers on Uganda safari have the opportunity to do sport fishing. Remember, sport fishing is only carried out in Lake Mburo and Murchison Falls National Parks. The encounter exposes you to Tilapia along with other fish species and to embark on this activity, you need an authorization from Uganda Wildlife Authority and own fishing equipment.

Cultural encounters. The cultural encounter opens for you an opportunity for host guest interaction and exploring into the local traditions. The activity takes you the Bahima surrounding community with their beautiful Ankole long horned cattle, their art and craft including the milk platform, the traditional hut, customs and values, music dance and drama among other products. The Enyemebwa center thrives at the park boundary with the ability to offer this cultural experience.

Rwonyo Rest Camp is a budget accommodation is found in 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).

This is a conservation education center located at about 1 Km. from Sanga gate. It has a good accommodation and a 40 people capacity hall which caters for school groups, visitors, seminars or workshops.

Mantana Tented Camp.

This tented camp has nine well-spaced rooms set in open woodland near the summit of a hill about 4 km from Lake Mburo. The rooms present a clear view of acacia woodland and part of the lake below. The large ‘Larsen-style’ tents are set on wooden platforms, with verandahs overlooking the park. Though tents are simple, they are comfortably furnished with twin beds and an en suite bathroom. The bathrooms have flush toilets, flasks of hot and cold water are provided next to the wash-basins and hot water is always available for a bucket shower. There is a lovely stone and thatch dining and bar area overlooking the lake with comfortable sofas and a little open fire, ideal enjoying your pre- or post-dinner drinks.

Arcadia Cottages.

Arcadia Cottages is situated in the Lake Mburo National Park, very close to the water’s edge. This is an ideal destination for nature lovers and it offers a variety of simple, yet comfortable rooms. The categories of rooms include;

Double Cottages.

These cottages have a double bed each, as well as en-suite bathrooms.

Features available

  • Bathroom Facilities En-suite
  • Beds Double beds
  • TV Television
  • Views River

Family Cottages

These cottages consist of a double bed and a single bed each, as well as an en-suite bathroom.

Features available

  • Bathroom Facilities En-suite
  • Beds Single beds, Double beds
  • Other Wi-Fi
  • TV Television
  • Views River

Twin Rooms

These rooms have twin beds and en-suite bathrooms.

Features available

  • Bathroom Facilities En-suite
  • Beds Twin beds

 

Mihingo Lodge

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.

Lake Mburo Safari Lodge

Mburo Safari Lodge boasts of its excellent accommodation which comprises 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.

FACILITIES

  • Bar:
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant:
  • A fantastic Swimming pool
  • The wonderful Fire place.

Rwakobo Rock.

Set on a massive granite outcrop, just beside Lake Mburo National Park, the accommodation at Rwakobo is a variety of thatched cottages, with solar lights, flush toilets, solar heated showers and filtered drinking water, which blend into the natural landscape.  The rooms are dotted around the hill taking advantage of rocky ledges and private corners. Charging facilities and slow Wi-Fi are available at the main area.