Lake Mburo National Park
- About the Park
- Flora and Fauna
- Activities, Drives & Trips
Lake Mburo National Park (LMNP) is a very special place; every part of it is alive with variety, interest and colour. LMNP contains an extensive area of wetland. The part harbours several species of animals, including zebras, impalas, elands, topi and buffaloes. The bird population includes the rare shoebill stork. Its sculptured landscape with rolling grassy hills and idyllic lakeshores has a varied mosaic of habitats: forest galleries, rich acacia tree valleys, seasonal, and permanent swamps which all support a wealth of wildlife. The park is only 370km2 and the smallest of Uganda’s Savannah national parks. Its mosaic habitat: dry hillside, rocky outcrops, bushes, thickets, open and wooded savannahs, forests, lakes and swamps are home to a surprising diversity of plants and animals.
Lake Mburo National Park is situated in Mbarara district. It is about 3.5 hours drive from Kampala. The park is accessed from the Masaka-Mbarara road; turn left to Nshara gate (13kms past Lyantonde) or alternatively turn left at Sanga trading centre (27kms past Lyantonde) which brings you through Sanga gate. Both junctions have clearly marked signposts. It is about 13kms from Sanga trading centre to Sanga gate and 8kms from main road to Nshara gate. It is about 20 minutes drive from either gates to Rwonyo park headquarters.
Flora and Fauna
Lake Mburo National Park is famous for its richness in biodiversity. It has about 68 different species of mammals. The common ones are zebras, impalas, buffaloes, topis and elands that are herbivores and leopards, hyenas and jackals that are predators. The park also has more than 315 different species of birds including the rare shoebill stork, papyrus yellow warbler, African fin foot, saddle billed stork, brown chested wattled plover, carruther’s cisticola, tabora cisticola, great snipe, Abyssinian ground hornbill and white winged warbler. The woody vegetation of Lake Mburo is dominated by Acacia species, Olea species and Boscia species.
Conservation Education Centre
The park has a conservation education centre, just about 1km from Sanga gate. It has decent accommodation and a hall with maximum capacity of forty people and caters for school groups, visitor, seminars or workshops.
The Interpretation Centre is located at Rwonyo hill. Literature about the park history, biodiversity and other resources including the scenic beauty is available at the Interpretation Centre, which also serves as a starting point for nature walks.
The park has a number of tourist tracks that are used for game drives. Impala track exposes the visitor to a diverse species of animals. Impala is the most common species viewed along this track although one may sight a number of waterbucks, warthogs, topis and zebras.
Zebra tracks leads to harems of Burchell’s zebra (Equus burchelli) with other species like bushbucks, oribi and reedbucks. The Zebra Track leads to the junction of Ruroko Track, a drive through a wetland basin and thick acacia shrub and woodland, with olive trees and eurphorbia species. Kopjes (rock outcrops) found along the Ruroko track, are home to elusive klipspringers to which the rock is the best habitat.
The Kazuma track passes through wooded grassland where black-bellied bustards often patrol the area. For visitors to experience a real exposure of Lake Mburo National Park, they should climb Kazuma hill, which is high enough to enable them see what they could have missed. The five lakes within the park and the rolling hills become more visible and attractive. It is better seen than read or heard!
Kigambira Loop takes you through a wooded wilderness with scattered thicket and while you are here, look out for bushbucks and bush duikers.
The Lakeside Track is specially designed to facilitate viewing of water plants and animals. The park has a diversity of water birds and woodland birds, which can be sighted along these tracks.
This forest offers a variety of habitats, conducive for birds thereby making it a very attractive place for bird watchers. There are over 40 species of birds recorded in Rubanga forest, 5 of which are forest “specialists”. Some of the common species are the harrier hawk, greenpigeon, narina trogn, grey-backed cameroptera and double-toothed barbet. The forest, though small, is a real high forest with closed canopy. Some common trees are markhamia platycalyx, sapium, erythriana, and acacia.
The presence of Lake Mburo within the park is a blessing. The lake is rich with a diversity of animal and plant species, which can only be viewed clearly while on a boat trip. These include crocodiles, hippopotami and birds like pelicans, black crake, heron, cormorant and fish eagle but you may also see the rare shoebill stork, all of which will furnish your visit with pride.
The duration of each boat ride is 2 hours maximum, but arrangements for extra time can be made with management at an extra fee.
The nature trail offers the visitor a chance to admire nature on foot. Visitors have the opportunity to walk in the circuit at their own pace in company of an armed guide. Information on trails is also available at the Rwonyo headquarters.
A walk to the nearby salt lick is a highlight platform. A strategically located wooden plat-form offers a chance to see at least four different species of animals at any one time while they lick the salty soil. The observation point is strategically located in such a way that close observation can be done without distracting the animals from their salt lick.
Lake Mburo has about 6 species of fish, the common one being tilapia (Oreochromis leucostictus).
Visitors planning to enjoy sport fishing on Lake Mburo should carry their own fishing gear and fish at the designated point at Mazinga. A restaurant is available at campsite 2 to ensure maximum relaxation for visitors while at the lake.
The park has accommodation facilities, which include 6 tents at Rwonyo park headquarters and three public camp sites, all strategically located to facilitate and enhance scenic viewing and easy access to water. Lake Mburo restaurant located by the lakeside provides meals on order. Mantana Tented Camp which is 3.5kms from Rwonyo park headquarters caters for the up market tourists.