The smallest of Uganda’s Savannah National parks, some 260 square kilometres, lies 240kms west of Kampala on the Masaka – Mbarara Road. At average altitudes ranging between 1200m and 1800m above sea level it is a park with one of the lowest levels of rainfall and yet nearly a fifth of the park’s surface is covered in water or swampy wetlands. This park has become a popular stopover on the southern circuit of Uganda’s game parks in part due to its unique wildlife and also as a convenient resting point before heading on to Queen Elizabeth or Bwindi National Parks.
Despite the cyclical dry spells, the park is home to large herds of ungulates. The most special of these are the Burchell’s zebra which are not found anywhere else in southern Uganda. Additionally, this is the only park in Uganda where Impala are to be found. The other main mammals are buffalo, Uganda Kob, water buck, giraffe, eland, bush buck, orobi, topi hippopotamus and crocodile. This park is also reputed to be one where the elusive leopard is most easily seen. Among the other predators in the park are hyena, various species of mongoose and jackals. The lions for which the park was famous till the early 1960’s were hunted to local extinction by the mid 1970’s. It is reputed that a small family of lions have returned to the park though proof seems elusive.
The park also hosts some 320 bird species some of which are not found elsewhere.
Lake Mburo presents a unique opportunity to go horse riding, running and cycling among the wildlife in the park. However, these activities are usually organised by the lodges the best of which is just outside the park boundary, namely Mihingo Safari Lodge. Nature walks can also be undertaken either with the lodge staff or Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers.
A night game drive either inside or just outside the park boundary is an experience not to be missed. Many nocturnal animals, especially predators, are more easily spotted at night.
A boat trip on Lake Mburo is highly recommended as this offers good chances to view animals more closely associated with water such as hippos and crocodiles. The trip also presents opportunities to see varied bird life.
By road 240kms west of Kampala on the Masaka- Mbarara Road.
What to do:
- Game Drives including night game drives
- Walking and horse riding safaris
- Boat trip
- Fishing (subject to UWA permit)
Best time to go:
All year round