Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park happens to be the nearest and closest treat from Uganda’s capital, Kampala. The park is artistically nested within the western regions of Uganda, enabling you to have scenic views of nature just after crossing the equator. It is one of the country’s smallest national parks; the second smallest National Park after Semliki National Park. Although Lake Mburo National Park is small, it is one of the unique savannah parks within the country that is punctuated with varied habitats for its size. These range from acacia woodland, dry hillsides, rocky outcrops, bushy thickets, open and wooded savannah, seasonal and permanent swamps. The park was originally and majorly open Savannah but the effects of climate change have seen many parts of it transform into woodland areas with the rapid proliferation of Acacia Hockii as an invasive species. Somewhere in between the woodland and papyrus marshes are small areas of open savannah and a small dense forest. In the western part of the park, the savanna is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges. The landscape also comprises distinct hills standing differential from one another; with characteristic vegetation of grasses ascending the hilltops. At some points towards the hilltops are patches of dense mini-forests on a few prominent hills. Its small size should therefore not make you think there is nothing to keep you occupied. You can have various nature walks with a ranger guide to seek out your interests i.e. birding, mammals, plants, and shrubs, insects, and many more.

Birding is one of the major activities in Lake Mburo National Park because of its varied habitats that support many species of birds. The park is home to 350 bird species which include Crested Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Red necked Spur, Common Quails, Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Blue-napped Mousebird, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Bee-eaters and the Cheeky Bronze-tailed starling and the majestic crowned crane etc. You also have chances of sighting the rare African Finfoot, Shoebill, African Fisheagle, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, while on the boat safari on Lake Mburo. Birders will find the swampy valleys of Warukiri and Miriti, the roadsides between Rwonyo camp and the jetty to be excellent areas for birding and one may spot the rare shoebill Stork here.

The park is home to over 68 mammal species that can easily be seen on the various tracks for game drives; Impalas (only found here in Uganda), Topis, Elands (found here and Kidepo Valley in Uganda) and other antelopes, as well as Zebras, Defassa waterbucks, buffalos, giraffes, hyenas and leopards. Giraffes are a recent re-introduction, purposed to ensure that they check on the growing woodland population of tree species. There is an only lion, which is often heard than seen.(Since 2005, the park is considered a Lion Conservation Unit.) Crocodiles, monitor lizards, and Hippos are commonly sighted in Lake Mburo.

Bahima are the immediate occupants of the area around Lake Mburo National Park. This is a community of cattle keepers along the park boundaries with various activities, you can engage in. The community also engages in a number of activities like agriculture during which perennials like bananas are grown in the immediate northern neighborhood of the park. You will have opportunities of visiting a Hima homestead to engage in the process of milk from the cow to when it is converted to various products. You can also engage in dance, storytelling and craft making. There is so much to know about the cultures around the park, but this is only possible with a visit to the area.

You access the park from Kampala by road, which takes about 4 hours and an estimated distance of 240km.

The activities in this park include; Bird WatchingGame DrivesBoat Safari, Nature WalksMountain BikingHorseback SafarisSport Fishing.

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