Lake Mburo National Park is Uganda’s smallest national park and the closest park to both Kampala and Entebbe. If you are planning for wildlife safaris in Uganda, birding safaris or want to enjoy game viewing then Lake Mburo National Park should be a possible destination for you. Most of our Uganda safaris/ tour packages/ Uganda tours prepared by our professional tour operators have this national park as part of the itinerary especially for guests who would really love to carry out birding safaris in Uganda. Lake Mburo National Park is located approximately 240 kilometers from Kampala and only 30 Kilometers from Mbarara – the biggest town in Western Uganda. BBC
From entebbe airport to lake mburo national park, its approximately 290km. The national park is neighboured by 4 big districts of Uganda which include Mbarara town,Lyantonde,Mbarara town , Isingiro North and Kirhura. Lake mburo national park also happens to be the nearest national park in Uganda that is close to the President’s Home town in Kiruhura district. From lake mburo, one can drive for about 2 hours a distance of about 99km to reach the president’s home in nyabushozi-kiruhura district.
The park is easily accessible by road in about a 3hours’ or 3 hours’ and half drive for those who want to do lake mburo safaris/ uganda safaris/ uganda tours from Kampala or Entebbe respectively. The coordinates are: 00 36S, 30 57E (Latitude: 0.6000; Longitude: 30.9500).It covers an area of 260 square kilometres but still the smallest of Uganda‘s Savannah national parks and underlined by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back.
What is currently Lake Mburo National Park was first gazetted in 1933 as a controlled hunting area and later upgraded to a game reserve in 1963. The area was dominantly occupied by the Banyankore pastoralists (commonly known as Bahima) who continued to herd their cattle and other livestock in the reserve until it was granted a National park status in 1983 by the Obote regime. The decision to upgrade Lake Mburo reserve to a National park status was in one part targeted to punish the Banyankore who were believed to be supporting the anti-Obote rebels. The evicted pastoralists were not given any compensation for the lost grazing land and neither were they helped with the resettlement and many of them thus protested the park’s formation. This was during the time of Operation Bonanza massacre of 300,000 and as a result, the rangeland outside the park was divided into small pieces and subsistence plots.
The origin of this park started with a story of two brothers one known as mburo and the other as kigarama who lived in the low-lying Savannah plains hence making the area traditionally known as Kaaro karungi. One night kigarama dreamt that they were to receive substantial amount of rain which would cause flooding and there property destroyed. Kigarama told the dream to his brother but mburo took it for granted. Because in the African society dreams were respected kigarama decided to leave the area and went in the over looking hills leaving his brother behind. Finally the dream came true and the area was attacked by the rain and it caused flooding and the drowning of mburo with his property and thus the name mburo and the hills were named after his brother.All this story can be narrated to you during the lake mburo safaris/ visit to lake mburo national park or Uganda safaris to lake mburo park.
Lake mburo national park being a special place, it has got a vast ecosytem and nature prevails, in its western region. There are Rocky Ridges and forested gorges, Narrow bands of lush, riparian woodland and much more. Like many lakes this as been an addition to the formation of beautiful sceneries hence attracting many tourists to come and see the hidden treasures of the park. Since lake mburo national park is a special place, it habours 68 mammal species though it does not have elephants and lions. The fact that there are no lions, it gives a chance to the tourist to freely move close to the animals and have a close impact with them. The park has got a wide range of birds flopping in the sky and are so being visible to visitors. Some of the birds that are seen in this park include rare rare shoebill, stork, African fin foot, pelican, heron among others.
Lake mburo national park is blessed with forests which act as a habitant to animals in the park but also help in the influence and formation of rainfall that provides water. This helps to complete tasks that need water at the park like, it acts as drinking water for the animals hence improving their well being and out look. The park is rich with acacia trees, valleys, grass lands with different types of grass that fed on by the wild animals. It also has both seasonal and permanent swamps where papyrus grows which is used to make a variety of things that can be sold and improve on the government’s economy.
Activities in the Park
Activities done when a traveller engages in a safari to Lake Mburo national park, include; the boat cruise which gives the travellers a chance to spot different bird species and wildlife like crocodiles, hippos among others. Game Drives/ game viewing is another important activity that you will not miss on your trip. These game drives are categorised into day and night game drives. Night game drives are conducted for those that might have missed out on the day drives. Another activity that might interest you is the Sport Fishing and Fishing . Travelers who are fishers enjoy this activity and also they are joined by the locals to see how they do it locally. They get a chance to learn from the natives. The travelers can also engage in Cultural tours where theyy get to learn and engage with the locals. Lake mburo’s natives are the bahima and they display to the tourists how they rare their famous Ankole cattle , how they process milk and yorghut, how they live and also tell stories about the national park. Travelers also visit Igongo Cultural Centre where they get a chance to learn more about the western uganda culture. Other activities that will interest the tourists is the Hiking and Nature walks, Bird Watching, horse riding among others.
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Lake Mburo National Park