LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
Lake Mburo national park was first gazetted in 1933 as a controlled hunting area. In 1963, it was upgraded to a game reserve. In 1983, it was named Lake Mburo national park. The park lies at an altitude of between 1,220m – 1,828m above sea level.
Lake Mburo national park is Uganda’s smallest savannah park. It has ancient rocks of more than 500 million years and a variety of woodlands. The park forms part of 50km-long wetland system linked up by a swamp. With 5 lakes within the park, wetland habitats take 20% of the park’s surface. There are 13 other lakes in the neighboring areas combined.
History of Lake Mburo: Many centuries ago, according to oral tradition, the valley in which Lake Mburo stands today was dry agricultural land, worked by two brothers named Kigarama and Mburo. One night, Kigaram dreamt that he and his brother would be in danger unless they moved to higher land. The next morning, as Kigarama prepared to move to higher ground, he shared the warning with Mburo who decide to stay put. Within days, the valley was submerged, and Kigarama watched on helplessly as his younger brother drowned. The lake was named after the unfortunate Mburo and the surrounding hills were named after after Kigarama.
Biodiversity: Lake Mburo national park is an important birding with 350 bird species. These include Tabora Cisticola, Coqui Frankolin, Redfaced Barbet and white-winged warbler. Animals to be seen are the hippos, hyena and the recently introduced Giraffe. Leopards are common and can be seen near Mihingo lodge. The spotted hyena is often heard at night calling around the lodges but seldom seen during day. Other animals in the park are zebra, impala, eland antelope, buffalo, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, topi and reedbuck. Only two diurnal primate species exist, namely Olive baboon and vervet monkey. The nocturnal greater galago has been recorded. There are no elephants in the park. The Lion was hunted to extinction in the 1970s.
Size: 370 sq. km
Location: South western Uganda near Mbarara town.
Accessibility: Entebbe-Kampala-Masaka-Lyantonde 290km Distance from Kampala city to Lake Mburo national park is 259km and driving time of 4hours.
From Lake Mburo to Queen Elizabeth national park, there’s a distance of 178km and driving time of 3hours.
Tourism activities: Game drives, Boat trips, game walks, bird watching, cultural tours (milking of long horned cows)