zebras  - uganda

Lake Mburo national park

The whispers of the wild

Lake Mburo National Park at a Glance

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male impala
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monkey on top of the house
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zebra head
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lake mburo sign post

Vavet Monkey
Zebra Head
Lake Mburo National Park Sign Post

The park covers an area of 370 square kilometers and is the smallest of Uganda's Savannah national parks, underlined by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back to 500 million years, Wetland habitats comprise 20% of the park's surface. The parks' precarious past has seen wildlife virtually eliminated several times: firstly, by various civil wars before 1986, secondly by various attempts to rid the region of tsetse flies and make way for ranches, and finally as a result of subsistence poaching. 20% of the park's entrance is shared with neighbouring community to boost social projects such as building clinics and schools.

Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem, located conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the south western part of Uganda. It is the smallest of Uganda's savannah parks and is a home to more than 350 bird species as well as various zebras, impalas, elands, buffalos, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck. Together with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo (from which the park derives her name) forms part of a 50km-long wetland. Five of these lakes lie within the park's borders. Once covered by open savanna, this supports the healthy population of Buffalos, Warthogs, bush pig and hippopotamus.

Lake Mburo National Park contains much woodland compared to other parks as there are no elephants to tame the vegetation. In the western part of the park, the savanna is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges while patches of papyrus swamp and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland line many lakes shores. Lake Mburo is notably blessed with over 350 bird species and probably the best place to view acacia-associated birds, Rwonyo is a good zone to see the mosque swallow, black bellied bustard, bare-faced-go away bird and Rappel's starling. A handful of birds is recorded essentially the southern ground hornbill and black throated barbet and the very rare African fin foot around the kigambira loop.

What is Lake Mburo National Park famous for? Lake Mburo National Park is well known for the impala though it has a vast population of wildlife ranging from zebras, elands, buffalos, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hyena, hippo, and reedbuck. The park offers a lot of amazing wildlife for the traveler to enjoy his/her safari.

How to get there

on the road

By Road

Lake Mburo National Park is the closest of all Uganda's national parks to the capital city and Uganda's main Airport of Entebbe; located between Kampala and Mbarara City. The park is mainly accessed by road over a journey of approximately 228 kilometers (about 4 hours). From Kampala, the park can be accessed through two gates. If you are traveling from Kampala, the first branch off on the left after Kageti leads you to the Nshara Gate located about 5 kilometers off the main road. The second branch off is at Sanga Trading Center and connects to Sanga Gate at a distance of about 13 kilometers off the highway. Both gates are only about 2-3 kilometers from Rwonyo where the park's headquarters are found

By Air

Whereas there aren't any direct flights into the park, tourists can charter flights from eitherEntebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Mbarara airstrip through one of the domestic carriers (eagle air and aero link). The flight takes approximately 1½ hours. You will then transfer by road to the park for a short distance of about 4o minutes. We recommend that you book your trip to Lake Mburo through a local tour company even when you are coming by air.

Map of Lake Mburo National Park

Origins of the park

The origin of this park started with a story of two brothers Mburo and kigarama who lived in the low-lying Savannah plains named the area Kaaro karungi (which translates to “good Village”). One night kigarama dreamt that they were to receive heavy rains which would cause flooding destruction of their property. When Kigarama told this dream to his brother Mburo, He took it for granted and called it a big Joke. Because dreams were highly respected in African society, Kigarama decided to leave the low-lying area and settled in the overlooking the valley leaving his brother behind. Finally the dream came true there were heavy rains that caused flooding hence drowning Mburo with his property Hence the name Lake Mburo then the hills were named after his brother - Kigarama Hill.

Activities at Lake Mburo National Park

Boat cruises

Boat cruises give the travellers a chance to spot different bird species and wildlife like crocodiles, hippos among others

Game Drives

Game Drives are another important activity that you will not miss on your trip. These game drives are categorized into day and night game drives.

Night game drives

Night game drives are conducted for those that might have missed out on the day drives or people wanting to spot the nocturnal and the shyest animals like leopards.

Sport Fishing & 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.

Cultural tours

Travelers 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 yoghurt, 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.


You will surely not regret a hike to the Kazuma lookout about 4,481 ft above sea level. Where you can get the 360 degree view of the park and catch up with the major five lakes, another Hike happens at the kigarama hill and is more a cultural adventure, where you get to hear the story of the park and how it was formed.

Nature walks

Lake Mburo national park is the only national park in Uganda, considered being safe for walking safaris, A walking safari allows a chance to get up close to Wildlife like Giraffes and take selfies, you also get a chance to get up close to nature, walking safaris are conducted with armed rangers and are considered very safe and offer maximum satisfaction to travellers.

Bird Watching

With over 350 bird species with an area of 370 sq. km, lake Mburo remains one of the rarest bird watching havens in the heart of Africa, the small area guarantees the tourist higher chances of sporting and identifying birds, this coupled with a unique ecosystem made of water, swamps, savannah and woodland, makes lake Mburo national park a special birding Haven.

Horseback riding

This is an exclusive activity offered by mihingo lodge, however the horses are not reserved for residents of this luxury lodge, they are also allowed to the other clients who are at Lake Mburo national park.

Accomodation Options


Kigambira Safari Lodge

Managed by Kigambira Lodges

+256(0) 777 - 571 - 597

+256(0) 775 - 162 - 835

Montana Tented Camp

+256(0) 392 - 967 - 368

+256(0) 414 - 321 - 55

Mihingo Lodge

P.O. Box 28142, Kampala, Uganda

+256(0) 752 - 410 - 509


Mburo Safari Lodge

Lake Mburo National Park

+256(0) 752 - 433 - 743

Mid Range

Rwakobo Rocck Resort

+256(0) 755 - 211 - 771


Arcadia Cottages

Managed by Arcadia

+256(0) 486 - 262 - 31

+256(0) 772 - 981 - 155


Rwonyo rest camp

Managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority

+256(0) 414 - 355 - 403

+256(0) 414 - 355 - 405

+256(0) 414 - 355 - 404

Hyena Hill Lodge

+256(0) 751 - 898 - 014


Eagles Nest

Operated by nature lodges

+256(0) 312 - 294 - 894

+256(0) 773 -447 - 343

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