Close up head photo of a uganda kob

Lake Mburo National Park

Size: 370km2

Altitude: 1,220m - 1,828m above sea level

Wetland habitats comprise 20% of the park's surface. The parks' precarious past has seen wildlife virtually eliminated several times: firstly in various attempts to rid the region of tsetse flies, then to make way for ranches, and finally as a result of subsistence poaching.

20% of the park's entrance fee is used to fund local community 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 parks of western Uganda.

It is the smallest of Uganda's savannah national parks and underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years.

It is home to 350 bird species as well as zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck. Together with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 50km-long wetland system linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park's borders.

Once covered by open savanna, Lake Mburo National Park now contains much woodland 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 lake.

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.

How to get there

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 either Entebbe 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.

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 safaris: Boat safaris 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 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.

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.

Hiking: 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.

Wildlife vewing safaris in Uganda

impalas on the road

3 Day Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth National Parks

This tour takes to the smallest Savannah National park Lake Mburo national park with beautiful animals such as zebras and giraffes before you transfer to queen Elizabeth national park for a boat cruise and game drives through Uganda's second biggest national park where you are expected to see animals such as Uganda kobs, elephants and cats such as lions and leopards.

Explore Idea $844

Per person sharing

hippo side close up

3 Day Uganda Mid Range Tour

Covered in the safari will be all the major activities that are usually carried out to this exclusively special Uganda safari park, though an additional fourth day is important if you are interested in chimpanzee tracking.

Explore Idea $973

Per person sharing

hippos in front of a boat

7 Day Africa Honey Moon Safari

Specifically designed for honeymooners, this seven days tour has been crafted in such a way that it goes very slow and tackles the most thrilling destinations in the country to meet the test of honeymooners, all lodges have been well selected and a complimentary bear or wine will be provided to each couple on the trip.

Explore Idea $2227

Per person sharing

Uganda Safaris

Other toursit destinations in Uganda

Blackback mountain gorilla in mgahinga 720

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

More famously, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park protects over 500 mountain gorillas - roughly half of the world's population, with 23 habituated groups, which can be tracked and a number of solitary individuals.

Explore park

Kibale Forest National Park

While many researchers focus on the chimpanzees and other primates found in the park, others are investigating Kibale's ecosystems, wild pigs and fish species, among other topics

Explore park
gazelle head

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo is Uganda's most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through the wild frontier region of Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa's finest wildernesses

Explore park
mount elgon peaks

Mount Elgon National Park

At 4,000km² Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the world. Located on the Uganda - Kenya border it is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa.

Explore park
murchison falls

Murchison Falls National Park

The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45meters over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and the final event in an 80kilometers stretch of rapids

Explore park
lone lion

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda's most popular tourist destination. The park's diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid woodland forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands,

Explore park
Rwenzori mountain

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65km-wide Rwenzori mountain range

Explore park
sempaya hotspring

Semliki National Park

Semuliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semuliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori.

Explore park
boat on the source of the nile

The source of the Nile

The source of all this tumult is marked by a modest sign that reads “The Source of River Nile - Jinja - World's Longest River” at Ripon Falls, a series of cataracts that are partially submerged due to dams constructed downriver

Explore park
rhino in zziwa

Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary

The Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary is playing a crucial role in the conservation efforts for the white rhinoceros, which is one of Africa's most endangered species.

Explore park
sleeping gorilla

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a protected area located in southwestern Uganda, on the border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Explore park
sipi falls

Sipi Falls

Sipi Falls is a stunning waterfall located in eastern Uganda, near the town of Kapchorwa. It is considered one of the most beautiful natural attractions in the country and draws tourists from all over the world.

Explore park
water buck

Pian Upe Game Reserve

Pian Upe is known for its diverse wildlife, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.

Explore park
Sempaya hot springs

Sempaya Hot Springs

The Sempaya Hot Springs consist of two main springs: the male spring, known as "Bintente," and the female spring, known as "Nyasimbi." These springs are named after ancestral spirits that are believed to reside in the area.

Explore park
Let's chat