Lake Mburo National Park
The best Uganda safari experience in Lake Mburo National Park
I think that it is right to say that there is nowhere else like the pearl of Africa. Everything so unique with the biggest secrets of nature hiding here.
Before embarking on a safari to Uganda, probably you have only been told about the mighty mountain gorilla of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Yes, these rare special endangered are amazing features to watch especially after journeying a long distance through the thick jungle just on the hunt for the gentle apes.
That is also a different experience than a few paragraphs can-not well explain for you to understand, but rather a gorilla safari in Uganda has the best version.
Now it was my turn to visit the compact gem with almost 370 square kilometers of untouched diversity, a renowned land; Lake Mburo national park. Sure I was expecting to enjoy a safari adventure, that was not too tiring but obviously one of the lifetime trips I always had great travelers talk of and write about, and it really turns out right.
The fact that destinations are not defined as the best places to explore only because of the wonderful time one spends venturing it, but rather because of the amazing detours along the way.
Being the closest park to Uganda’s capital Kampala, Lake Mburo doesn’t have many stopovers, and the most common one is the equator at Kayabwe. However, also standing in the middle of the whole universe is not something to take for granted. Thousands of tourists flock the country just to stand at the Centre point of the earth, and here I am, I already stood there.
Having driven through Masaka town, the famous origin of the “city celebrities” and through the deserted lands that give beautiful sceneries, we finally bumped the Nshara park entrance of Lake Mburo. Honestly, we were welcomed with sights of zebras, it was surely a warm welcome.
This smallest savanna park in Uganda is conveniently located close to Kampala Mbarara highway, only 270 kilometers away from Uganda’s capital Kampala. It is home to several bird species, making it one of the most important birding areas in Uganda.
No tourist ever visits the park and never spots the zebras, impalas, elands, buffalos, Oribi, Defassa waterbucks, leopards, hippos, reedbucks and Topis. The park encloses several lakes with Lake Mburo as the major spot. The park is interspersed with forested gorges, papyrus swamps, and rocky ridges, all forming a perfect dwelling for wildlife.
From wildlife safaris to cultural tours and community visits, there is simply something for every traveler in the national park. It furnished a variety of thrilling wild activities that would take me centuries to forget the experience.
Birding is one of the main tourist activities. Lake Mburo national park is a mix of different ecosystems; the swaps, shrubs, lakes and the savanna, it’s a very important birding area. The guide told us that the swampy valleys of Warukiri and Miriti are the best birding spots in Lake Mburo national park.
Even if am not a good birder, not because I don’t want, but because the bird names are really too hard for me to master, I learnt that the park homes more than 350 bird species ranging from the Grey Crowned Crane, Coqui Francolin, Black-bellied Bustard, Bateleur, Brown Parrot, Brown-chested Lapwing, Red-headed Lovebird, Green Wood-hoopoe, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Red-faced Barbet, Ross’s Turaco, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Common Scimitarbill, White-headed Barbet, and so many others. Those where the few I noted.
- Game drives
Having in mind that Lake Mburo is the smallest savanna national park in Uganda, a thought of not getting an incredible game drive rotated in my head all the time. However, the park really offered a breathtaking game drive with beautiful views of the rocky landscape, several wildlife species like the buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, warthogs, Oribi, Defassa waterbucks, leopards, hippos, reedbucks, Topis and impalas plus several others summing up to over 60 mammal species.
- Walking safaris
Now this was the best part of my trip to Lake Mburo national park. A walk simply amidst nature, off the comfortable 4×4 wheel drive and exploring the nature on foot was an experience I can never get enough words to explain it best. A walking safari gave me an opportunity to spot even the exceptional nature insights, absorb the wonders of the African jungle without any confines of the vehicle, getting really close wildlife encounters with the zebras, warthogs, monkeys, giraffes and so many others. Indeed, If it’s a trip in Uganda, it shouldn’t leave out Lake Mburo national park.
- Boat Ride
From the moment I stepped in the boat, I immediately felt connected to the beautiful natural waters of the famous lake Mburo. A boat cruise that gave me spectacular views of the surrounding environment and aquatic wildlife species. The whole scenery was simply perfect for the photographs that I also didn’t miss taking. For birders, it is one spot they shouldn’t miss on any birding safari in Uganda, over 200 bird species call this lake home. Of course, I didn’t fail to spot the crocodiles and hippos in the shallow ends of the lake.
Also, horseback safaris, Sportfishing on Lake Mburo, cultural encounters and community walks can be done in Lake Mburo national park, though I didn’t have the chance to enjoy this because of the limited time I had. But truly, it is one park that even three days might not expose me to all the activities and corners of the park however small it is.
Thinking of a wildlife safari in Uganda, do not look past Lake Mburo national park, even when going for the gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park, this tiny park Lake Mburo can still be an en route destination as it is on the same route to the western parts of Uganda.
As for me, I can still redo trips to Lake Mburo national park as many times as possible if time allows me. But now, let me first explore some new destinations that I have not been to, I cannot live a wasted life without traveling, particularly the pearl of Africa.