Lake Mburo National Park
Safari suitability: 6/10Find your tour
Scenic, small park of important biodiversity. No elephants or rhinos.
What YAS members think
- A small park that offers great wildlife viewing.
- Home to three of the big five: buffalo, lions and leopards.
- Supports a wide array of antelopes and is the only place in Uganda that has impalas.
- Is small in size and should be combined with other parks
About Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is located in the west of Uganda, in the Kiruhura district, 240 kilometers (150 miles) west of the capital, Kampala, and 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the region’s biggest city, Mbarara. At 260 kilometers² (100 miles²), this is a relatively small park, but it harbors some animal and plant species that cannot be found anywhere else in Uganda and is an important place of biodiversity. Lake Mburo is at the centre of the park, and is a part of a wetland ecosystem consisting of 14 lakes, five of which are within the park’s boundaries. Alongside lakes, there are other types of habitat: forests, hills, woodlands and grasslands, which provide for a wide variety of wildlife. The park used to have an extensive savannah, but due to the absence of elephants and their grazing, this is now shrinking and is being replaced by wetland.
Wildlife of Lake Mburo National Park
Of the three of the big five that reside within the park, herds of buffalo can be regularly seen, while lions and leopards are more difficult to spot. Burchell’s zebra and impala are specific to this park. Eland, Defassa waterbuck, oribi, topi and warthog all live here and are among the more commonly viewed species. Over 300 hippos dwell in the lakes so you are sure to spot them on a boat safari. Bird watchers can enjoy around 350 bird species, including the rare red-faced barbet, African finfoot and the shoebill.
Activities to do in Lake Mburo National Park
The national park offers great forest walks and nature trails, and game can be viewed on foot here. To see aquatic animal and plant species, you are recommended to take a boat trip on Lake Mburo and enjoy the company of crocodiles, hippopotami, pelicans, cormorants and fish eagles. You can also opt for one of the horseback safaris, which enable you to get close to the wild animals, while enjoying being chauffeured by a tamed one! If you feel in need of some pampering, the Mihingo lodge offers a full-body massage, the proceeds of which go to the leopard conservation program.
When is the best time of year to visit Lake Mburo?
The park can be visited all year round. The best time for viewing game is during the two dry seasons: from June to August, and from December to February. Most precipitation is expected in April and November, while July and August are the hottest months.
This national park is the smallest in Uganda, but there zebras and giraffes. At the lake you can do a boat trip. Mountain biking is possible as well. We saw a group with bikes. At Eagles Nest we had a great view over the park.
Lake Mburo is one of Uganda's nearest conservation areas surrounded by lakes, marshy areas rivers, beautiful wildlife and an angelic environment, a number of exciting activities including game drives, horse back riding, guided nature walks, boat rides do take place in the park.
Lake Mburo National Park is a better point to spot wildlife without fear in fact one can go close to game on horses organized by Mihingo Lodge in the park.
Lake Mburo National Park is well-located between Entebbe and Bwindi and makes a good stop to avoid a really long drive. The park has no lions or elephants so it is perhaps not as exciting in a large animal aspect. It does have giraffes, Burchell's zebra and impala, which are not seen in many places in Uganda. Other species that are resident here include warthogs, hippo, buffalo, bushbuck, defassa waterbuck, eland and topi. These are all plentiful. There are also baboons, monkeys and are many birds. A night game drive can yield hyena, leopard and other nocturnal species. As there are no lions, it is possible to do a walking safari anywhere in the park, which is a nice experience.
Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest of Ugandas savannah park. It is named after a Lake which lies in the park. It offers some of the best experiences of wild Uganda recommended that you stay longer than two days. The vegetation ranges from Savannah, woodland, rock ridges, acacia, wetlands which provide different activities to the visitors. You have opportunities for nature walks, forest walks, game drives, boat safari, sport fishing, mountain biking and horse rides. The range of bird life is a whopping 300 species with some of the rare birds including; Crested Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Red necked Spur, Common Quails, Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Blue-napped Mousebird, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Bee-eaters and the Cheeky bronze-tailed starling, crowned crane etc. Zebras are some of the most beautiful animals you will enjoy in this park they are always ready for photo sessions. Lake Mburo is also home to a lonely Lion consider yourself lucky to find see it. More large mammals that are easier to see include; Leopards, Hyenas, Uganda Kobs, Impala (only found here in Uganda), Eland, Crocodiles, Hippos and Buffaloes. This little park is a beautiful gem. Activities include one can do include; Bird Watching, Game drives, Boat Safari, Nature Hikes, Forest Walks, Squad biking, Horseback Safaris, Sport fishing, Community walks and Cultural experiences.
While in Lake Mburo National Park, try out horseback game viewing! it is extremely beautiful. It can be a ride or a walk on a horse depending on ones riding experience, either way it is the most unique way to view game with greater chances of getting really up-close with the animals. For experienced riders, the ride takes about 4 - 5 hours in the Warukiri plain offering spectacular views of the park. During the ride you sometimes see eland, zebra, warthog, topi, impala, bush buck, water buck and buffalo. You can even tell the most emotional or timid animal. Some animals don't just run away like it is when in the car, here you get some animals especially the zebra excited and willing to welcome the visitors little do they know that a visit is not a just a horse, but a horse and a human being.
Lake Mburo (370sq km) is one of Uganda's smallest but bio-packed with zebras, elands, shoe-bill storks, crocodiles and African Finfoot that cant be missed!
One of Uganda's smallest savannah parks but with lots of wonders and adventure, the amazing Lake Mburo National Park is located in Kiruhura District in Western Uganda,East-Africa The park's well developed Acacia woodland harbors a number of wildlife species and it is the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope,topi, impala, buffaloes and various acacia-associated birds. Lake Mburo is the largest of the five lakes found in the park and attracts large numbers ofhippos, crocodiles and several water birds. Enjoy bird watching, game viewing, boat riding on Lake Mburo and sport fishing. Visit Uganda also known as Pearl of Africa and Visit Lake Mburo for a Perfect trip/adventure...
Driving to Lake Mburo National Park from Entebbe or Kampala
If you're flying in to Entebbe, the drive is just under four hours, in normal traffic conditions. It's about one hour longer from Kampala.
Lake Mburo is not normally a primary destination on safari. Its location between Bwindi and/or Queen Elizabeth NP and Entebbe make it a convenient place to stop en route. At present, aside from private charter flights, there are not many domestic flight options.
The following airlines travel to Lake Mburo National Park
Based in Kampala, operates scheduled and charter services across eastern and central Africa. Eagle Air is a Private Ltd Company specialising in the provision of Charter and Schedule Air services both within Uganda and around the East & Central Africa Region. Eagle Air was incorporated as an air operator in June 1994. Visit website
Also flies to: