Lake Mburo National Park – Whispers of the Wild

Lake Mburo National Park is Uganda’s smallest savannah national park. It is the closest to Kampala City and Entebbe International Airport. The park was gazette in 1933 as a controlled hunting area. Later, in 1963 as a game reserve this area was predominantly occupied by the Banyankole cattle keepers who used to herd their cattle in the reserve.

In 1983, the reserve was granted a national park during Obote’s regime as a way to punish the Banyankole cattle farmers since they were the Obote’s anti-rebels. These rebels were not compensated and they had to lose their grazing grounds. When the Obote’s regime declined in 1985, the former pastoralists within the park started destroying the park’s infrastructure, expelling the staff. They also started taking over part of the park’s land. Later on, the remaining land of the park was gazette by the current government, thus becoming Uganda’s smallest savannah national park.

Location and size of Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park covers an area of 370 square kilometers and 20% of this land is occupied by wetlands. The park is located on the Mbarara – Masaka – Kampala highway in the Kiruhura district. It is a 4-hour drive to the park from Kampala. Lake Mburo National Park is near the biggest town in western Uganda called Mbarara. The park is home to over 350 bird species which makes it a birders’ haven with several bird species.

Additionally, the Park has a 50-kilometre wetland cover of 13 lakes inside whereas 5 of these lakes are at the border of the park.  Savannah type of vegetation is predominant within the park with a wide range of wildlife like zebras, giraffes, impalas, and many others. 20% of the park’s revenue collected is usually offered to the community for the development of the schools, hospitals, and other facilities as a Cooperate responsibility project for the community.

What to see while on a safari to Lake Mburo National Park

While on the Uganda safari to Lake Mburo National Park, there is a variety of attractions to see they include;


While on a safari to Lake Mburo National Park, the park has a variety of wildlife and this wildlife creates a basic experience for a traveler on a Uganda safari. Some of the wildlife includes; impalas, zebras, buffaloes, antelopes, and giraffes, to mention but a few. A safari game drive in this Park will introduce you to multiple animal species. For a much in depth wildlife encounter a guided nature walk or horseback riding safari in Lake Mburo National Park is highly recommended. Following different trails during a game drive in this park will create a signature of memories. Some of these trails include; the Zebra Track, Kigambira Loop, Kazuma Track, and Lakeside Track.

Lake Mburo National Park
Wildlife in Lake Mburo National Park

Bird species

The park is home to a variety of bird species. Over 350 bird species can be spotted on a birding safari to Lake Mburo National Park. The Rwonyo area and Rubanga Forest are perfect birding areas in the Park. Some of the bird species in this park include; the mosque swallow, black-bellied bustard, rupees sterling, southern hornbill, and many others. These make Lake Mburo National Park a true birder’s haven for travelers interested in birding safaris or birding tours.

Lake Mburo

The park‘s name originates from the lake within the park called Lake Mburo. During a safari to Lake Mburo National Park, the lake is on the bucket list attraction that a traveler has to see. During the visit to the lake Mburo, you will be able to see a variety of wildlife on the lake shores like the crocodiles, a school of hippos, and buffaloes. The lake is also home to water birds like the American white ibis, the green heron, the great blue heron, the grey-crowned crested crane, and many more.

Rubanga forest

This tropical forest is found within the park in the western part of Lake Mburo with one of the interesting closed canopies and a viewing point for travelers while on a Uganda safari. While on your visit to this forest, you will be able to see a lot of the forest bird species like green pigeons, narina trogon, and many others. A guided nature walk in Rubanga Forest is a perfect activity for bird lovers. The walk comes with scenic views and a chance to enjoy the natural breeze on a Uganda safari.

Ankole culture

The Banyankole is one of the predominant tribes in the communities surrounding the park. These communities are predominantly known for their cattle-rearing activity located near the Sanga gate. This community has a unique tradition and crafts that a traveler will encounter. On a safari to Lake Mburo National Park, travelers immerse themselves in the local communities. They learn about the history and traditions of the Banyankole who are the ancient dwellers of the region. Book yourself a Uganda Cultural Safari and turn moments into memories.

What to do on safari to Lake Mburo National Park?

On your Uganda safari to Lake Mburo National Park, you have a variety of activities. Some of the activities to do on safari to the Park include;

Game drives

On your Uganda safari, a game drive is one of the essential activities on the bucket list in Mburo. During this safari, you will be required to use the 4×4 van where you will drive through designated tracks in an open van to ensure closeness in the wild. Some of these tracks include; the Zebra Track, Kigambira Loop, Kazuma Track, and Lakeside Track. While on a game drive, you will be able to see animals like buffaloes, zebra, giraffes, and many others.

Boat cruise on Lake Mburo

A boat cruise in Lake Mburo National Park is usually carried out on Lake Mburo. During this boat cruise, you will be able to see different wildlife. These include; large schools of hippos, buffaloes, and zebras. Along the shores of the lake, travelers spot multiple bird species making it an experiential trip on a Uganda safari.

Horseback riding

While in Lake Mburo National Park, horseback riding should be on the bucket list. Horseback riding safaris in Lake Mburo National Park are done at the Mihingo Lodge within the park. During this ride, you will encounter the wild on the back of the horses. Horse riding is usually guided by the park rangers to ensure the safety of the travelers while on a Uganda safari. These provide an up-close encounter with birds and wildlife on a trip to Uganda. This is an opportunity to connect with nature and create memories that last for a lifetime.


Are you planning a Uganda birding safari? Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best places that you should add to your travel destinations list. Lake Mburo is a true haven for birders since it is home to multiple bird species. The majority of the birds in Lake Mburo are Rift Valley endemics. Additionally, the park receives large numbers of migratory birds. Taking a birding tour in this Park is a rewarding experience. The bird guides in the park are experienced and they are always ready to attend to all your birding concerns. Book a Uganda Birding Tour Now.

What is the best time to Visit the Park?

Lake Mburo National Park is an open safari destination throughout the year. This implies that anytime, the park is open to travelers. The Park is open on both weekends and public holidays. However, the dry season is usually considered the best time to visit the Park. The dry seasons run from June to September and December to February. During this period, there are less or no chances of rain. Hence, activities like game drives, nature walks, and boat cruises can be easily done. The rainy seasons come with advantages like a reduction in the prices for accommodation since it is considered a low season for tourism in Uganda.

In a nutshell, the best time to visit the Park entirely depends on the needs of the traveler and their budget. Talk to a Uganda Tour Consultant now for more advice.

How to get to Lake Mburo National Park

Accessing Lake Mburo National Park is usually by either road or air transport. By road transport, you will have a 4-hour drive from Kampala City to the Park which is about 228 kilometers away from Kampala City. The park is mainly accessed by road.  While on the road, the park has two access points which are Nshara and Sanga gates. While on the highway from Kampala, you will branch off 5 kilometers away from the Kampala highway to Nshara gate and the Sanga gate is 13 kilometers away from the Sanga trading center.

On the other hand, by air, you will have a direct flight from Kajansi Airstrip or the Entebbe International Airport to Mbarara Airstrip since the park has no airstrips through booking direct domestic flights.

Where to stay?

While in Lake Mburo National there is a variety of accommodation facilities to choose from. These range from luxury to mid-range and budget facilities.

Luxury accommodation facilities are facilities that offer high-end services to travelers. The services offered are usually quite expensive and so desirable. The facilities in Lake Mburo include; Mburo Safari Lodge, Mihingo Lodge, Montana’s Lake Mburo Lodge, and many others

Midrange accommodation facilities include; the Mburo Safari Cottages, Arcadia Cottages, Rwakobo Rock Safari Lodge, Mpogo Lodge, and many others.

Budget accommodation facilities are facilities that offer services to travelers on a tight budget and the services offered are usually at low cost since the budget is also low. These facilities include a leopard Rest Camp, Rwonyo Rest Camp, Mburo Eagles’ Nest, and many others.

On the Uganda safari, Lake Mburo National is usually the last destination or starting destination of the safari so travelers are usually advised to choose and book in advance to ensure that they have the best safari in Lake Mburo National Park.

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