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Lake Mburo National Park


Are You Planning A Uganda Safari To Lake Mburo? Scroll Down..


Lake Mburo Park Introduction - Location, Wildlife & History

As you travel along the highway connecting Kampala with western Uganda’s national parks, you’ll discover a small but rich haven of wildlife in Lake Mburo National Park (safari activities). Located close to the main artery, this reserve is the smallest of all the parks in the country but it has significant socioeconomic importance. It’s a place that reveals the impact of a single species’ disappearance on the region’s ecosystem. Originally a landscape of savannah grasslands, the park now has a lush forest covering due to the absence of elephants, whose foraging once kept tree growth at bay. In addition to woodlands, the topography also features gorges and rocky ridges. Spend some safari vacation time in this part of Africa where you will also discover riparian forests growing around the lakes, and papyrus-dominated wetlands.

Key Takeaways

  • Located on the highway connecting Kampala with the reserves on the west of Uganda
  • Smallest park in the country, but of significant importance 
  • Showcases diverse landscapes like riparian forests, woodlands, gorges rocky ridges, swamps and  papyrus-lined lakes

Watch Video On Lake Mburo Safari Experiences

Travel Guide Content - Start Here

1. What Are The Wildlife Experiences In Lake Mburo National Park?
What Are The Areas Of Interest In Lake Mburo National Park
2. The Beautiful, Diverse & Aquatic Ecology Of Lake Mburo
3. Sustainable Conservation At Lake Mburo
Lake Mburo Park - An Overview

1. What Are The Wildlife Experiences In Lake Mburo National Park?

Key Takeaways

  • Only location in Uganda that has numbers of impala, also has various other grazers
  • Birdwatchers’ haven showcasing more than 350 species of avian life
  • Lakes abounding with hippos, crocodiles, rare cichlids, a fish species and aquatic birds

Animals Of Lake Mburo Park - Big Cats - Predators, Grazers - Herbivores & Primates

The Lake Mburo National Park that you see today is a result of the efforts of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government, which redefined its boundaries in 1986. Although it now covers less than half of its original area, it more than makes up for that with a stunning variety of animal and birdlife. On your game drive trips in Lake Mburo Park, you’ll have a chance to see various species of grazers, including reedbucks, topi, Defassa waterbuck, oribi, buffalos, elands, impalas, zebras, giraffes and many more. The park is, in fact, the only place in Uganda where you’ll see impalas. 

Birdwatching enthusiasts will enjoy spotting some of the over 350 species that thrive here, including 22 migrating birds. On your birding tour in Uganda with AfricanMecca, you will also have the opportunity to view the rare shoebill stork, red-faced barbet, and African finfoot. The lakes thrive with rare cichlids, along with aquatic birds, crocodiles, and hippos. Primates such as vervet monkeys and galagos can be seen too.
What Are The Wildlife Experiences In Lake Mburo National Park

What Are The Areas Of Interest In Lake Mburo National Park?

2. The Beautiful, Diverse & Aquatic Ecology Of Lake Mburo

Key Takeaways

  • Comprises of a network of 13 lakes, of which 5 are located within the park’s boundaries
  • Lakes and swamplands combining to create an ecosystem of water bodies that is 50 kilometers (31 miles) long
  • Bedrock made with 500-million-year-old Precambrian rock
Lake Mburo is a transition point, where the raging waters of the Victoria Nile, after thundering over 80 kilometers (50 miles) of rapids, transform into the calm, lazily flowing Albert Nile. The waters gush powerfully through a compressed, 7-meter (23 feet) wide gorge and throw up a mist that spreads across a 50-meter (164 feet) radius. It creates a fabulous rainbow that dances over the falls – and presents a lovely scenic photo safari opportunity. Next to Lake Mburo is the tamer Uhuru Falls, which first came into being in 1962 when the river overflowed its banks and cut a new channel.
The Beautiful, Diverse & Aquatic Ecology Of Lake Mburo

3. Sustainable Conservation At Lake Mburo

Key Takeaways

  • Balanced sustainability between the Banyankole Bahima tribe and park’s preservation goals
  • The park’s history strengthens its future existence
  • A good example for renewed conservation for the rest of Uganda and Africa
Go on a sustainable safari holiday in the reserve and you will learn about how the rich grasslands provide sustenance to the long-horned Ankole cattle, owned by the Banyankole Bahima people who reside on the edges of the park. The local people depend on the park’s natural resources in a number of ways, gleaning materials from it to make medicines, thatch roofs, and create handicrafts. Education support for the children is a priority too. Rainfall here is erratic since the area falls in a rain shadow between Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains range. During a good wet season, rainfall can vary from 500 mm to 1000 mm.

Fishing from the lakes also offers a major source of food. In 1933, the reserve was slated as a Controlled Hunting Area, and it was given national park status in 1983. However, strife between the former ruling Obote government and local people took its toll on the reserve and its residents, and much of the wildlife and vegetation was destroyed. This is now slowly reversing with the forward looking government in Uganda. The wildlife of Lake Mburo and its renewed ecology are getting back to its former glory every day.
Sustainable Conservation At Lake Mburo

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What Safari Attractions & Tour Activities To Experience During Your Lake Mburo Visit?

Key Takeaways

  • Small park covering an area of 370 sq km (143 sq mi) with a diversity of scenic landscapes
  • Home to 350 species of birds including 22 migratory northern species
  • 68 species of mammals along with various reptiles, amphibians, insects, and smaller creatures
Lake Mburo National Park covers an area of 370 square kilometers (143 square miles) and, though small, has a variety of habitats and biomes. Along with the region’s 13 lakes, 5 of which are included within the borders of the park, there are extensive swamps that support a rich wetland ecosystem with an array of wildlife. Savannah grasslands, copses of acacia and commiphora, riparian forests, and papyrus marshes provide a haven for a wide range of herbivores, a few carnivores, and avian life. A family safari vacation in Uganda will offer a chance to indulge in many adventure activities at Lake Mburo, some are suitable for parents with young children.

You can go on fauna viewings on walking safaris, which also offer the opportunity to get a closer look at insects, amphibians, reptiles, and other smaller creatures you wouldn’t notice on a typical game drive. Nonetheless, the classic game drives offer a chance to see some of the 68 species of mammals present in the park, including grazing herbivores like warthog, reedbuck, topi, Defassa waterbuck, oribi, duiker, buffalo, Rothschild's giraffe, and many more. Although common in other parts of the continent, this is the only region in Uganda to find impalas. You will also find the eland and Burchell’s zebra, viewable only in Lake Mburo and Kidepo.
Lake Mburo Safari Activities & Tour Attractions
Predators prowling the park include hyenas, genets, and leopards; lions have recently been seen again in the park after a long absence. Avid bird watchers vacationing in Lake Mburo Park are thrilled to be able to spot about 350 species here, including 22 migratory species that arrive from Palaearctic and Afrotropical regions. The lakes abound with around 300 hippos and many crocodiles. Spend time boating on the lakes and you will surely come across various aquatic birds. Fishing is another activity available to tourists.

Horseback riding safaris, mountain biking, wild running are the unique adventure activities to do here at Lake Mburu. Spend some time in a hide close to a watering hole and salt lick to watch the animals visit to drink and lick the saline soil. The hides and a wooden viewing platform were set up by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Watch Video On Lake Mburo Safari Experiences

Our Top 7 Safari Activities In Lake Mburo - Things You Can Do & See

Activities Content - Start Here

1. Game Drives To View The Diverse Wildlife Of Lake Mburo
2. Boat Safaris Around Lake Mburo
3. Birdwatching Safaris In Lake Mburo
4. Cultural & Community Tours Near Lake Mburo Park
5. Walking Safaris In Lake Mburo Park
6. Horseback Safaris In Lake Mburo Park
7. Mountain Biking & Cycling In Lake Mburo Park
Our Top 7 Safari Activities In Lake Mburo & Things You Can Do & See In Lake Mburo

1. Game Drives To View The Diverse Wildlife Of Lake Mburo

Key Takeaways

  • Drives along the Research Track with your guide on board to spot herds of herbivores grazing
  • Visiting the Kazuma Lookout for stunning views of the 5 lakes of the park
  • Night game drives to spot nocturnal creatures that remain hidden away in the day
Lake Mburo National Park has several sections and trails with special appeal for wildlife lovers, as they have a dense concentration of bird and animal life. Choose the Research Track for views of warthog, oribi, reedbuck, topi, Burchell’s zebra, giraffes, and buffaloes cooling off in the muddy swamplands. You might also wish to add a drive to the Kazuma Lookout to your Uganda wildlife safari itinerary for Lake Mburo. After parking the safari vehicle at the bottom of the hill, climb to the top for breathtaking panoramas of the 5 lakes of the park. If the wet season, consider driving along Eland Track for a spectacular experience.

The environs of Lake Mburo National Park allow for tours and explorations both inside and outside the reserve boundaries. You will be riding in a specialized safari vehicle with an AfricanMeca assigned guide on board to help you spot the wildlife hidden in the bush and learn more about the behaviors. Drive to the dams for livestock outside the park for sightings of crested cranes, shoebills, and other aquatic birds. The tribal villages on the outskirts of the park, are also a great place to visit, allowing guests to spot magnificent long-horned Ankole cattle grazing side by side with herds of eland, impalas, and topi.

Night game drives in Lake Mburo National Park offer the opportunity to view the park and its denizens in a whole different light. Be on the lookout for nocturnal animals such as the leopard, spotted hyena, and perhaps even a lion hunting in the bush. Also watch for smaller creatures like the white-tailed mongoose, genet cat, bush pig, gallago, and porcupine. Each trip takes around 2 hours and is conducted after dinner. The expert guide assigned may use spotlights to help you better see the animals.
Game Drives To View The Diverse Wildlife Of Lake Mburo

2. Boat Safaris Around Lake Mburo

Key Takeaways

  • Boating to view hippos and crocodiles
  • Sightings of gorgeous aquatic birds fishing in the lake
  • Each cruise lasting around 90 minutes and available for both kids and adults, life jackets provided
A boating trip on Lake Mburo is one of the must-dos on a visit to the park. Cruising the waters, you will be able to view aquatic birds as they hunt fish. Spot species like the fish eagle, finfoot, pelican, cormorant, heron, black crane, malachite kingfisher, shoebill stork, pied kingfisher, blue-headed weaver, rufous long-tailed starling, and hamerkop. Cruises are an hour and a half long, and both kids and adults are welcome on board. Life jackets are provided to all guests. Aside from the various animal species of Lake Mburo Park (best time to visit) that come to drink on the shores of the lake, you may also spot hippos and crocodiles in the shallows.
Boat Safaris Around Lake Mburo

3. Birdwatching Safaris In Lake Mburo

Key Takeaways

  • Birdwatching excursions to view some of the 350 species of Lake Mburo
  • Rubanga Forest birdwalk to see some of the 40 woodland species
  • Opportunity to spot some of the aquatic bird species
Look out for species like the red-faced barbet, which is found only in Lake Mburo National Park. You may also see rare species such as the shoebill and African finfoot that are best seen along the swampy borders of the park’s namesake lake. The expert guide assigned by AfricanMecca Safaris will accompany you on birdwatching trips. With his help, you could spot some fascinating species that color the background landscape with their brilliant hues. Among the many birds, look for the papyrus yellow warbler, brown-chested lapwing, Carruther’s Cisticola, Abyssinian ground hornbill, white-winged warbler, Tabora (long-tailed) Cisticola, African wattled lapwing, saddle-billed stork, and African scops owl. The forest of Rubanga is home to species like the yellow-rumped tinkerbird, hairy-breasted barbet, and blue-breasted kingfisher, to name a few. Other notable bird species are Rufous-bellied heron, Coqui francolin, bateleur eagle, black-bellied bustard, grey crowned crane etc.

AfricanMecca Safaris can also organize a Rubanga Forest birdwalk. The forest has a lovely shaded atmosphere under a canopy of trees that includes figs, acacia, markhamia, and platycladus, among others. From the viewing platform you can see more than 40 species of birds, 5 of which are limited to such forested habitats. As you walk with the guidance of a naturalist, look for species such as the double-toothed barbet, gray-backed harrier hawk, Camaroptera, Narina trogon, green pigeon, and shoebill stork.

Below is a list of some of the birds of Lake Mburo National Park

  • African Black-headed Oriole
  • African Finfoot
  • African Fish-Eagle
  • African Green-Pigeon
  • African Grey Hornbill
  • African Jacana
  • African Marsh Harrier
  • African Pied Wagtail
  • African Yellow White-eye
  • Bare-faced Go-away-bird
  • Barn Swallow
  • Bateleur
  • Black Crake
  • Black Kite
  • Black-headed Gonolek
  • Black-lored Babbler
  • Black-necked Weaver
  • Blue-breasted Kingfisher
  • Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
  • Broad-billed Roller
  • Brown Snake-Eagle
  • Cattle Egret
  • Chinspot Batis
  • Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
  • Collared Sunbird
  • Common Bulbul
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Common Scimitarbill
  • Crested Barbet
  • Crested Francolin
  • Dideric Cuckoo
  • Double-toothed Barbet
  • Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove
  • Flappet Lark
  • Fork-tailed Drongo
  • Giant Kingfisher
  • Green Sandpiper
  • Green-backed Camaroptera
  • Grey-capped Warbler
  • Hadada Ibis
  • Hamerkop
  • Lesser Striped Swallow
  • Little Egret
  • Little Greenbul
  • Lizard Buzzard
  • Long-toed Lapwing
  • Madagascar Bee-eater
  • Malachite Kingfisher
  • Mariqua Sunbird
  • Northern Grey-headed Sparrow
  • Papyrus Gonolek
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Pin-tailed Whydah
  • Plain-backed Pipit
  • Purple-banded Sunbird
  • Red-billed Firefinch
  • Red-eyed Dove
  • Red-faced Crombec
  • Red-necked Francolin
  • Ring-necked Dove
  • Ruppell's Starling
  • Sand Martin
  • Sooty Chat
  • Shoebill
  • Speckled Mousebird
  • Spectacled Weaver
  • Splendid Starling
  • Spot-flanked Barbet
  • Squacco Heron
  • Striated Heron
  • Striped Kingfisher
  • Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike
  • Swamp Flycatcher
  • Tawny-flanked Prinia
  • Trilling Cisticola
  • Water Thick-knee
  • Wattled Lapwing
  • Western Yellow Wagtail
  • White-backed Night-Heron
  • White-browed Coucal
  • White-rumped Swift
  • White-winged Black Tern
  • White-winged Swamp Warbler
  • Willow Warbler
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Woodland Kingfisher
  • Yellow-breasted Apalis
  • Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
  • Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird
Birdwatching Safaris In Lake Mburo

4. Cultural & Community Tours Near Lake Mburo Park

Key Takeaways

  • Interactions with the Banyankole Bahima tribe to learn about how they manage their long-horned Ankole cattle. Lessons in milking cows and tasting fresh milk
  • Opportunity to check out the traditional huts and learn about the ancient lifestyles of the people. Listening to folklore and sampling traditional dishes
  • Bicycle rides to the fishing village to learn traditional drying and preserving techniques
During your African cultural safari in Lake Mburo National Park, you can get an introduction to the pastoral way of life followed by the Banyankole Bahima people and learn a bit about how they manage the long-horned Ankole cattle they own. Walk to the village by foot or ride over on a bicycle. Take a lesson on milking cows and later get a taste of the fresh milk. You can also learn how ghee, clarified butter, is made before wandering through the grazing lands, co-inhabited by domestic cattle and local wildlife herds. You could also take a bicycle ride to the nearby fishing village. Get a crash course in the art of drying and preserving fish,, or hire a boat and float among the papyrus reeds, searching for hidden birds.

As you travel out of Lake Mburo National Park through the Sanga Gate, you will reach the Igongo Cultural Center, located about 4 kilometers away. This cultural complex has a series of traditional huts where you can learn more about the ancient living styles of locals, including many customs still followed today. You will also learn about the reverence the tribes feel for their Ankole cattle believing them to be kings and queens. People living in the area include the Banyankole, Batooro, Bakiga, Banyakitara, and Banyoro. At the end of the tour, you can sample some of the traditional dishes, including served in the area, such as roasted goat.
Cultural & Community Tours Near Lake Mburo Park

5. Walking Safaris In Lake Mburo Park

Key Takeaways

  • Excursions organized in the early morning to experience the sights and sounds of animals waking up
  • Spotting tiny insects and small reptiles, amphibians, birds, and small animals hiding in the bush
  • Possibility of combining the walking tour with a picnic lunch beside the lake
Going on walking safaris in Lake Mburo National Park allows you to experience nature uniquely. In the company of an armed Uganda Wildlife Authority guide, you can take a bush walk in the early morning. You might encounter various antelopes grazing near the swamps or drinking from it. You can nature walk on the valley ridges and on its floors. Snap up this opportunity to view butterflies, tiny insects, reptiles, amphibians, and smaller animals like the mongoose or sitatunga. Your guide will identify different animal spoors for you to learn from. Each safari walk will take a couple of hours as traveling along a trail that loops around the lake. Combining the walk with a picnic lunch is also an option.
Walking Safaris In Lake Mburo Park

6. Horseback Safaris In Lake Mburo Park

Key Takeaways

  • Horseback safaris that last for around one to five hours, or overnight tours
  • Possibility of approaching animals more closely without the possibility of startling them off
  • Unique experiences of exploring the bush without the distraction of motorized vehicles
While going on game drives is often the best way to view wildlife on vacation, sounds from the safari vehicles sometimes tend to unsettle the animals. Horseback safaris in Africa are a unique option for those feeling a bit adventurous. Mihingo Lodge has a stable with well-trained horses that you can use to explore the bush. Revel in the tranquility and fresh air of a tour on horseback, with only the sounds of a breeze rustling the foliage and bird songs to accompany you. A horse ride can last from one to five hours based on your ability, or you can opt for the overnight horse safari in Lake Mburo National Park. Horses offer a special advantage: since they’re four-legged creatures, other animals tend to allow you to approach them more closely without running away. Only experienced riders can book horse riding safaris as you need to be good at cantering and trotting.
Horseback Safaris In Lake Mburo Park

7. Mountain Biking & Cycling In Lake Mburo Park

Key Takeaways

  • Biking safaris to explore animal trails and check out the smallest denizens of the forest and savannah
  • Personal tour guide to direct the excursion
  • Opportunity to view animals from closer distances without the sounds from safari vehicles
In place of horseback riding, Lake Mburo National Park (where to stay) also offers the fun option of a biking safari. Cycling along well-worn paths allows you to view some of the animals up close with minimal obtrusion to their activity. You can also explore narrow animal trails and, perhaps, proceed to bike to view a termite mound as you take a closer look at some of the smaller denizens of the bush. A bike tour guide will accompany you, while AfricanMecca will make sure you have a supply of drinking water and snacks for your biking excursion, which may have you passing among grazing herds of zebras, giraffes, impalas, warthogs, topis and waterbucks without causing a rustle. We highly recommend pre-booking your mountain biking excursion prior to arrival as there are very limited bikes available each day.
Mountain Biking & Cycling In Lake Mburo Park

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Lake Mburo Park Rating By AfricanMecca
4.4 Star
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Learn More On AfricanMecca Safari Tier Ratings & Experiences

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Lake Mburo has limited quality camps and lodges. AfricanMecca only recommends Mihingo Lodge that affords a mid-range Deluxe Tier 2 Safari rating. It offers a tented lodge experience with diverse activities.

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Lake Mburo Park offer many activities such as horse riding safaris, biking, bush walks, day and night game drives, boat trips, cultural interactions with the Banyankole Bahima tribe, visit to wildlife hides.

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Like most locations in Africa, Lake Mburo National Park has two wet rainy seasons and two dry seasons. December to February, June to August are the best times to visit Lake Mburo Park in Uganda.


What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWSfive star africanmecca safaris reviews

  • AfricanMecca Safaris offers incredibly knowledgeable and skilled services! Our travel arrangements for 2 months of volunteering with TEACH Rwanda in country were made quickly and economically. Honored to work with Raza!
    Janet Brown - TEACH Rwanda Founder - United States
  • I just returned from a month in Africa, specifically Rwanda & Kenya. I am left breathless with my experience. AfricanMecca Safaris coordinated the entire trip for me and left no detail, nothing for me to do.
    Carol Bobb - Pennsylvania, United States
  • AfricanMecca Safaris created a remarkable honeymoon tailored to our interests and desires. The quality of service and delivery of experience was unsurpassed. I highly recommend AfricanMecca Safaris to honeymooners, families, or any traveler.
    Noorin & Jason Nelson - Maryland, United States
  • I booked my safari holiday through AfricanMecca. They were the most helpful company I have ever dealt with and I work within the travel industry. I had the most amazing time. The holiday went as clockwork with no hitches anywhere.
    Shelley Roberts - Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
  • This is to let you know my guests, The Bryant's, had a wonderful time on the trip Samburu, Masai Mara/Kenya, Chobe/Botswana & Victoria Falls/Zambia. Everything was perfect! Thank you.
    Christine Milan - MT Carmel Travel - Connecticut, United States
  • We have returned from our African adventure and would like to thank you very much for your part in making this such a wonderful experience. We were lucky enough to time the Great Migration from the Serengeti, which was amazing.
    Denise Paterson - Belmont, Australia
  • Rwanda was amazing. The accommodations, food, and guides AfricanMecca arranged were great. Raza also helped us through the complicated process of getting permits for gorilla trekking. AfricanMecca is a fantastic company to work with.
    Stephanie Weir - United States


When visiting Lake Mburo for your wildlife safari, we recommend combining it with Bwindi Park for your gorilla safari trek, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Kibale (chimpanzee safari) alongside your city tour visits of Kampala and Entebbe.

You may optionally extend out to other wilderness areas such as Mgahinga to track down golden monkeys and gorillas in the same park, Jinja for whitewater rafting on the Nile River, and Semliki or Kidepo for an offbeat wildlife tour.

You can end your vacation on the beach at Lake Victoria or even extending out to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar or Lamu, or even Mombasa.

Best Safari Planning Ideas & Trip Experiences For Uganda

Below are guide references on how to plan each of the below safari experience in Uganda. Alternatively, go to the summary section for a quick overview of each trip planning experience.

1. How To Plan Uganda Safari Trips? (Summary)

2. Wildlife Safari Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

3. Private & Tailor-Made Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

4. Honeymoon Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

5. Family Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

6. Luxury Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

7. Photo Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

8. Cultural Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

9. Gorilla, Chimpanzee & Primate Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

10. Hike, Trek & Bush Walk Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

11. Birding Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

12. Wedding Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda



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