Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is located in the west of Uganda, in 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 km2 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. The lake (Lake Mburo) at the center is a part of the ecosystem made of 14 lakes. 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 the wetland.

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. 350 bird species, including the rare red-faced barbet, African Finfoot among others can be ticked off the checklists by bird enthusiasts. 


Game Drives and game viewing

The driving tracks in the park pass a variety of landscape features; acacia woodland, wetlands, grassy hillsides, rock, and the valley floors that are flooded seasonally. The dawn and late afternoon are the best times to roll on your jeep or safari van in the park in search of wildlife. The common sightings are Zebras, topi, giraffes, warthog, monkeys, impala, duiker, bushbuck, waterbuck, the shy eland, and a variety of birds. The leopard and lion are rare sightings and this makes the park ideal to explore on foot.  

Boat Cruise

Lake Mburo is well-to-do with a variety of animal and plant species which can only be seen clearly if you take a boat trip. The Hippopotamuses, crocodiles, and birds like Pelicans, Heron, Fish Eagle, Black Crake, African Finfoot, and Cormorants can be sighted on during a boat cruise and you can opt for a private boat trip to enjoy more of what the park has to offer in a relaxed way. 


Lake Mburo has about 350 bird species including White-winged warbler, Shoebill stork, Crested Francolin, Brown Parrot, Red-necked Spur, Common quails, African grey hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Coqui Francolin, Long-tailed Cisticola, Southern red bishop and so much more. The best birding spots in the park include the swampy valleys of Warukiri and Miiriti, and the roadsides between Rwonyo camps, the shores of the lake, and the Acacia and Research tracks.

 Nature Walks 

 While in the park you can experience nature by taking nature guided walk with a ranger.  A forest walk in Rubanga Forest offers a diversity of supportive habitats for birds. Also, walk to the salt lick from Rwonyo where you will encounter animals at the slat rocks. 

Sport Fishing

You can get a chance to catch fish using hooks. The designated fishing spot is at Mazinga. If you intend to fish, you are requested to obtain a fishing permit from Uganda wildlife Authority. Fish species in Lake Mburo include lungfish, tilapia, and mudfish. 

Horseback and cycling safaris in Lake Mburo

Horseback and cycling safaris are an exciting way to view wildlife in the park. The park has few predators making it possible to encounter and come close to wildlife.  


Lake Mburo lies between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara close to the main south-western road that Links the Capital (Kampala) to Bwindi Kabale and the Rwandan Boarders. The park is 254km (3½ hours) from Kampala. Two gates enter the park from the Mbarara road:  Nshara Gate is 13kms past Lyantonde from Kampala, while the junction for Sanga Gate is at Sanga trading center, 27km past Lyantonde. Both junctions are clearly signposted.

It is about a 20-minute drive from either gate to the park offices at Rwonyo.

Accommodation in the park

The park has a number of lodges and camps and these include Mihingo Lodge, Rwakobo Rock, Mantana Tented Camp, Eagle’s Nest, and Rwonyo Rest Camp.

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