Lake Mburo national park; an ideal mini break destination for wildlife, scenery and culture
Lake Mburo National Park is one of the famous Uganda safari destinations and surprisingly the closest wildlife destination to Kampala the capital of Uganda. Unlike Queen Elizabeth National park and Murchison Falls National Park which are 417km and 305km respectively, Lake Mburo National Park is only 240km from Kampala making it ideal for a relaxed mini break wilderness encounter for any Uganda tour undertaker departing from Kampala.
Lake Mburo National Park with its slogan the Whispers of the wild stands in the traditional rangelands of Kiruhura district bordering the districts of Isingiro, Lyantonde, Rakai and Mbarara as the Uganda’s smallest savannah park covering 260km2. It is a rich habitat with a myriad of wild game including the unique Rothschild Giraffe, the highest population of Impala antelope and the Burchell’s Zebra, the Topis, Warthogs, El
and antelope, defassa waterbuck, bush buck, buffaloes, the leopard and occasional lion that combine to make it a darling destination for travelers on safari in Uganda. The magical sights of the park and beyond from the Kazuma look out are thrilling offering inclusive views of the Lakes Mburo, Kacheera, Kibikwa and series of other five lakes that adjoin the Lake Victoria catchment. The range of 350 bird species thrive in the park including the endemic Red faced Barbet.
The park has for long been unknown to many and few of the Uganda safari undertakers would consider visiting it on their way to or from Queen Elizabeth or Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks. But with the introduction of Rothschild Giraffes in the middle of 2015 from the Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo has rose above the odds attracting the attention of both the local and international safari undertakers.
The proximity to Kampala gives Lake Mburo National Park an advantage over other safari parks. The park can be explored in a day with a return transfer to Kampala. The two days or three days extension presents a relaxed encounter because of less drive time an experience that is preferred by most travelers. The stop at Uganda Equator crossing Kayabwe presents a break in the 3 – 4 hour journey and offers an opportunity to learn about the physical geography and the tropics not forgetting being a good photographic site and a one stop shop for crafts and fine Ugandan coffee.
Lake Mburo National Park is franked by the ancient Precambrian rocks including Ruroko and Rwakobo that date back to over 500 million years ago presenting a unique scenic view and rich history with local cultural traditions attached to them. The Lake Mburo itself is an amazing resource with counts of Hippos, the Nile crocodiles, unique bird species like the African finfoot and stands as the only permanent water source in Kiruhura district saving counts of people and their livestock during the prolonged dry spells. At the boundary close to Nshaara gate there lies the Ankole Cow Conservation Village which is the home to the set of selected cows named Enyeimbwa presenting an experiential touch with the culture of the surrounding pastoralist community which is also impressive to explore on Uganda tour. At 33km distance, there lies the largest private Museum in Uganda – the Igongo Cultural Center with extensive lush gardens, the cultural village, the classic restaurant with traditional cuisine, craft center, country hotel and the well-equipped Museum that features artifacts of all cultures of south western Uganda.
Lake Mburo National Park is accessed through two gates Nshaara gate suitable for those coming from Kampala and Sanga gate suitable for those coming from Mbarara side may be transferring from Rwanda or other south western Uganda destinations. The all category accommodation exist catering for all visitor categories including the top notch Mihingo Lodge, Midmarket Rwakobo Rock and the Tented Budget lodging at Eagles Nest to list but a few. Spare a weekend or day off your routine and whisper with the wild!
By Siima Simon Peter