Lake Mburo National Park is scenic little park, close to Kampala, is home to several wildlife species not easily seen elsewhere in Uganda. These include Burchell’s zebra and impala. Although elephants are absent from the park, there is plenty of other wildlife to see, including Rothschild’s giraffe, buffalo, and Defassa waterbuck.
Wildlife & Animals Safaris & Tours – Lake Mburo National Park
Many typical safari animals are residents, but not elephants or rhinos, while the lion is very sporadic visitors. Leopards are sometimes spotted on night drives. Highlights in the park include impala (not found in any other Ugandan park), eland, the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, and Burchell’s zebra (which is only found here and in Kidepo Valley). Other animals regularly seen are oribi and warthog. Hundreds of hippo are found in the lake.
The park has a good variety of wildlife. Several antelope species can be seen, including topi, duiker, oribi, Bohor reedbuck, and klipspringer. An elephant is absent, but herds of buffalo are quite common, and Rothschild’s giraffe has been reintroduced. A healthy population of leopard is present, although mostly seen at night. Hippo and crocodile can be found in the lake.
Scenery & African Safaris – Lake Mburo National Park
The main feature of the park is Lake Mburo and four other lakes, which form part of a 50km-long wetland area. They are best viewed from the impressive Kazuma Lookout. The main vegetation is open savannah, but the park is becoming increasingly covered by woodland due to the absence of an elephant. The savannah is interspersed with patches of forest and rocky outcrops. Papyrus swamp and woodland surround the lakes.
Wildlife & Animals Highlights – Lake Mburo National Park
Burchell’s zebra and eland are only found here and in the less accessible Kidepo NP. The rare and specialized sitatunga sometimes be spotted in the marshes, and the park is the only place in Uganda where impala are residents. Bushbuck has a quite unique habit in the park of standing on the lookout on termite mounds.
Best Time for Wildlife Viewing – Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo can be visited anytime, with wildlife viewing highlights year-round. In the dry seasons (from June to August and December to February), animals gather around rivers and waterholes, and during the wet seasons (March to May and September to November), large numbers can be seen in the open valleys.
Bird Watching Safaris & Tours – Lake Mburo National Park
Over 310 bird species have been recorded in Lake Mburo NP. This park is the best place in Uganda for acacia-dwelling birds. Forest species are also present in Rubanga Forest. A bonus for birders is the swamps, in which six papyrus specials are residents, including the spectacular papyrus gonolek and the blue-headed coucal. Southern species at the northern limit of their range include the Black-collared barbet and bare-faced go-away bird. Migratory birds are present from November to April.
Best Time for Bird Watching – Lake Mburo National Park
The birdlife in Lake Mburo is good year-round. June and July have the least rain, while March and April have the most rain. The heavy rains might result in delays due to impassable roads and slippery hiking trails. These can limit your bird-watching time. Migratory birds are around from November to April.
Best Time to Visit – Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo NP is open year-round, but the Dry seasons from June to August and December to February are the best time for general wildlife viewing as animals gather around the lake and other water sources. Wildlife viewing is still ok in the Wet seasons from March to May and from September to November and at this time the park lush and scenic.
Weather & Climate – Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo experiences a mild climate. Daily temperatures are around 27°C/81°F, with nightly temperatures of 14°C/57°F on average. Rain occurs throughout the year – although June and July get the least amount of rain. December through February also tends to be a period of lesser rainfall. There are two recognizable Wet seasons, from March to May and from September to November.
Dry seasons –June to August and December to February
June, July & August – June and July are drier, but it can still rain occasionally. The transition between the Dry and Wet season usually occurs in August and rain will increase. Average temperatures are about 27°C/81°F in the afternoon and 13°C/55°F in the morning.
December, January & February – A period of more rain than June or July, but still less than the rest of the year. Daytime temperatures of about 27°C/81°F and morning temperatures of 14°C/57°F are normal.
Wet seasons –March to May and September to November
March, April & May – The wettest months of the year, with April getting the most rain. Daytime temperatures average around 26°C/79°F and morning temperatures are around 15°C/59°F.
September, October & November – This time of year is slightly less rainy when compared to March, April, and May. The rain tends to reach a peak in November. Daytime temperatures are around 26°C/79°F.
How to get there – Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is usually visited on a tour, possibly as an overnight break driving between Kampala and Bwindi NP. Lake Mburo is located in western Uganda, 228km/142mi from Kampala, and 250-300km/150-180mi from Bwindi (depending on which gorilla trekking base you are headed to). The drive from Kampala City takes about five hours and the drive on to Bwindi about six to seven hours.
Entebbe International Airport (EBB) is about 46km/29mi from the country’s capital, Kampala. This will be your entry point into Uganda. Your local tour operator will usually arrange for your pick-up from the airport or hotel and all further transportation as part of your safari package.
Malaria & Safety – Lake Mburo National Park
In our opinion, most animal reserves and parks can be visited safely in Uganda, and Lake Mburo NP is no different. During your travels, most of the people you meet will either be tourists or people working for your tour operators, lodges, or the park.
Malaria & Vaccinations – Lake Mburo National Park
Protection from malaria is advised. It is also important that you have certain vaccinations before arriving in the country, as well as stocking up on antimalarial medication. And don’t forget mosquito repellent (those containing DEET are most effective) as you will need to apply it in the evening when the risk of being bitten is greatest.
Wildlife viewing comes with possible risks as wild animals’ behavior can be unpredictable. These risks are simple to avoid merely by listening to and following the direction of your guide.