Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is located In the southern Mbarara District of Uganda, 3.5 hrs drive from Kampala.
Lying in a part of Uganda with extended acacia forests and bush land, Lake Mburo National Park has a completely different fauna compared to the nature reserves located further west of the country. Its semblance is rather more of the typical landscapes of East-Africa.
Lake Mburo National Park offers the best opportunities for viewing the big Elands, Burchell’s Zebras, Topis, Buffalos and Impalas. With roughly 310 species, birds are also well represented. Among them are species whose breeding grounds are mainly characterised by the acacia trees, as well as water and swamp birds.
The lake bearing the same name within the park attracts herds of hippos and crocodiles. The hedges of the embedded swamps hide the rare Sitatunga-antelope.
Activities at Lake Mburo
Game viewing is the major tourist attraction in this park, because the park is famous for its variety of species. It is home to 68 different species of mammals. As described above, one can find here plant eaters like Zebras, Impalas, Bushbucks, Waterbuck, Buffaloes, Topis and Elands, and not forgetting the rare Oribi. The predator population is made up of hyenas and Jackals, among others.
Lake Mburo, inside the park is a blessing worth mentioning. The lake is endowed with an incredible diversity of animals and plants, which the visitor only gets to experience when he undertakes a boat ride. Crocodiles, Hippos and Birds like Pelicans, Moorhen, Herons, Cormorants, and Fish-eagles are the reward for his visit. The duration of each boat ride varies as per negotiation with the park management.
The nature paths give the visitor the best opportunity to admire the wonderful and soothing nature. A guide will accompany you and will disclose to you the best places. You may be fortunate in the early morning to probably catch a glimpse of the Sitatunga-antelope in the marshlands or to accompany a herd of Burchells-Zebras on their walks at close range. The guided walk way of experiencing the African bush is quite different from that of being on the co-driver’ seat on a game drive!
A visit to the nearby saltlicks is a small summary of all the activities. A strategically well located wooden hideout (observation point) offers the possibility of observing at least 4 different types of animals at any one given time while they lick the salty ground. The most interesting thing about this is that it all happens without the animals’ attention or knowledge. One can also go discovering areas of purely personal interest in this region of the park.
You can go discovering this forest by letting the Park-Management arrange a tour and getting a Forest guard to accompany you. The Rubanga forest is quite small, but is endowed with a natural leaf canopy. A common type of tree is the Markhamia platycalyx (grey-brown foliage with irregular, fluffy patches, segmented leaves, yellow red-stripped and dotted bunch-like flowers with up to 1.3 m long fruits). Otherwise palm trees, fig trees, Sapium (a tall tree whose leaves turn red before falling off) and the flame tree Abyssinica Erythrina towards the swamp can be found.
All visitors who come to Lake Mburo National Park for the first time are fascinated by the multitude of big mammals and colourful birds. For many people the birds are the most interesting attraction. Once you have got to see the generally well-known types, you will then start paying attention to the smaller, less splendid birds. The real experts seem to be most excited when they discover smaller and less conspicuous samples, because they are the most difficult to get in front of the camera.
Although there are many birds spread all over the place, some types are very selective when choosing their living area. For instance, the majority of the 310 species counted in the park are “generalists” and can be found almost everywhere. Five species are however declared forest birds and 60 are pure water birds. Others prefer flat or high grasslands or forest areas. This park offers water birds, shore and papyrus birds, seasonal swamp birds, grassland birds and forest birds.
The birds in this park include the Rose-coloured pelican, African heron, White pelican, Yellow-billed goose, Yellow-billed tiny cormorant, White-winged swallow and Big cormorant, Fish eagle, Grey-fisher (ice-bird), Silver heron, White-backed heron, Roller, African-grey Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, African-wattled Plover, Crested Francolin, Black-billed Barbet, Black Bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Rednecked Spur, common Quails, Greenwood Hoopoe, Blue-napped Mousebird, Lilac-breasted, Trilling Cisticola, Coqui Francolin, Rednecked spurfowl, Rufous napped and Flappet larks, Rufuos chested Swallow ,Yellow-throated Long claw and Southern Red Bishop, Shoebill stork and White-winged Warbler.
All year round is a good visit. However, it is necessary to travel with a Four Wheel Drive especially during the rainy season.
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