Lake Mburo National Park
When on safari, it is the nice, unexpected, surprises that you remember the longest. Lake Mburo National Park is one of Uganda’s most surprising national parks – in a good way. Often dropped into an itinerary to break the journey from Bwindi, time and time again the natural beauty and swiftly improving wildlife of Mburo proves to be a wonderful trip highlight.
Reasons to Go
Located basically equidistant between Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Entebbe, the woodlands, waters and grassland make for the perfect break in a road journey either too or from the gorillas. If returning from the gorillas, try to stay a night longer than you initially think necessary; Mburo is the perfect place in which to relax as well as explore. If you live in Kamapla or Entebbe, then Mburo is also a great location for a long weekend getaway.
Although just 260km2, Mburo provides a wonderful variety of habits, with 20% of its surface area made up of lakes and marshland. Although there are no elephant and only one lion (a lonely visitor from Tanzania), there are impala, Burchell’s zebra, eland, buffalo, leopard and wonderfully diverse birdlife.
The landscapes and wildlife can be explored in game drives, by boat, on horseback and by mountain bike in the continuous ranchlands outside of the Park. These options make Mburo a very modern safari destination, attractive to visitors with a wide variety of interests.
Like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mburo was born from the rinderpest and tsetse fly epidemics of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But unlike Queen Elizabeth, the communities that historically utilised Mburo were displaced, destroying local support for the park. Happily, the creation of the Mburo Community Conservation Unit in 1991, has helped mitigate past grievances and no insures that 20% of the income generated by park fees is used to fund local community projects.
Places to Stay
The popularity of Mburo has grown in recent years, resulting in the construction of a number of lodges. Three of the most popular are Rwakobo Rock, Lake Mburo Camp and Mihingo Lodge.
Rwakobo Rock occupies a rocky outcrop on the border of the park, 1km from the Nshara Gate, with beautiful views into Mburo. There are eight homely and spacious cottages built from local materials. The swimming pool has spectacular views, shared by the large dining room and bar. In addition to the normal Mburo activities, Rwakobo also organises mountain bike tours of the savanna outside the park border, which is a great way to stretch your legs after a drive whilst also seeing some of the local wildlife.
Lake Mburo Camp
Lake Mburo Camp is a traditional, tented, bush camp located in the centre of the Park. The tents are elevated on wooden platforms, from which you can watch the life unfolding in the savanna. A homely dining room and bar provides the perfect place to unwind after the day. Lake Mburo Camp is a sister property of the ever-popular Engagi Lodge in Buhoma.
Mihingo Lodge is a beautiful luxury lodge set in a private 97ha reserve bordering the park. Like Rwakobo, it has been built sympathetically into an extensive rocky outcrop – home to leopards as well as visitors. The 12 tented rooms have been designed and built with great attention to detail, making sure they complement the local environment. An hour or two in the infinity pool is one of the most relaxing experiences in Uganda. Mihingo also operate the high quality horse safaris available in the Park.