Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks which covers an area of 370 km2, and it’s located closely to Mbarara town on the highway, that connects Kampala to the parks of Western Uganda. Lake Mburo is the largest of five lakes, which lie within the park boundaries, and part of a cluster of 14 lakes that are fed by the Rwizi river and connected by several seasonal swamps, some of them up to 50 km long. The park has an altitude range from 1,220 to 1,828 metres above the sea level and lies in a rain shadow between Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains, with an annual rainfall average of around 800 mm, which is relatively low. Nevertheless roughly 20% of the park’s surface consists of wetland habitats.
It has open savannah with common acacia trees like acacia gerrardii, sieberiana, hockii, and polyacantha. In the western part of the park the savannah is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges, while patches of papyrus swamps and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland, line the verges of the various lakes.
Lake Mburo offers excellent game viewing and bird watching, and your are likely to see over 350 bird species like southern ground hornbill, green-capped eremomela, black-collared and black-throated barbet, red-winged grey and papyrus yellow warbler. At Rwonyo Rest Camp is the site to spot mosque swallow, black-bellied bustard, Ruppell’s long-tailed starling and bare-faced go-away-bird. The park harbours several mammal species, which are not easily to be seen elsewhere in Uganda like the beautiful antelope called impala. Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, derives its name from the large number of impalas, which once populated the area. Burchell’s zebra are found only in Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley National Park. Bush buck, bush pig, topi, warthog, hippopotamus, buffalo, sitatunga, klipspringer, common duiker, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, Bohor reedbuck, olive baboon, vervet monkey, bush baby and many others can also be found in the park.
The drive from Kampala to Lake Mburo takes about 3 to 4 hours. There are two different accessible roads, which connect the park to the main surfaced road between Masaka and Mbarara. Coming from the west the road branches south Sanga, 37 km east of Mbarara. Coming from Kampala, it’s easier to use the road branching south from the 50 km marker for Mbarara, about 20 km past Lyantonde.