Lake Mburo National Park is one of Uganda’s most surprising national parks. Often dropped into an itinerary to break the journey from Bwindi, it has a tendency to over-deliver. Time and time again the natural beauty and swiftly improving wildlife of Mburo proves to be a wonderful trip highlight.

Discover the park

Although there are no elephants 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 ranch lands outside 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.

Things to do at Lake Mburo National Park

Game Driver in lake mburo

Game Drive

The park has a network of game drive tracks. The wildlife densities will vary depending on the time of year, plus the lack of elephants is allowing thick scrub to grow where there were grassy plains.

However, each drive normally has a great chance of finding substantial concentrations of impala, zebra, waterbuck, topi and buffalo.

The re-introduced giraffe are more commonly seen from the Kazuma and Ruroko tracks. You may also see the shy eland, who now number over 100.

It is now also possible to experience the park in darkness on two to three-hour night game drives. These normally start about 6:30pm and are a wonderful way to see nocturnal animals like bushbabies and potto, plus leopard and hyena at their most active.

Walking safari in mburo

Walking Safari

In Mburo, the whole park is available to explore on foot, as long as you take a guide with you. Favourite trails are to the salt lick at Rwonyo, the lake shorelines, Rubanga Forest and viewpoint hill tops. 

Walks are the most exciting way to discover the park because visibility is often restricted by the undergrowth and it is difficult to see buffalo holding their ground or hyena loping back to their dens after a night on the prowl.

Walks are also the best way for birders to track down the more elusive species.

boat cruise in lake mburo national

Boat Safari

Taking to the water is always a welcome, peaceful, part of any safari. You escape the dust and the tsetse flies and see life in the bush from another angle.

A 90-minute morning boat safari takes you along the shore of Lake Mburo, including sightings of crocodile, buffalo, hippo, kingfishers, fish eagles and hammerkops.

The boat safaris start at 8 am and depart every two hours until 4 pm.

Birding in mburo

The acacia woodland and wetlands of Mburo make it a popular destination for birders. Searching by vehicle and on foot, sightings are also facilitated by viewing platforms constructed within the forest and by salt-licks.

The swampy valleys of Waruki and Miriti, plus the roadsides approaching the jetty provide the best birding spots.

Species seen here include the Rufous-bellied heron, bateleur, black-bellied bustard, and the red-faced barbet, the latter found only in Lake Mburo National Park.