Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park (Whispers of the Wild)

Lake Mburo National Park (Whispers of the Wild) Lake Mburo National Park is located in Southwestern Uganda, in Nyabushozi county of Kiruhura district. It is the smallest savannah national park in Uganda and it is the closest National Park to Kampala/Entebbe compared to other national Parks. It takes you about 3-4 hours drive from Entebbe/Kampala. Lake Mburo National Park covers an area of about 260 square kilo meters. History of Lake Mburo National Park The park was established in 1933 to control hunting that was rampant putting animals to extinct. The place was initially settled by Banyankole Bahima pastoralists who reared their livestock and they still rear them since it is their doctrine. The pastoralists continued to graze their animals in the reserved area which later annoyed the British conservationists who termed them as invaders in the year of 1981and by 1983, when the reserve was upgraded to a national park, they were evicted and this was during Obote’s government and the decision was redirected to weaken the Banyankole who were alleged to be supporting Anti-Obote regime. This came into the Operation Bonanza massacre of 300,000 people in the Bush War. The evicted people were not compensated or showed where to settle, they remained rigid to the changes, the rangelands that were adjacent to the park were divided into small plots for farming. However in 1985, the second Obote regime collapsed and the pastoralists regained their land, they destroyed the infrastructures, they chased park staffs away, killed wildlife, and in 1986 less than a half of the original land was re-gazetted by National Resistance Movement government of Kaguta Yoweri Museveni. However there is a belief that led to the park to attain its name from the 2 brothers Kigarama and Mburo who lived in the low-lying Savannah plains called Kaaro Karungi. One night Kigarama dreamt that they were to get very heavy rainfall ad would cause flooding and destroy all their possessions. Mburo however did not take the dream seriously, and in African traditional society dreams were highly respected, Kigarama followed his heart and migrated to the adjacent hills and he left his brother Mburo in the lowland. In one night, the place received heavy rainfall, causing flooding of the place, destroying Mburo and all his properties. The water collected in one place forming the present day Lake Mburo and the adjacent hills were named Kigarama hills. However the litany of the story can be got if you Visit Lake Mburo National Park. Wildlife in Lake Mburo National Park The park is a haven of wildlife life that dwells in the open savannah grassland, those that live in the forests, afro-montane and aquatic life.  Some of the wildlife that is found in Lake Mburo National Park include; zebras, hippopotamus, impalas, buffaloes, leopards, Roth’s child giraffes were introduced in 2015, lions, spotted hyenas, serval cats, warthogs, jackals, over 300 bird species. The park was considered to be “lion conservation unit” by 2005, despite. And in 2015, there was a single lion roaming that was heard in the areas of Miriti, Kashara, Warukiri and Rwonyo and this was considered to be a problematic animal by the locals, and the only solution was to translocate the lion into the ZOO/UWEC (Uganda Wildlife Educational Centre).     Activities and attractions in Lake Mburo National Park Guided nature walk This always starts from the park’s headquarters Rwonyo and the guests have to walk along with an armed ranger guide to protect them from any animal attack. The ranger guide will lead you to the salt lick and this is where you will always find a multitude of wildlife. Game drive Lake Mburo National Park is a home to over 68 mammals and a recorded number of 350 bird species with newly introduced giraffe family and it is healthy and multiplying. On the game drive travellers will always encounter huge numbers of wildlife for example buffaloes, zebras, impalas, bushbucks, oribis, elands, spotted hyenas, kobs to mention but a few not forgetting birds that be sending sweet melodies from the tree branches. You will explore more and we always advise you to use a 4*4Wheel drive with pop roof which gives you a clear view of animals. Night game drive Lake Mburo National Park is one of the destinations where you can do night game drives in search for nocturnal animals like porcupines, leopards, bush-babies, white tailed mongoose, hyenas as you can also be listening to sounds from buffaloes, zebras and the sweet sounds from the birds. Horseback riding Horseback riding is another interesting activity in Lake Mburo National Park as this is the only park where you can come closer to animals while you are on the back of the horse. You can will be with a ranger guide as well, and you will meet herds of buffaloes, zebras, impalas, birds as you also enjoy the beautiful sceneries. This activity starts from Mihingo lodge and it lasts between 1-3 hours while you are in the jungle being overwhelmed by the beauty of the park. Fishing This also an interesting activity which you should never miss as the Lake boasts to have over 6 types of fish, with commonly caught fish are; tilapia, lung fish, Angara fish, barbell fish, and the guests can either roast it or take it to their lodge and they prepare for them in any style and the best fishing site is Mazinga and the tourists who are interested in fishing have to carry their own gears and permits have to be granted from UWA Uganda Wildlife Authority. Tourists have to inform the tour operators so as to arrange for this as well before they arrive. Bird watching Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best birding spots with a recorded number of over 350 bird species including the migratory and endemic birds. Bird watching is basically done in the morning hours from 1-11 am and the best spotting places are; Warukiri, Rubanga forests, salt lick where there is a spotting place where you can see different birds and other wildlife too. Also when you do a boat cruise, you will discover so many bird species. Launch cruise When you visit Lake Mburo National Park, you should never miss out doing a boat cruise because of its fascinating results. Launch cruise is done in 2 phases, in the early morning by 8 am to 11am and another phase that starts from 2:30 pm to 5 pm. This is one of the rewarding activity whenever you visit the park because you can be able to spot most of the animals on the lake shore for example hippopotamus, crocodiles, birds, zebras, buffaloes, elands and birdlife.                    
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