Many visitors to Uganda that would love to have a taste of the African Wild on day trip in Uganda. The closest Wildlife Park to Kampala with various activities and things to do is Lake Mburo National Park. It is also the perfect Park where one can break a long journey from Western Ugandan Parks such as Mgahinga Gorilla Park or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Wildlife has been on the rebound here in recent years with even Lions making a comeback and if you do not see them in the daytime, you can hear their roar at night. Giraffes were brought here from Murchison Falls Park making Lake Mburo, even more, a choice destination. There are plenty of activities to do on your tour to Lake Mburo National Park which include the following.
Wildlife Game Drives: Game Drives through the Park allow you to see many animals and birds. Be sure that a Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger is on board the vehicle to point out the various species of birds and mammals you might otherwise miss. Lake Mburo is the only park in Uganda with Eland, Impala Antelopes, Giraffes. Game drives prove to be rewarding with leopards and at time lions.
Lake Mburo is the only park in Western Uganda where you find Burchell Zebras, the only other park where you find Zebras is Kidepo Valley Park in northeastern Uganda. The scenery of rolling hills, lakes, swamps make Africa real, it is where the Tanzanian Savannah meets Uganda in a most scenic fashion.
Night Game Drives: Nocturnal Game Drives in Lake Mburo National Park are one of the memorable activities one can do here. Spot the creatures of the night such as leopards, even lions on the prowl in the park. You can even spot Bush Babies, Porcupines – all the things that move at night, The drive is normally about 2 1/2 hours in length after you have dinner at your lodge.
Spotlights are used to point out various animals that without them you might miss. The Night Game Drive at Lake Mburo will be one of the highlights of your time here and about two hours in length.
Boat Safaris on Lake Mburo: A boat ride on Lake Mburo gets you in touch with the flora and fauna of the lake. Along the bank, you will see lots of animals coming to water especially during the dry season. There are hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, antelopes, zebras, also 3 kinds of otters are found in the lake itself. When it comes to birds you can see Malachite Kingfishers, Pied Kingfishers, African Fish Eagles, Rufous Long-tailed Starlings, Blue-headed Weavers, Green-necked Doves, Hammerkops, Pelicans, Herons, Cormorants and even rare Shoebill Storks.
A boat safari on Lake Mburo will allow you to see both crocodiles and hippos up close in their natural habitat and continues to be a major attraction in the park.
Birding in Lake Mburo National Park: Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best place for birding in Uganda with over 350 species of birds that are found here. Birders will find he swampy valleys of Warukiri and Miriti, and the roadsides between Rwonyo camp and the jetty to be excellent areas for birding and one may spot the rare shoebill Stork here.
There are also ideally situated viewing platforms at the salt lick, in Miriti Valley, and in Rubanga Forest. Species observed at these locations include the Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned Crane, Black-bellied Bustard, Brown-chested Lapwing, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Brown Parrot, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, White-headed Barbet, Red-faced Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, White-winged Tit and Finfoot among others.
Nature Walks – Lake Mburo National Park: What sets Lake Mburo Park apart from others is that Nature walks can be taken anywhere within the park with an armed Uganda Wildlife Authority Guide at your side. On an early morning guided walk you often encounter hyenas who are returning to their dens after a night of being on the prowl – at the same time you can often see hippos returning from grazing during the night and returning to Lake Mburo to keep cool during the day and protect their sensitive skin from the sun.
On a nature walk you will often see Zebras, Giraffes, Eland, Topi and other antelopes, buffaloes. birds, butterflies. Take the Trail to the top of the hills and see Lake Mburo and beyond, from this vantage point you have a great view of 9 of the regional lakes found in the area.
Fishing: There are 5 lakes within Lake Mburo National Park – a total of 12 lakes within the general area of the park. Lake Mburo is the largest of them – fishermen come to the lake to fish and visitors to Lake Mburo National Park can do some fishing themselves and later arrange to have the fish prepared at the lodge where they are staying.
There six species of fish found here – tilapia being the fish of choice here. Sports-fishing can be done here and we can obtain a license for you, we can also arrange for fishing gear and tackle to be on hand when you arrive in the park and you embark on your Lake Mburo fishing experience.
The designated fishing spot is at Mazinga, which is a safe area along Lake Mburo where you do not have to worry about crocodiles and hippos.
Horseback Riding Safaris can last from one hour to three. In recent times even overnight horseback riding safaris have been offered with tenting and meals in the wild. On a horseback riding safari, the only sounds that you will hear are those of the African Wild and your horse. There is no engine sound and neither is there any pollution, no engine smoke – it is the fresh air and you.
This particular activity is easily done if you are staying at Mihingo Safari Lodge.
With the Bayankole the Ankole Cow was king and queen and considered the cow of Kings both in Western Uganda and Rwanda. The cultural center has several traditional grass huts on display and guides will explain to you the way life used to be and in some cases still is. There is also the museum where you learn more of the ways of the local cultures.
There is also local food that you can eat in the restaurant and some great roasted goat is offered here. This is a great stop-off for culture – history and yes, traditional lunch.