When most people think of peace, they think of freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquillity. When I think of peace, Lake Mburo national park is the first name that comes to mind for two reasons. Despite being very close to Kampala district . it experiences tranquillity and harmony that many have to travel over 5,000 miles to get. Secondly, it is home to mostly peaceful herbivores; a mix of heavy grazers and light eaters. As such, you don’t have to worry about being attacked by carnivores with the unmatched skills of making meals out of human flesh and blood. Similarly, most of its activities are the types that relax the mind.
Among the activities you can pursue here include game drives, nature walks, boat cruises and horse rides. Regardless of which option you chose, you are guaranteed seeing over 200 elegant zebras and countless species belonging to the antelope family like impalas, toppi and the like. Mburo is 260Km2 wide.
Lake Mburo National Park sits in three Districts. Much of its lies in Rubirizi, a District in Western Uganda that is roughly five hours drive from Kampala.
Things to Do in Lake Mburo National Park
There are lots of things to do in Lake Mburo National Park.
Game drive in Lake Mburo
If you desire to take in the beauty of Lake Mburo but have limited time, a morning or evening game drive will serve your need better. The better part of the story is that the vast network of tracks in the park is rehabilitated whenever need arises. As such, you can pursue the activity even in non-four wheel drive vehicles.
Lake Mburo Park boasts of over 310 recorded bird species, mostly acacia-dwelling birds. Its swampy parts have six papyrus endemics inclusive of the papyrus gonolek and the blue-headed coucal. The best time to see Migratory species is November to April.
Horse back safaris
There is no better way to see the shy species of the park than by pursuing a horseback ride. It allows you to sneak into the wildlife territories without being noticed as compared to loud engine powered means like cars. There is a possibility of running into leopards during your ride.
Unlike a game drive, a nature walk off the beaten path will afford you the opportunity of feeling a part of nature. You will also encounter the respective wildlife of the park from an up-close. Imagine being within zero proximity from the zebras and breathing in the pure freshness of a woodland setting.
Lake Mburo comprises several accommodations in Uganda options for just about any kind of traveller; budget, mid-range, high end… Ooh, there are campsites too for the hard core adventurer.
That said, it is wiser to pre-book accommodation especially if travelling in the high peak seasons like December-February.
If you don’t like crowds, you can opt to explore the park in the low peak tourism season from February to June. The best times to see wildlife are early morning and late evening. Animals tend to shy away around midday and take shade, from the heat. That said, don’t forget to carry sunscreen if you have delicate skin.
In a bid to restore a harmonious relationship between the two parties, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is constructing 10 valley dams for communities around the park.
The dams whose construction cost 15m UGX each, are being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Uganda Biodiversity Program. The dams which measure 50mX50m (width) and three meters (depth) are for harvesting rainfall as drinking water for cattle. Over 400 pastoral households live in this community whose population is estimated by UWA to be over 13,000.
Founded in 1961, AWF is a continental conservation organization whose prime objective is protecting large landscapes in a way that benefits wildlife and people alike.
The intervention is meant to address the problem of water scarcity and tackle the spread of diseases from wildlife of Uganda to domestic animals and vice versa.
Also, 15 giraffes were translocated into the park from Murchison in 2015. Thanks to the ample protection they receive, it is only a matter of time before they will flourish.
Lastly, over 50 zebra have equally been translocated from the park in other reserves like Katonga. Plans are ongoing to translocate more given the limited natural resources like those Lake Mburo park has.